The reliable recall is one of the most important signals in dog training to avoid dangerous situations. To get your dog back to you, here are some tips that you should follow.
If your dog does not hear calls like “Come” and “Here … to miiiiir”, you absolutely need a new signal for the callback. Use a word that does not otherwise appear in your dog training and has a positive connotation (for humans) to call your dog to you. “Juuuuuhuuuu”, “Engelchen”, “Alohahe” or “Lotto” are suitable for this, for example.
They don’t automatically shout such words like an order and the dog does not associate them with anything for the time being. Alternative: You can work with a pipe in the same way. Then use a whistle that you’ve never used before, like a trill or three consecutive short whistles. A new signal can help regain your dog’s attention.
Some dog owners rely on the dog whistle. © stock.adobe.com/M.Dörr & M.Frommherz
A threatening “Come on now!” doesn’t sound very tempting to dogs. Body language is also crucial: Angry (or desperate) people have a rejecting posture – this is why the dog is reluctant to run back to its calling owner.
It is advisable to call out funny, exciting or flattering. This attracts attention and prevents the tension that is built up with threatening calls. If you look relaxed, your dog will much rather run back to you.
With positive body language, the dog will be happy to come back. © shutterstock.com/Zivica Kerkez
In order for your dog to get to know the callback signal and link 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 with no distractions, then move away from home. 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 risk of slipping and you can also use the signal when freewheeling. By then, your dog has also made the right connection: Cheering curls always mean an enthusiastic person and thus a reward.
First practice calling back at home. © stock.adobe.com/Tatyana Gladskih
For a safe recall, it is important that your dog does not stray too far from you. Establish a radius around you for your dog to run around. The size and speed of the dog must be taken into account.
Call him when he moves out of this radius. This is annoying at first, but has a lasting effect, because your dog internalizes this radius too.
The recall must also work from a distance. © shutterstock.com/Anna Molcharenko
You will notice the changes in your dog immediately within the permitted radius around you: If he tenses his body all at once, pricks up 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 call back .
When the time has passed and he started running, his hearing switches to draft. Be silent, wait a moment and only then call (whistle) – not frightened or angry, but just as you have practiced. This way your dog will come back to you more reliably.
Once the dog has started running, it is already too late. © stock.adobe.com/imagox
It might seem a bit strange to be jubilant and overjoyed that your dog is happily running towards you. But it is necessary for the dog to perceive his return as something positive.
Enjoy yourself a lot before you grab the treat. It should be a special reward: a piece of cheese or sausage that he would otherwise never get. The cheers and the following treat are a real and great reward for your dog. Coming back to you is saved with this feeling of happiness.
When your dog is back, you can give him lots of praise. © stock.adobe.com/LIGHTFIELD STUDIOS
Practice calling back over and over so that your dog doesn’t forget the meaning of the signal. Nevertheless, avoid using the callback unnecessarily. Constant practice is also good for you: This is how you get used to not shouting threateningly or hectically. The sequence of shouting (or whistling), cheering enthusiastically and finally giving the dog the reward should always remain the same.
At some point your dog will react without thinking and run back reliably. And with pleasure: He has learned that you expect him happily, greet him happily and that he will also get a special treat when he comes back to you on your signal.