Using 'Play' to Teach Recall | Pupford
July 26th, 2023
Filed under Podcasts
When working on recall with your dog (or other behaviors for that matter!) you want to while training. While treats are generally the most widely used for training, some dogs just aren’t food motivated!
If that is the case for you, this is the podcast you need to listen to!
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OVERVIEW OF USING 'PLAY' TO TEACH RECALL
Scout (my Lab) is EXTREMELY ball-motivated. She loves all toys, but the ball is truly her life.
We struggled for years (honestly) to help her learn a solid recall because and we couldn't get her that interested in treats (no matter the treat) in high-distraction environments. The only thing she would focus on consistently while outside... her ball.
So, we decided to practice recall every single time we played fetch! Here is what we did, and what you can try!
- Start indoors in a controlled environment
- Throw the ball to your dog, then take 1-2 steps away from your dog (after they drop the ball) and call your dog to you (at first our dog Scout was slightly confused about that 'cue word' being introduced during play, but after a couple attempts she caught on).
- So, again... 1-2 steps back, call your dog to you. Once they come to you, quickly mark (we use 'yes') and then throw the ball.
- After practice inside, take it outside. Practicing this fetch-recall-training, every time you .
- Then, the same thing but at a park while on a 100-foot lead. Every 1-2 throws, you can have your dog do a come when called to get the ball.
And guess what, for us, it didn't magically improve overnight. Nope. It took about 6 months of practicing that almost every single day.
And now, she is almost perfect with recall.
The moral of the story... well there are 2.
1. Make recall (and all training) fun.
2. Find your dog's highest reinforcer, and use that ALL THE TIME.