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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got a 10 and half week old pup. He's cleaver for his age knows his name paw and sit. He knows he should come when called but chooses not to when he's out side chewing something he shouldn't. I praise him and give him a treat the few times he does come when called. Is there anything else I can do to get him to come when called?

154 Posts
take loads of different treats with you (all in 1 bag) so that he gets a different tasty treat every time.

i have never used treats like the coachies brand but every time a person has with the dogs around us the dog is not interested. things like lamb tripe (bought online or pet store), dried sprats, boiled chicken, cheese, sausage will keep your pup interested.

have you tried playing hide and seek behind a tree or shrub?. you hide (with your dog in sight) and call his name, if he doesnt know where you are then show yourself and hide again. start with a short distance and build to get further away.

and as mentioned, at 10 weeks their attention span is almost 0 :001_unsure:

15,185 Posts
Why can't I get a reliable recall?

'Come' is no harder to train than any other behaviour but in real life it has a huge number of criteria that have to be raised one at a time in order to guarantee success.
Often when puppies are brought home to their new owners this is the first time they have ever been separated from their dam and siblings and so they naturally attach themselves to their new family by following them about everywhere. Owners find this quite attractive and wrongly assume that this trait will continue into adolescence/adulthood, whatever the circumstances. A dangerous trap to fall into…

At some point in time, usually from around 6 - 10 months, depending on the individual, "Velcro" dog will morph into "Bog off" dog (this is especially true of a breed that has been developed to exhibit a high degree of initiative). This is the time when owners suddenly realize that their dog will not recall when it sees another dog/person etc. Not only is this inconvenient but potentially dangerous as the dog could be at risk of injury from a car/train/another dog etc.

How and when do I start with a puppy?

My advice is to prepare for this inevitability from the day you take your puppy home. If you are lucky the breeder will have started this process whilst still in the nest by conditioning the puppies to a whistle blown immediately before putting the food bowl down during weaning.

Dogs learn by cause and effect ie sound of whistle = food. If you, the new owner, continue this from the moment your puppy arrives you will lay down strong foundations for the future.

By using the whistle in association with meals/food you need to establish the following criteria:
• Come from across the room.
• Come from out of sight
• Come no matter who calls
• Come even if you are busy doing something else
• Come even if you are asleep.
• Come even if you are playing with something/someone else
• Come even if you are eating

Once this goal has been realized in the house, drop all the criteria to zero and establish the same measures, one at a time, in the garden.

Once this goal has been realized in the garden, drop all the criteria to zero and establish the same measures, one at a time, in the park/field etc.

To train this, or any other behaviour:

1. Make it easy for the dog to get it right
2. Provide sufficient reward

Do not expect a dog to come away from distractions in the park until you have trained it to come to you in the park when no diversions are around. Be realistic and manage your expectations; your sphere of influence/control over your dog may be only 20m to begin with, therefore do not hazard a guess that the dog, at this level of training, will successfully recall from 50m or more away. Distance, like every other criterion, must be built up over time.

Some simple rules to follow when training the recall:

• Whistle/signal/call only once (why train the dog to deliberately ignore your first command?)
• Do not reinforce slow responses for the dog coming eventually after it has cocked its leg, sniffed the tree etc (you get what you train!)
• If you know that the dog will not come back to you in a certain situation, go and get him rather than risk teaching him that he can ignore you. (If you have followed the programme correctly you will never put your dog in a position to fail).
• Practise recalling the dog, putting him on the lead for a few seconds, reinforce with food/toy etc and immediately release the dog. Do this several times during a walk etc so that the dog does not associate a recall with going on the lead and ending the walk or being put on the lead with the cessation of fun.
• Eventually, when the behaviour is very strong, alternate rewards ie verbal praise, physical praise, food, toy and also vary the "value" of the rewards, sometimes a plain piece of biscuit, sometimes a piece of cooked liver etc so that you become a walking slot machine (and we all know how addictive gambling can be)!

In my experience recall training should be consistent and relentless for the first two years of a dog's life before it can be considered truly dependable. You should look on it as a series of incremental steps, rather than a single simple behaviour, and something that will require lifelong maintenance.

What about an older or rescue dog?

Follow the same programme as outlined above however for recalcitrant dogs that have received little or no training, I would recommend dispensing with the food bowl and feeding a dog only during recalls to establish a strong behaviour quickly.

Your training should be over several sessions a day, which means you can avoid the risk of bloat. It is essential that the dog learns that there will be consequences for failure as well as success.

Divide the day's food ration up into small bags (between10 - 30), if the dog recalls first time, it gets food, if it does not, you can make a big show of saying "too bad" and disposing of that portion of food (either throw it away or put aside for the next day).

Again, raise the criteria slowly as outlined in puppy training.

Hunger is very motivating!

For those of you who believe it unfair/unhealthy to deprive a dog of its full daily ration, not having a reliable recall is potentially life threatening for the dog ……………

How do I stop my dog chasing joggers/cyclists/skateboarders/rabbits/deer?

Chasing something that is moving is a management issue. Do not put your dog in a position where it can make a mistake. Again you need to start training from a pup but if you have already allowed your dog to learn and practise this behaviour you may need to rely on a trailing line until your dog is desensitised to these distractions and knows that listening to you results in a great reinforcement. Chasing is a behaviour much better never learned as it is naturally reinforcing to the dog, which makes it hard for you to offer a better reinforcement. If you want to have a bombproof recall while your dog is running away from you then use the following approach:

Your goal is to train so that your dog is totally used to running away from you at top speed, and then turning on a sixpence to run toward you when you give the recall cue.

You need to set up the training situation so that you have total control over the triggers. For this you will need to gain the co-operation of a helper. If you have a toy crazy dog you can practice this exercise by throwing a toy away from the dog towards someone standing 30 or 40 feet away. At the instant the toy is thrown, recall your dog! If the dog turns toward you, back up several steps quickly, creating even more distance between the you and the toy and then throw another toy in the opposite direction (same value as one thrown)..

If the dog ignores you and continues toward the thrown object, your "helper" simply picks the ball up and ignores dog. When dog eventually returns (which it will because it's getting no reinforcement from anyone or anything), praise only. Pretty soon the dog will start to respond to a recall off a thrown toy. You will need to mix in occasions the toy is thrown and the dog is allowed to get it ie you do NOT recall if you want to make sure it does not lose enthusiasm for retrieving.

For the food obsessed dog, you can get your helper to wave a food bowl with something the dog loves in it and then recall the dog as soon as you let it go to run towards the food; again if the dog ignores you and continues to the food, your helper simply ensures the dog cannot access the food and start again. (It is extremely important that the helper does not use your dog's name to call it for obvious reasons).

Gradually increase the difficulty of the recall by letting the dog get closer and closer to the toy/food. Praise the moment the dog turns away from the toy/food in the
early stages of training. Don't wait until the dog returns to you; the dog must have instant feedback.

Once the dog is fluent at switching directions in the middle of a chase, try setting up the situation so that it is more like real life. Have someone ride a bike/run/skate past. (It is unrealistic to factor in deer/rabbits however if your training is thorough the dog will eventually be conditioned to return to you whatever the temptation in most contexts).

Until your training gets to this level, don't let the dog off-lead in a situation in which you don't have control over the chase triggers. Don't set the dog up to fail, and don't allow it to rehearse the problem behaviour. Remember, every time a dog is able to practise an undesirable behaviour it will get better at it!

Most people do not play with toys correctly and therefore the dog is not interested in them or, if it gets them, fails to bring it back to the owner.

Play the two ball game, once you have a dog ball crazy. Have two balls the same, throw one to the left, when the dog gets it, call him like crazy waving the next ball; as he comes back throw the other ball to the right and keep going left right so that YOU are the centre of the game and the dog gets conditioned to return to you for the toy. Once this behaviour is established you can then introduce the cues for out and then make control part of the game ie the game is contingent on the dog sitting and then progress to a sequence of behaviours.


15,185 Posts
Training Courses

Ultimate Recall: 4 Day Course with John Rogerson

• Training a reliable, automatic, non-negotiable, reality recall
• Building block and foundation training of the recall
• Relationship/influence building in recall training
• The chasing/emergency recall
• Sit and/or down on recall
• Freeze/stop on recall/running wait
• Distance/direction control
• Calling dogs off of distractions
• Out of sight recall (owner hidden)
• Obedience/competition recall (dog is called from a stationary position)
• Free running recall (dog is called while in motion)
• Type "A" recall (dog re-joins his owner in motion)


Dates for Ultimate Recall Course:

At Nottingham, England
26th - 29th October, 2012; 4 days duration 9.30-4.00 pm
To register contact Beverly Smith at [email protected]

Chase Recall Masterclass

Date: Thursday 1st November 2012 Venue: Windsor, Berkshire Max handler places: 10
9.30am registration, 10.00am - 4pm Refreshments and a light lunch included

Following on from the fabulous Chase Recall Masterclass with Stella Bagshaw earlier this month, we are pleased to announce a date for the Chase Recall Practical Masterclass.

In this Masterclass we will be exploring:
How to tailor your training depending on your dog's scorpion level
How to build your training based on practical, workable exercises
How to move from one training level to the next in the real world
Perfecting the advanced "leave"
How, when and what signals to use
Line handling skills that make all the difference
Getting scent to work for you
Games to play with your dog on line
Dogs attending do not need to have a chase/recall issue, but it's a perfect opportunity if they do! Dogs do need
to be social with people and other dogs.

Please be assured that even if you don't bring a dog you will learn just as much from Stella's unique and innovative training approaches. Please note, the venue has a large hall and outside areas - we will be training in both, so please bring suitable outdoor wear.

Non handler place @ £130 (deposit £65)
Handler @ £145 (deposit £65)

How to Change Predatory Chase Behaviour in Dogs with David Ryan

When: Sunday 12th May 2013

Where: Otterbourne Village Hall, Otterbourne, Winchester SO21 2ET

Details: 10am- 4pm registration from 9.30am. £35 per person, lunch included

Throwing a ball for a game of chase is an enjoyable and rewarding experience for many owners and their dogs. For other owners canine chase behaviour turns into a nightmare when their dog chases cyclists, cars or sheep. When their dogs choose what to chase it can compromise owners financially, cause the target severe injury or even death, and threaten the life of the dog. This seminar looks at the reasons for the problem, the more effective solutions and how to control the behaviour.

David Ryan followed 26 years as a police dog handler and Home Office accredited training instructor with a postgraduate Diploma in Companion Animal Behaviour Counselling, with distinction, from Southampton University, an internationally recognised centre of excellence for animal behaviour studies. In 2008 he was certificated as a Clinical Animal Behaviourist by the prestigious Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.

He was chair of the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors from 2009 to March 2012 and currently works as a companion animal behaviour consultant, being an independently vetted member of the UK Register of Expert Witnesses since 2008.

David has appeared in the internationally scheduled television series 'Crimefighters' focusing on his remarkable and fascinating work with police dogs, and as a guest on the BBC 4 programme "It's only a theory", discussing how dogs have evolved to bark. His dog behaviour articles have appeared in publications as diverse as the Daily Telegraph, Woman's Own, Your Dog and Veterinary Times.

He has been invited at various times to lecture to the Companion Animal Behaviour Therapy Study Group, BSc Animal Behaviour Students at Bishop Burton College and Myerscough College, and Pet Rescue/rehoming Centres, including Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, Merseyside Dogs Trust and Wood Green Animal Shelter. He is currently a guest lecturer on Newcastle University's MSc in Applied Animal Behaviour and Welfare.

David's unique blend of practical experience and theoretical knowledge of canine behaviour fuel his particular interest in inherited predatory motor patterns and the lengths to which pets will go to find a way to express them, usually despite their owners' best efforts

Events - Positive Training for Canines


Stop! How to control predatory Chasing in Dogs
by David Ryan

Chase! Managing Your Dog's Predatory Instincts
By Clarissa Von Reinhardt

Total Recall
By Pippa Mattinson

Teach your Dog to Come When Called
By Erica Peachey


Really Reliable Recall
by Leslie Nelson

Training the Recall
By Michael Ellis

Your clever dog: Getting your dog to come when called
by Sarah Whitehead

Does your dog whizz back to you as soon as you call his name?
Can you call him to you even when there are other dogs or distractions? Teaching your dog to come to you when you call is the cornerstone of training and the gateway to allowing him more freedom in the park.
If your dog has selective deafness, ignores you in the garden or the park, or would rather play with other dogs than come when you call, this specially designed training session is for you.
Ideal for starting out with puppies or rehomed dogs, and also for dogs that ignore you or are slow to come when called, despite previous training.
• How to know what's rewarding for your dog and what's not
• Five times when you shouldn't call your dog!
• Using your voice to call versus using a whistle
• What to do if you call and your dog doesn't come to you
The pack contains: A clicker, long line (worth £10), training manual, instructional DVD: 55 mins approx running time including Bonus trick, Bonus Training Session, Intro to Clicker Training, Q & A with Sarah

Website articles:

Deposits into the Perfect Recall Account

List of Reinforcers

Distractions For Your Recall

Recall Collapse | Susan Garrett's Dog Training Blog

How to Create a Motivating Toy a whistle recall.pdf

Teaching Come « Ahimsa Dog Blog

How do I stop my dog chasing?

Become More Exciting Than a Squirrel: Teaching a Reliable Come When Called | Animal Behavior and Medicine Blog | Dr. Sophia Yin, DVM, MS
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