Fix a Recall Problem in Less than 3 Minutes a Day
Does Your Dog Come to You, Only to Keep Running Past You? Yikes! You’ve got a “Drive By Recall”!
Since many of us are in our homes a lot more, let's take just a few minutes a day, literally a few minutes, and fix the “drive by” part of your recall. Because if your dog has a beautiful recall, but then runs right on by you, it’s not only frustrating, it can be life-threatening. Being able to take hold of your dog’s collar is an important skill for both of you: your sanity and your dog’s life.
Assuming your dog is not afraid of having his collar held, you can play this game easily throughout the day because it requires all of 3 minutes a day! That’s right; a mere collar hold can take 15 seconds at most!
While you’re home, put 5 pieces of yummy food in your pocket or in a bowl near you. Your goal is to use up all 5 pieces by the end of the day.
When you pass your dog in the house or out back in the yard, go over to him. It doesn’t matter if he’s sitting, standing, walking by, or laying down. (Note – if he’s an older dog or deaf, you want to be sure he knows you are nearby before you put your hand on his collar)
With one hand, gently take hold of his collar.
With the other hand, give him a tasty, yummy reinforcer (food!).
Release his collar.
You’re done! That was 1 training session. It took less than 15 seconds. How’s that for speedy training!
You are building a good, positive association between having his collar held and getting a great yummy, tasty piece of food.
With repetitions, your dog will start to want you to grab his collar, because a collar grab will mean awesome yummy stuff. You can start to hold his collar more enthusiastically, so that ultimately you end up grabbing it in the way you would if he had gotten out. Build up to this enthusiastic grab slowly, so that you don’t scare him and you don’t create a “tag you’re it” game.
Remember that a recall is always a good experience for your dog! That way, when you put together the first part of the recall with the collar grab, you have a dog who wants to come to you, who chooses to come to you, and who comes to you quickly and without reservation.
Stay well and have fun doing the collar grab!