Lesson 02: Foundation Work

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Lesson 1: In-home, no distractions

Begin training your recall in the home with no distractions. When your dog isn’t expecting it, cue your recall from about 10 ft away. Immediately start to encourage them to come to you with happy talk (e.g. “good boy!!”, “woohoo!!”, “what a smart girl!!”), crouching, clapping, and backing away. 

When they arrive, feed generously and without contingency. This means that you pay up as soon as they get there and you do not ask for a "sit" or any other behaviour at all. 

Practice this daily for a 2 or 3 days before moving on.

Lesson 2: In-home, no distractions, standing still

Begin training your recall in the home with no distractions. When your dog isn’t expecting it, cue your recall from about 10 ft away. Immediately start to encourage them to come to you with happy talk (e.g. “good boy!!”, “woohoo!!”, “what a smart girl!!”), and standing still. 

When they arrive, feed generously and without contingency. This means that you pay up as soon as they get there and you do not ask for a "sit" or any other behaviour at all. 

Practice this daily for a 2 or 3 days before moving on.

Lesson 3: In-home, no distractions, different room

Begin training your recall in the home with no distractions. When your dog isn’t expecting it, cue your recall from a different room nearby. Immediately start to encourage them to come to you with happy talk (e.g. “good boy!!”, “woohoo!!”, “what a smart girl!!”). 

When they arrive, feed generously and without contingency. This means that you pay up as soon as they get there and you do not ask for a "sit" or any other behaviour at all. 

Try doing this from different rooms in the home over the course of a few days before moving on.

Lesson 4: In-home, mild distractions

Begin training your recall in the home with no distractions. When your dog isn’t expecting it, cue your recall from across the house or condo while there is a mild distraction. For example, cue your recall from the other end of the house where the kids are sitting, or where someone is eating a sandwich. Immediately start to encourage them to come to you with happy talk (e.g. “good boy!!”, “woohoo!!”, “what a smart girl!!”). 

When they arrive, feed generously and without contingency. This means that you pay up as soon as they get there and you do not ask for a "sit" or any other behaviour at all. 

Try doing this 2-3 times daily over the course of a few days before moving on.

Lesson 5: On-leash, no distractions

For this lesson, you will need to have your dog on-leash. Take them outside on a walk. Let them saturate in the smells and sounds to the point of boredom. Cue your recall, happy talking if necessary, and feed your dog close to your leg. Do this 2-3 times per walk and when your dog least expects it. 

Practise daily over the course of a few days before moving on.

Lesson 6: Off-leash, no distractions

For this lesson, you will need to have your dog off-leash in a secure area like a fenced yard or an empty, fenced dog park. If you find this is a difficult area, attach a long line (20'-50' non-retractable to their back-clip harness)

Let them saturate in the smells and sounds to the point of boredom. Cue your recall, happy talking if necessary, and feed your dog close to your leg.

Do this 2-3 times per day and when your dog least expects it. 

Check-in

Okay, so how are things going so far? 

Are you feeling good about your progress to date? 

Have you realised that training a solid recall takes time, practise, dedication? 

It's not an overnight process but oh boy, is it ever worth it!! 

Now, if you have a dog-friendly dog and you have a safe place to allow your dog to play with his/her friends (like a dog park or a playdate in a secure yard), the next few lessons focus on calling out of play. 

If you don't have a dog-friendly dog, don't worry! You can still do this by replacing the dogs with a different distraction like the kids, their favourite auntie or uncle, a bunch of exciting toys, half a meal remaining in their bowl or food-dispensing toy, etc. Get creative but not too greedy! 

Lesson 7: Off-leash, 1-2 dog friends, no play

For this lesson, you will need to have your dog off-leash in a secure area like a fenced yard or a fenced dog park with 1-2 dog-friends, max. If you find this is a difficult area, attach a long line (20'-50' non-retractable to their back-clip harness) and watch closely that they don't tangle.

Let them saturate in the smells and sounds and when they are almost bored, cue your recall while the other dogs are present but not during play.

Send them back with a release cue like "off you go" or "go play".

Do this for a few days before moving on.

Next up, you'll do this in the same context with more dog-friends present but while your dog is taking a break away from the crowd.

Send them back with a release cue like "off you go" or "go play".

Do this for a few days before moving on.

Lesson 8: Off-leash, 1-2 dog friends, during play

For this lesson, you will need to have your dog off-leash in a secure area like a fenced yard or a fenced dog park with 1-2 dog-friends, max. 

Let them saturate in the smells and sounds and when they are playing with one or both dogs, cue your recall. 

This is A BIG DEAL. You need to party it up like it's your job and use the best treats imaginable. Upgrade your treats prior to this exercise.

Send them back to play with a release cue like "off you go" or "go play".

Next up, you'll do this in the same context with more dog-friends present and while they're playing with one or more of them.

Send them back to play with a release cue like "off you go" or "go play".

Do this for a few days before moving on.

Lessons in this Course:

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