Tuesday, December 28, 2010

To Me

Kassa and I have been trying to follow some of the training suggestions from Jen at neversaynevergreyhounds.blogspot.com. One of the simplest but most important things we have been working on is a simple recall.   I think it is very important to have a good strong recall for your dog even if you keep them in fenced areas.  You never know when you will need it.  If a gate gets left open or your doggy slips out of your car behind you, it is comforting to know that they will come a running if you need them to.
I have chosen two recall commands being "Come" and "To Me".   The "Come" command is my emergency command.  Every time I issue that command Kassa gets the most tasty of tasty treats.   I always want to have a treat in pocket when I use it because I don't want Kassa to get into his head that he may or may not get a treat.  In other words I don't want to dilute the command.   "To Me" on the other hand I use more regularly.  I try to make sure that Kassa gets some sort of reward with that command.  It may not always be a treat.  Sometimes I throw a ball for him and sometimes it is just praise, although I try to make sure he never associates it with anything negative.  I have used it in the dog park when people are letting in a dog that I am not yet sure about or that may be too small.  I can't use treats there because treats aren't allowed in the dog park but when training it I will throw a ball.  I try to train both these commands indoors and out and in a variety of settings.  This way Kassa wont get into his head that he gets a treat when I'm sitting on the couch in the living room and he is on his bed ... and nowhere else.  I also try to mix up the training.  The commands may come in the middle of a game of fetch.. or before or after.  
 I try to vary the distances he has to travel and even make it a bit of a game when we are inside. He goes from garage to the second floor of the house to try to find me.  When I use either command I try to touch his collar.  In case of emergency I don't want him to come to me only to trot away as I reach for him.

 A big open area is a great place to train recalls because it provides a lot of distractions.  There are many things to sniff and explore.

Kassa and I just got back from a training session.  He was in the other room getting some water.  I played the video on my camera to see how it came out.  He heard my command in the camera and came running.  I got up and gave him a treat.


houndstooth said...

I think we all try to follow Jen's training advice when we can! You can't argue with her results, that's for sure!

Another thing we do to work on recalls, especially with this crappy weather that keeps us stuck inside, is to play hide and seek. We hide, call one of the dogs and treat them when they find us. The girls love the game and it's a good reinforcer.

24 Paws of Love said...

WOW! That sounds fantastic. I love how you are mixing it up and trying different circumstances. Recall is something I haven't worked on enough with my dogs. Thanks for the reminder.