……has to start somewhere!
So, I’ve been helping a few people of late with recall issues, reasons vary and I wanted to share my own journey as I think that many owners think a recall is a flat kind of journey, an A to B journey where A = ‘NO RECALL’ and B = ‘WOOHOO RECALL 100%’, however, the fact is that recall is a life long journey and one of many, many ups and downs! A journey never to be taken for granted either.
Here is a video of my girl Faith, she’s 6 years old and has an incredibly tight recall, turns on the spot and I trust her, she will recall off anything including rabbits, deer etc and she’s also my competition dog. This was her on our actual walk at the weekend………….
So, at the start of our walk, we cross a green, it’s next to the main road, do I think she will run off? Nope. Is it worth risking for the sake of it? Nope.
I normally have a harness that the extender clips to or I simply keep her on a normal lead all the way to the river walk. On this occasion I forgot her harness and as mentioned in the video know she’s super good so use the extender carefully. The recall in this video is the recall I have with her off lead, I have had this recall for years now on our walks and when she’s out working.
The video, whilst of my middle girl Faith, does actually show the stage I am currently at with my youngster though, she doesn’t get off the lead in unfenced areas (unless she is working because then she is fully engaged). I have already said in another post the reasons why she doesn’t have a reliable recall yet so you can check those out elsewhere on here if you want more details). My youngster is Rosa and she is 3yrs old, if I get the kind of recall seen in this video with her then we have a massive party and celebrate! This is because she is not in the same training place as my middle girl and I need to celebrate her small successes along the way. However, I never actually stop reinforcing recall completely at any point in my dogs lives, so you can see in the video that I still praise Faith, who has a super sound recall and she also still gets treats. I just don’t give out the biggest value ones frequently as she no longer needs them, that doesn’t mean I don’t surprise her with high-value rewards every so often though, because I do because, I never want to leave recalls to chance, I want my dogs to know that a jackpot prize is always a possibility no matter how old they get or how good at recalls they get or how many perfect recalls they do over time!
If you’re dog isn’t yet off lead, if your dog still needs a line, whatever stage you are at, don’t compare your journey to someone else’s, compare only to where you were this time yesterday, or last week, or last month, on your own journey with each individual dog you might own.
Celebrate success whenever you find it and never stop feeling grateful for the good moments and throwing your dog a party for the good choices they make! One day you will look back on the journey you’ve taken with your dog and you will smile and the bumps in the road you made it over and the memories you’ve made along the way, good and bad, they will all make up the relationship you look back on with your dog.