You Think You Have Control of Your Dog?

I am constantly telling clients that unless their dog is 100% reliable on recall (returning to you when called); you have no control of your dog.

This is a subject I have written about before. Hopefully reading this will make an impression on you.

Your dog may sit, down, heel, stay, but unless your dog comes to you when called none of the previous matters.

Dog running

Group Obedience classes are a valuable tool. Learning to gain control of your dog in a group setting with other dogs under the same controlled situation is valuable. What you are doing is gaining what we are talking about; Control.

dog sitting at heel

If your dog learns to

Sit the first time you tell them,

Down the first time you tell them,

Stay the first time you tell them,

Then you can begin teaching your dog to return to you the first time you call him.

If I had only one command to teach my dogs, it would be recall. Your dog must return to you when called. If your dog slips out of the gate or the front door and doesn’t return to you and there is a car coming his way, it doesn’t matter what else he knows.

I have found the most successful way to begin to teach a dog control is on the leash. Once I have control of a dog on a six-foot leash in public under distraction, then I will begin to teach my dog on a long line and then off the leash and eventually in public under distraction.

This command should be your first priority

puppy learing recall

Many people think they have control of their dog off-leash. However it only takes one distraction to lose the control you think you have very quickly. The problem is once your dog knows he can “break space” with you, you have lost any control you think you had. It’s much easier to never let the dog “get” that you are not in control. If training a dog that already knows he doesn’t have to come, be patient and consistent. Even the most stubborn dog can learn that he must come to you when called.

dog standing in highway

Learning to implement the tools to follow-through, gaining respect from your dog and creating the kind of control you need to have a dog respond to your commands will possibly save his life one day.

Click HERE for more information on teaching your dog the recall.


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