This is an oldie but a bestie.
Frustration Recall. Have someone hold your dog 🐕. Get really excited and run away. When they are excited go ahead and use their Recall word.
I love this game and will continue to use it because it has at least 3 wonderful reinforcers.
1. When the helper releases your dog they get freedom.
2. Running! They get to run but instead of away from you like if you threw a ball, now you are the ball running from them.
3. Party and rewards when they arrive!
Like always try not to lunge for their collar or leash. You can even have that person run in and steal them again!
Keep this game short and rare. 2-3 times maximum.
I left the bad videoing in because my client had some great questions.
Our dogs have to ignore language all of the time. They learn that the sounds from radio, TV, and our conversations don’t pack a whole lot of importance.
Make sure your recall has some sharpness and is a noticeable sound.
Wind and distractions can really mess with their recall. So instead of using a sentence to call your dog from a distance 🧾 “Fluffy, please come over here, thank you buddy” 🔊 Use a sharp whistle or make your voice sharp (deep or high is fine depending on your natural range) just make sure it doesn’t sound like your normal conversation.
When you first start training, use the new sound when your dog is already running to you. After you make the sound you can use other words or movements like running away to attract your dog and keep them from checking out. If introducing the new word, check out our day 6 video for the perfect game to add when teaching the new recall sound.
On day 5 we added speed. What to do if your dog has a fast recall but it takes forever to pick up their nose from the ground or turn quickly to return?
Check out the videos on how we progressed Beretta’s response to her name in just one session.
1st time playing the game on the walk, ugh! It’s like she has no idea I even exist. I have to make a bunch of noises and stuff!
A. Make sure you have big soft treats you can lob at them or close to them.
B. Call their name or use their recall word and just toss the food in their direction. Be ready to toss a few pieces like you see in the videos so that the dog doesn’t think it is magically raining treats.
C. When their response from distraction gets faster add your marker sound or excited body language back in when they turn to come to you.
D. Practice throughout your dog’s life by calling them and instead of expecting them to run all the way to you, just release them (say “free” or “okay”) to go play again or toss a big treat or toy for them.
Back to Beretta, her recall is fast but you can see in the first video her swivel speed (initial response time or for the behaviour people “low latency”) is terrible.
Today I broke the chain of the recall down and fed for
1. Initially just hearing her name 2. For the turn of the head
3. In the last video I clicked (which means come and get a treat from me) after the initial head turn.
Permission to access things your dog wants. Ugh, doesn’t that sound damn controlling!? I don’t care what term you want to use “indirect reward”, “Premack Principle”, “auto check in”, “wait until released”, “earn environment through you”. The point is that our dogs do not always recognize dangerous situations. For my dog to go to the river they must wait for permission from me before plunging in, other wise the water may be rushing too fast or have a thin layer of ice.
You can teach your dog to stay with you, to earn a resource at a distance by practicing waiting or walking with you to their food bowl, going out the door, saying hello, chasing a ball, going off leash or even just climbing up on a log.
In this YouTube video Elsa learns that staying with me earns a hello to our good friend. I guess she was having fun with that food chase game because the hello didn’t last long. https://youtu.be/RsJPC-23tKk
1. Have yummy rewards on you, when your dog sees the thing they want, give them your active marker (click,yes yip), start paying rewards from alternative hands, pockets, hoods etc (pause, treat, pause, treat)
2. Make sure you have some form of management that will stop them from ignoring you and getting what they want. A long line, x pen, a person to block the food bowl, a line on the door to close it.
3. When your dog is staying with you, in the paused moments between feeding treats, use a release marker to allow access (“go”,”free”, “all done”, “say hello”, “playtime”). When you say that release word let them go enjoy their freedom or playtime with the friend! Make sure to join in with the fun with them so we aren’t that grumpy controlling person saying “lets leave the beach, it’s too wet!” I run with my dogs to visit friends, or add yummy snacks to their dish when I release them to it.
Tag us in a pic or video @pest2pet #pest2pet
Clients always ask “do I always reward recall?” I say YES! Sometimes it is a tangible reward and sometimes a reward event (term I learned from Michael Ellis)
Though dogs can have a variety of rewards. I don’t always reward recall with the same thing. You can see the aftermath of the recall in this pic. The girls got treats and Chip got a stick!
Not all rewards are equal and depending on your dog or their mood you may have to vary the type of reward they earn when they come to you.
Here is a list of rewards my pets receive after a recall, (depending on their stage of training). I love to start varying low value and high value rewards once the recall is reliable but the majority of recalls are high value.
High Value –
Food Chase for Elsa and Chip.
Tug for Beretta
Surprising Elsa with Dad or a good friend.
Ball thrown through my legs for Beretta.
Swimming for Chip.
Jumping up and cuddling for Rio.
Scavenging dropped treats from the ground when I’m feeding the other dogs (Rio)
Clicker training for Willy (horse) and Alani (Cat)
Off Leash freedom.
Lower value –
A quick pet or scratch.
Tossing and unexpected item.
Chasing each other.
Remember that the value or your reward may depend on the environment or context.
If you call your dog from chasing a bunny, they may act like the food you try and give them is poison! I reward from potential prey with a chasing reward and for some dogs let them sink their teeth into a sturdy tug (something that you may have to teach your dog to love).
Have a wonderful time with these. The most important thing about these games is spending quality time with your dog. See you in the next 5! Remember to share and tag @pest2pet in your Facebook and Instagram stories.