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Tuesday Training Byte: Teaching the "come" or recall.

Many people have a hard time getting their dog to have a reliable recall, but this is one of the most important, and potentially lifesaving skills a dog should know. There are a few keys to understand first. Dogs do not understand our spoken language. So we need to use body language and lures that they understand quite well. The second key is that pups have ADHD as they are quite easily distracted. And lastly, we don't want to give our pup the chance to mess up on this command. Like most training, begin in a quiet, low distraction spot to train such as your living room or empty garage. Be sure to have your pup on leash. Have a high-value treat such as cooked chicken or steak, or cut up string cheese. Just stand there until your pup is stepping away from you or ignoring you. Then bring the treat out and hold it directly in front of your pup's nose at the same time saying his name followed by Come! in a happy, inviting tone. Lure the pup to turn around and face you still holding the tasty treat, then lift your hands up against your waist. Once your pup is there, immediately give him the treat and say yes! I like for my pup to keep his nose in my hand and slowly feed him a few pieces. The next time you get ready to repeat this, your pup will likely spin around quickly, sitting right in front of you for their treat. Repeat a time or two only then sit down and praise and play with your dog, showing him with attention. We need to repeat this ON LEASH in a low distraction place several times before we are outside among more distractions. It is much harder to turn your pup loose in the backyard to play and expect him to come when their are distractions and no leash. Once he learns he can ignore you, that problem is hard to break. Next week I will talk about perfecting the recall outside with distractions.

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