A Need for Recall During Coronavirus
Recall is one of the most critical skills we teach our students- it ensures the safety of our dog, as well as the safety of those around us. Developing a solid recall also means our dog can enjoy more freedom and likewise, we can enjoy a more relaxed walk knowing our dog will come back to us.
However, it’s particularly important these days due to the strict social distancing measures that have been enforced around the world to varying degrees. If our dog runs up to another person and we have to breach the 2 metre bubble to retrieve them, we’re at risk of jeopardising our own and others’ personal safety.
Not only that, but lockdown has coincided with springtime, which means fields in rural areas are full of livestock and their new babies. We don’t want to endure either a protective mother cow or an angry farmer, so it’s more important now than ever to make sure our dogs are under control.
To make sure we keep ourselves, our dogs and the people around us safe, follow these tips to boost recall during lockdown:
Take treats and toys to reward your dog with when they return – if we consciously encourage that choice, they’re much more likely to do it again in the future. At Paragon Dogs we like to say that if you wouldn’t bet £100 on your dog returning back to you every time, then we need to train recall!
If that’s the case, pop your dog on a long training lead to allow them the freedom without completely running loose. Depending on your dog’s recall ability, you can work up to dropping the training lead to allow some flexibility whilst still retaining safety and control of the situation.
Start training in an easy, calm environment like your home or garden before you go outside and build up to more distracting environments. Visit your local park when no one is around, and then visit a familiar walking route. Once your dog is responding well here, visit the park at busier times and work up to places with the novelty factor like woods or the beach. Wherever you do your recall, make sure you’re timing your walk to make the most of the outside spaces near you.
Make the process fun – if your dog doesn’t enjoy coming back to you, they’ll be less motivated to do it at all. Make it into the best thing since sliced bread for your dog by thinking about what recall signals – does it mark the end of fun, or does it mark the beginning of a whole new adventure? Consider using recall randomly throughout your walks and day so it doesn’t become predictable.
Check out our e-book for more information on why your dog may struggle with recall and for more tips on how to begin to train a rock solid recall!
If your dog is struggling with recall, please check our our Intro to Life Skills course; https://schoolfordogs.teachable.com/p/paragondogs-level-1 and follow our Facebook Page for plenty more tips https://www.facebook.com/ParagonDogs1/