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From: DarylMB (68.150.54.214)
Subject:         First and foremost ....
Date: October 30, 2008 at 9:35 pm PST

In Reply to: say my name ;) posted by Jackie on October 29, 2008 at 5:32 am:

you must be very careful about letting him off the leash unless his recall is perfect. It sounds like what he needs most is a lot of one-on-one training (on-leash) to learn the basics of come, sit, stay and down. I would definitely do as Callie says and use a long leash to train him to come but before you can do that he has to learn his name. Teaching a dog his name is relatively simple but it's best done indoors where there aren't so many distractions.

Using some really good dog treats, have him leashed to you in the house and practice having him pay attention when you say his name. Start out by using a high-pitched tone of voice. Dogs naturally pay attention to that type of sound and the second he turns to face you, give him a treat. You'll be surprised how quickly he'll learn that whenever he hears his name, he'll be rewarded for looking at you. Once he gets the hang of it, you can gradually start using a normal tone of voice. Just remember to keep using food rewards each and every time he responds.

Then you can move outdoors on a long leash. Let him sniff around for a couple of minutes and then use your high-pitched voice to call his name. When he turns to look at you, say "come" in a happy voice and immediately begin reeling him in (gently but firmly). Once he reaches you, lavish him with praise and give him a treat, even if you had to drag him the whole way. Keep your training sessions short (15 minutes at most) and repeat them 3 times a day. It won't take long before he'll come running to you when you call.

This should help him have a much more reliable recall but please make sure you have complete faith in him before you allow him off-leash. Believe it or not, dogs can get plenty of exercise and stimulation by going for a brisk walk with you. Yes, he would definitely enjoy off-leash time with other dogs, but until his recall is 100%and he's proven to you that he can ignore distractions (other people, other dogs, squirrels, passing cars, etc.), his off-leash play should be limited to fenced areas.

Good luck!


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