This shows how nice it is to involve another dog when teaching the reliable recall. Atlas,the young Karelian beardog, was not coming to his owner on the first call, especially when provided with a high-value distraction so when he stayed with me for boarding, I took the opportunity to make it happen. A working beardog, which is what Atlas is, really needs a reliable recall. You can see how easy it was. I just set it up so that it was easy for Atlas to do the right thing. The point is that one has to be somewhat interesting in order for the dog to pay attention to him. Actually, it pays to be way more interesting than what is going on in the environment because once the dog is off lead, you have very little say as to whether or not he comes to you. It helped me to have RoZe along so that Atlas had to hurry to me in order to get his pat or treat before RoZe got there. Competition is great!
It also helps to move quickly when you are working with a dog in heel position and to keep the sessions smooth and easy for the dog to accomplish so that you can reward him for being in position. It is called "choose to heel" and works really well in this case. I was especially excited to see the two dogs trying out for the position together. It doesn't get any better than that. Click/treat.
Posted by Judi at Tuesday, October 27, 2009