Sometimes it is very difficult to call your own dog back. These tips will help you to ensure that the recall works better in the future.
The reliable recall is one of the most important signals in dog training to avoid dangerous situations. In order for your dog to come back to you, you should follow these tips.
The right signal
If your dog misses calls like “come” and “here… to meeeeir”, you absolutely need a new signal for the recall. Use a word that doesn’t usually appear in your dog training and has positive connotations (for humans) to call your dog to you. “Juuuuuhuuuu”, “Engelchen”, “Alohahe” or “Lotto”, for example, are suitable for this.
They don’t automatically call out such words like a command and the dog doesn’t associate them with anything for the time being. Alternative: You can work with a whistle in the same way. But then use a whistle you’ve never used before, like a trill or three short whistle in a row. A new signal can help regain your dog’s attention.
The body language has to be right
A threatening “Come at once!” doesn’t sound very tempting to dogs. Body language is also crucial: angry (or desperate) people have a dismissive posture – that’s why the dog hesitates to run back to its owner who is calling.
It is advisable to call out in a funny, exciting or flattering way. This draws attention and prevents the tension that builds up when threatening calls are made. If you appear relaxed, your dog will be much more likely to run back to you.
Practice calling back at home first
In order for your dog to get to know the recall signal and associate it correctly, you must first practice the new word and the changed tone with him at home. You should definitely give yourself and the dog time for this. Begin the exercise in a room free of distractions, then move away indoors. Later you practice in the garden or in front of the house – in familiar, uninteresting surroundings.
It can take days, even weeks, until you have internalized your behavior in such a way that there is no longer a risk of slipping and you can also use the signal when freewheeling. By then your dog will have made the right connection: jubilantly luring always means an enthusiastic person and thus a reward.
Distance determines success
It is important for a safe recall that your dog does not stray too far from you. Set a radius around you for your dog to run around in. The size and speed of the dog must be taken into account.
Summon him when he moves out of this radius. This is annoying at first, but has a lasting effect, because your dog also internalizes this radius.
In the permitted radius around you, you will immediately notice the changes in your dog: If he suddenly tenses his body, pricks his ears and holds his nose against the wind or on the ground, you have a maximum of two seconds to stop him with a recall .
When the time is up and he starts running, his hearing switches to draft. Be silent, wait a moment and only then shout (whistle) – not scared or angry, but as you have practiced. This way your dog will come back to you more reliably.
Properly reward a successful recall
It may seem a bit odd to feel jubilant and exuberant when your dog runs happily towards you. But it is necessary for the dog to perceive his return as something positive.
Enjoy a lot before you reach for the treat. It should be a special reward: a piece of cheese or sausage that he would never get otherwise. The cheers and treats that follow are real and great rewards for your dog. Coming back to you is stored with that feeling of happiness.
Recall repetition is important for the dog
Practice the recall over and over again so your dog doesn’t forget the meaning of the signal. However, avoid using the callback unnecessarily. Constant practice is good for you, too: This way you get used to not shouting in a threatening or frantic manner. The sequence of shouting (or whistling), cheering enthusiastically, and finally giving the dog the reward should always be the same.
Eventually, your dog will react without thinking and reliably run back. And with joy: he has learned that you are waiting for him happily, greet him happily and that he also gets a special treat when he comes back to you at your signal.