Praise 50 check ins your dog did on her own.
Get 100 correct responses with distractions or 10 each day
Practice walking in a field or trail
Play the three cookie game.
Walking in a field or trail: Bring your fanny pack and some toys and a long leash and the special reward.
While walking but before the dog gets to the end of the line, say his name. If he responds by turning his head to you, say “your come phrase.” When she comes to you, say “yes” and treat heavily, fine dine her 20 seconds. Continue to practice this as you continue your walk. Set your dog up to succeed. Pick times you think your dog will come to you. If your dog doesn’t respond, just stand still and wait…if needed, turn your back to the dog and wait. She will eventually come to you. When she does, say yes and reward heavily with all types of reinforcers, fine dine 20 seconds, good rubs, play.
Three cookie game: The name of this game is a misnomer, but I couldn’t think of anything else to call it. This is a wonderful come game that both you and the dog will love. And you get to continue to build that positive relationship because all of these training exercises are FUN!
- Throw a cookie a few feet away. (make sure the dog sees it!)
- Tell your dog to “get it.” Or “find it”
- Run away fast!
- As the dog is coming to you, say “your come phrase”, then when she gets to you, you SAY “YES” and treat with a jackpot. Jackpots are given for every come and are fed one cookie at a time. To a dog, a wad of food is the same as one cookie, so spread them out and keep the dog with you longer! Be variable in the amount of the jackpots – 10-3-4-8-9-12-30-1-5-4-7-15-6-8-6 you get the idea. Add in some play and petting and praise. What a dog “knows” at home, he may not “know” anywhere else. This is because dogs as a species do not generalize the learning of a behavior to all locations unless you have practiced them in all locations. This does not make them stupid, it just makes them dogs. Play this game in various locations. Use the long line.
Catch and Release:
An essential part of a good recall is that the dog is never expecting the fun to end when she reaches you. So it’s very important to build up a foundation of ‘catch and releases’. Whenever you call your dog reward and have a big party, then happily release them back to whatever they were doing. Try to have 9 happy ‘releases’ for every fun ending ‘catch’.