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Recall games

 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. 

 1.      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.

 2.      Runaway Recall

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.

3.      Toy Toss

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.

 4.      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.