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Discussion Starter #1
My 11 month old Aussie mix needs a lot of work on his recall. He does really well at home but if he's in a distracted setting like outdoors or at the dog park, he does not come when called. It either looks like he does not hear us call him or he runs towards us and then keeps going. Any suggestions on how to improve his recall?
 

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If he's good at home and bad at the dog park then you've graduated too quickly. Go back a step to an outdoor area like a field where there are slightly more distractions but not as exciting as a dog park and practice there with long line & high value rewards.

The dog park will be a very stimulating environment to practice recall in and I wouldn't blame most dogs who are still learning for not recalling.

You could try and enlist the help of a friend who has a dog to practice recall with outside of the dog park. Have the other dog a distance away with your dog on a long line and practice recalling away from approaching the dog, looking at the dog etc. You can also take that a step further by graduating to being off lead and practicing recalling away from the dog off lead but that takes a lot of work.

You have to make yourself more exciting than the thing you want to recall them away from. So with my dog he gets sporadic food rewards and I have a special toy (Kong wubba) that he gets to tug with when he recalls from an exciting situation. Tug is his favourite thing in the world so for him it's much more reinforcing than the food reward. Figure out what works best for your dogs drive whether it be food, toys or praise and take full advantage of that.

Example today's walk with Buster, he recalls away from the group of people walking infront of us verbal praise. Recalling when he noticed a dog further up the trail, food reward. Recalls away from group of 6 dogs playing chase (his FAVOURITE) and fetching a ball, squeak the kong wubba he almost breaks his neck turning round and sprints towards me, leaps through the air and latches on to the toy and tugs. I then release him to play with his friends :)

Hope this makes sense!
 

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Thank you so much for your suggestions! He LOVES playing chase and fetch so I will use that as a reward! Luckily he is also very food motivated. I will definitely purchase a long lead an practice practice practice!
 

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With Jax I found teaching recall was simply about being super exciting and consistently fun to be with! I once heard a lady say 'I'm not worried about my dog running away from the house if the front gate gets left open, why would he want to b out there without me?', it was such a simple statement but it really got me thinking. So recall is a game to Jax, we play it all the time and as it's something I think is vitally important, he always gets a treat and I probably won't phase this out, to me a treat is a small price to pay for knowing that he'll come back to me every time!

So it's something we practice as much as we can, firstly you need to choose an exciting sound, I whistle, it's the only time I ever whistle and Jax always turns on a sixpence and comes running to sit at my feet because I've always had a major party when he does, I whoop and holla and all sorts and he loves every minute, it's his favourite game ever, make it super fun and exciting for your dog and it'll never be a chore!

Good luck!
 
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