The recall or “Come” command is one of the most difficult commands for dogs as it requires the most respect from your dog. Dogs love being off leash. Whether you’re out for a hike or at the dog park, they know that often times when they are asked to come, the owner typically puts them on leash in an attempt to leave that fun place. So it’s easy; from the dog’s perspective if they never come, they won’t have to leave. The best way to encourage the recall is with positive reinforcement. Physical and verbal praise when the dog does return to you. Also, practicing this command on leash helps define what you expect from the dog so that when the leash isn’t present, they still know what’s being asked of them. My suggestion is to start this recall process on a 5’-6’ leash by asking the dog to “Come” and if they don’t, reel them in like a fish and enforce the action. Once the dog is proficient at that distance, graduate to a 20’-25’ long line and repeat. Once proficient there, practice with some off leash recalls. Group training is great for this command because it teaches your dog to “Come” even in a distracted environment, around other people and dogs.
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