From me to you…. Yes I know, we all hate bribery … BUT trust me on this one thing. Think of the food as payment … After all, would you keep going to work if they stopped paying you? So when you ask your dog to stop playing with their best friend and come running —all the way back to you down the beach— they need more than just a pat! This is so important because if you start to fade it out too soon, before our dogs have developed a strong positive association with the command, then the whole process can break down.
And the answer is simple…. They are out of control! The second is that we have a verbal recall, in other words when we call them they listen and choose to come running! The safest way is to attach the line to a clip on the back of a dog harness. That said. Okay, this is a very subtle concept, yet hugely powerful. Let me first describe a typical scenario that occurs with a lot of dogs…. As soon as they are let off leash they run off… happy as can be… they have heaps of energy and run away fast.
Often they pick up on a smell or see another dog and go visit. So why do we call the dog? Is the reason our dogs are off leash so they can run, sniff and play? Was the dog going to have a sniff or a quick play and then follow you? We need to let our dogs have fun and call them only when we know they are going to come. Less is actually more. Such great tips! It really is a wonderful feeling when you can call off a dog from chasing a squirrel or something they really go after.
Occasionally I give Haley a good treat for just coming in from outside when I call her and she still LOVES playing hide and seek in the house where I hide and call her, then she gets a treat when she finds me. Keeping it fun and interesting helps a lot.
I love step by step instructions. Thanks for the encouragement and clarity. Great list of tips! Consistency is my downfall. Need to start again with a new word. A gal at the dog beach we used to go to had great recall with her dogs using the word zucchini! I love it. This was a great post. I have done several posts on recall, due to the fact that huskies are notorious escape artists.
I am not sure some people just how good a recall will come in handy at a time of need!! When I was writing the part about not all doings being so eager to please and a bit tougher to train I had you in mind.
Now I have a Border Collie. No easier to train than Kanook was.
Sometimes the only way I can draw her to me is by leaving the park, going to a grocery store and buying some Buddigs corned beef. He got out the door the other day and started running around the driveway, but actually came to me when I called. I was just so happy and it was a big relief too! Good tips, but our hunting dogs will not break off chasing a flushed bird for a treat. Just not gonna happen. We use e-collar to reinforce and we train it all the time.
All the time. When we were at the Hillmann seminar in May one of the tips he gave was not to reward a dog with praise while they were returning with a retrieve because over the years he observed that the dogs tended to slow down on their return.
They wanted the praise and made it last. He suggested waiting until the dog was right in front of you, and then turn on the praise. We tried it and that does work. Of course the dogs already have a somewhat reliable recall. That is very interesting about the differences when calling them back. Thanks for posting all this great advice, I know my Mum wants to work on this, I can see lots of treats in my future!
GREAT tips! I just wrote about training the recall today on my blog after witnessing a man trying to get his dogs back after they broke out of their fenced-in area. My own dog is very easy to train because he is so toy, treat and praise motivated. Plus, he naturally sticks close. I fostered an American Eskimo a few years ago who I would never trust off leash because he just totally ignored me outside.
He was perfect during our indoor obedience classes however and got his CGC. Makes me grateful that like your dog mine is pretty eager to please and easily motivated. Love these tips!
We often forget that instinct over-rides training, so we have to work to reverse this by making training more fun and interesting than instinctual attractions. A trainer suggested something else. Thanks for this article! Very helpful!
I just finished an article for my new blog on training a reliable recall, and I linked to your article for further reading. Thanks again! One of the reasons Delilah is rarely off leash is her unreliability. Some things are just more thrilling than me. This is such a terrific explanation of how to get a reliable recall!! Great Job!! The workshop was excellent and taught me a lot! We have pretty big forest on our property. The forest backs on to at 4 neighbours who all have dogs. Mikko likes to take off through the trees and visit. When he comes back he is so happy and so proud of himself.
We usually do not let him out of the fenced in yard.
Before working on the recall we would have to drive around looking for him and bring him back home. After working on the recall for about 2 years he would come back about minutes after being called. The last time he took off was about a week ago and he came back minutes after being called. He came back happy and excited and we gave him lots of praise, lots of treats and played with him in the fenced yard.
We will keep him on leash in the unfenced yard before giving him more freedom again.
Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. At 18 months she started to settle down, and I proceeded with trying to teach her new things. This breed easily learns how to locate objects due to its sharp sense of smell. I will attend school and work though and therefore want to ask you what amount of time I can leave the BC alone at home without becoming destructive for the dogs mental health? With my border collies, it always shocked people how much they understood, but I wouldn't have a specific command for most of what I had them doing - it was very subconscious and involved a lot of pointing and sweeps of my arm.
You may ask, why not just always keep him on a leash. Also, I cannot guarantee that we will never let go of the leash bringing him to and from the car. I would rather know that I can call him and he will come back then have him go off and possibly make it out to a road. Fortunately, he is more interested in being with people than with other dogs so after the initial excitement wears off of greeting another dog wears off he wants to be with us.
Our instincts are still to scold him for taking off but instead we praise him and reward him for coming back. I agree with Sue that working on the recall is the most important skill for us to work on with Mikko. Recall is ongoing and never ending. Exercise is also a good way to relieve stress too. Take your Collie around the block to exercise his mind and body. If you want to learn how to cure even some of the worst Border Collie behavior problems and the exact things you need for a happy, healthy and obedient dog, check out the Border Collie Owners Guide.
Can anyone tell me why my border collie of nine months old, has chewed two harnesses while waring them. I had the last one fitted by a pet shop and before we arrived home he had chewed it while in the car.