Come When Called – Part 3 – Really Reliable Recall

In the last post, I described the foundation work for a good come when called (recall) skill. For some dogs, this is all that is needed. However, that was not true for Eagle. It was after this foundation training that Eagle ended up in the road! I knew I had to do something and had heard about Leslie Nelson’s Really Reliable Recall training. This is a purely positive training and teaches the dog that very good things happen to dogs that come when called. This is the training that forms the basis of our Come Spot! Come! class that we offer several times a year.

Eagle seemed to love this training! I chose a new recall word — since the word “come” did always work! I used his new command, praised him the entire time he was moving towards me and rewarded him with a high-value treat such as chicken, liver and steak! Unfortunately, I must admit, I was not truly confident that he would come under distractions. Between the time I trained him using this method of training when he was 18 months and when he was three years old, I rarely let him out of the fenced yard without a leash.

When he was three, I was in the process of my divorce. My friend volunteered to help me take all four of my dogs to the vet for their annual exams. This is when Eagle got loose for the second time. Unfortunately, he was headed for an even busier street! I used my Really Reliable Recall word — to no avail! I only got him back when he stopped to do his business.

Next week, we’ll conclude this series on how I finally got Eagle to reliably come when called! Stay tuned!

I was terrified that Eagle go die by running into traffic. What is your worst nightmare when it comes to the safety of your dog?

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