These games are designed to introduce the
recall and increase your dog’s reliability in coming when called.
Please remember that during the training phase of this exercise, it
is not a good idea to use your recall command in any circumstance in
which your dog may disobey without consequence. That is, if your
dog is “off-leash” and chasing a rabbit, don’t say “come” unless you
are 100% sure the dog will immediately leave the rabbit and come
running to you.
Food / Toss Game
Begin with 10 soft treats. Throw one a
short distance away from you and tell your dog to “get it”. While
the dog is eating the treat, call its name. When it returns, give
your dog a treat. Repeat. As the dog begins to understand and
enjoy the game, begin tossing the treats further away. At the end
of game, ALWAYS BEFORE THEY TIRE OF THE GAME, give puppy 2-3 treats.
Call your dog’s name in a happy,
excited tone. When the dog looks at you, run as fast as you can
away from the dog. As the dog chases you, say, “Come”. After a few
steps of being chased, and before the dog gets too wild, stop and
compliment the dog enthusiastically on his performance.
Call your dog’s name
in a happy, excited tone. When the dog looks at you, squeak or
wiggle a favorite toy to entice the dog toward you. Say “come” and
use lots of verbal encouragement. At the very last minute, when the
dog is quite close, separate your feet and toss the toy between your
legs so it rolls along the ground. The goal is to have your dog fly
through your legs to grab the toy.
Hide and Seek
One person in the family begins by
gently restraining the dog either by its collar or with fingers
interlaced in front of the dog’s chest. The second person teases
the dog a little with a piece of tasty food and hides someplace easy
where the dog can find him. When he’s found, the part ensues. That
is, the person hiding makes a HUGE fuss over the dog, telling him
how clever he is, offering multiple, tasty food treats, playing with
a toy or petting the dog’s body in a way he especially enjoys. Then
he/she holds the dog while the next person hides and repeats the
process. Over a period of time, making hiding places more difficult
and the amount of verbal assistance the dog gets less and less.
Note: everyone in the family can take turns playing this game.