Retrieval is key and it is essential to teach your dog as soon as possible, from the age of 6 to 8 weeks. Very useful, it allows you to walk more calmly with your dog, since it is about getting him to come back to you when you tell him to. However, as with all learning, recall requires following certain progressive steps and taking precautions to avoid regression. Let’s take a look at this case.
Teach Your Dog to Remember: How do you put that learning into place?
Retrieval is an important thing to master early, as it is very useful while walking. If you leave your dog during your walks, a summons is necessary so that he obeys you and returns to you as soon as you call him. It is not only about preventing you from running after him, but also and above all making sure that he does not put himself in danger, especially if he approaches a road or if he misses it.
Once you have the retrieval process completely mastered, your outings are much calmer, because your animal is able to get back to you just by giving it a name. The earlier you start this learning, at around 6-8 weeks of age, the better it is acquired and the faster this teaching will be.
Teach Your Dog to Remember: What are the terms?
First of all, you should realize that for most dogs, the recall command is difficult to understand as such. Often, the master of the animal calls him by simply shouting or uttering his name. However, for the dog, it is only a question of questioning which must be followed by a command. In this case, the dog is waiting for a sequel. When you don’t come, he goes ahead. Meanwhile, the master thinks his dog hasn’t listened to him, generating a misunderstanding.
As a result, it is always best to be clear with your pet. Choose a term, gesture, and pose that always remains the same for this summons.
- To avoid confusion, enclose his name in a specific order, such as “To the foot!” or “Come here!”.
- To make it clear, attach it to a gesture, such as tapping your leg or pointing your index finger at your feet.
- To make his return to you pleasant, greet him with a smile, which will make him want to approach you. If he sees that you are grouchy, he will think that you will scold him, which will make him wait longer to avoid possible anger. Dogs are actually very sensitive to our facial expressions.
Your pet will be able to associate the gesture with the word, facial expressions and understand you better. If he sees you upset or angry, or if you yell at him because he’s no longer close enough or doesn’t seem to understand you, he may misinterpret your situation and not want to get back to you. For fear of being scolded.
Where and how is this learning carried out?
First, as with all learning, it is important to begin in the least stimulating environment possible. Thus, your animal will listen to you and is not likely to be disturbed by its surroundings. So start learning at home and test it out only when you have mastered learning at home.
Do short sessions, 15 minutes max, every day if possible. Avoid very long sessions, because your animal becomes distracted and no longer enjoys learning. Each session after that becomes a chore for him, but also for you because you can no longer get over it.
We recommend setting up a file Caring and positive, based on positive reinforcement and reward. This method has proven itself and is more motivating for the animal, which encourages it to repeat the correct gestures, is happy to learn and pleases its master. Punishment, brutality, and insults have no place in dog learning, because the animal ends up reproducing the correct movements just to avoid punishment. It is fear that guides him, not the desire to please his master. Thus, he loses his self-confidence.
Also, we have already mentioned this, but if your pet hears that you are upset if he does not return to you immediately upon call, he will try to avoid your anger. So it will take longer time to get back to you. In addition, the punishment for failure will prompt the dog to associate the reminder with it.
Finally, make sure you master each step perfectly before moving on to the next. This precaution is necessary to avoid going back to square one. Be patient and adapt to your dog’s abilities. Some dogs need several days, while others need several months to master the learning process.
Teach Your Dog to Remember: Some Precautions
Here are some tips that will come in handy when teaching your dog to remember.
- Avoid calling your dog when he is having a good time with his peers, because he will see the call as an annoying limitation that cuts him off from the good times he spends with other dogs.
- Avoid restricting your dog to return home once he has returned to you. Next time he may not come back, because he will know that this will mean the rally is over. It is best to extend this walk for a few more minutes before returning.
- Avoid running after your little buddy if he doesn’t obey because he will take him on a game, and instead pretend to go in the opposite direction to get him back to you.
How do you teach your dog to remember? How to apply
Here are the steps we advise you to follow to teach your dog to recall effectively.
Step one: at home
At home, prepare small and simple exercises. You can clap and call your dog when he is not in the same room as yours. Remember to associate it with a clear order, such as “Fido, on foot!” or “Maidor, come here!”.
If your dog obeys you and comes to you, praise and reward him.
Step two: In a closed garden
Once you have mastered this first step well, you can move on to the next step.
Choose an outdoor space that is unstimulated and well secured. A large walled garden is ideal for you to work quietly. Your pet is not in danger of getting lost and you can let it run freely without risk.
Try again. Let your dog run for free. Begin by kneeling a short distance from him and calling him by saying “Fido, at the foot!” or “Maidor, come here!”. Once he gets close, open your arms wide and give him your best smile. Your dog will understand that you are happy to see and cuddle him. You should then reward him with a bonus or his favorite toy, if he approaches you, of course.
Then repeat the exercise when your dog is far away and can no longer see you. This will encourage him to search for you to find you.
The third step: in a public environment
Once you’ve mastered the previous two steps, you can repeat the experience in a public setting, such as a park or safe walking paths. It is important to start with a clear area where you can see your dog if he wanders outside.
Follow the same instructions as in Step 2, but feel free to use the training rope to prevent the dog from straying too much before the confinement test is completely free.
Once the control is perfect, you can test it out in the woods or fields.