Thursday, July 14, 2011


Photo Courtesy of Andreaplanet
For a dog owner, there is nothing more embarrassing than calling out your dog's name only to have them find everything else more worthy of their attention than your urgently rising voice. A bushy-tailed squirrel, your neighbor in their backyard, a wispy cloud floating softly by in the sky, a tiny blade of grass. Sometimes it feels like you could wear a necklace of bacon and a pot roast for a hat before your dog even decides to glance in your direction.

A Hairy Situation
But besides the embarrassment of screaming yourself hoarse while your pooch calmly ignores you, there is a real danger to this misbehavior. A friend was recently reminded of this fact while she was pet sitting. The dog managed to get loose and ran onto a busy road. This dog was adopted, fearful, and had never been properly trained which only made this unfortunate incident worse. Not responding to her name or any recall words like "come" made it extremely difficult for the dog to be safely caught. This story has a happy ending because the dog was eventually caught and returned unharmed back to her home. Yet, had this dog been taught the importance of recall by responding to her name or a word like come or here, she never would have run as far as she did and led the pet sitter and her friends on a wild, heart pounding goose chase. And of course the story could have had a very different and more upsetting outcome.

Human Error
Humans are bound to make mistakes. As they say, that's why there are erasers on pencils. You may forget to close the gate to your yard when taking out the trash, leave the garage door open, your dog may jump out of the car before you have him or her properly harnessed, or your leash may snap and break at the most inopportune time. No eraser on a pencil is going to correct this situation, only time spent training and teaching your dog recall until it is so perfected that you can take your dog off leash at any time and know that he or she will return to you. We never recommend allowing your dog off leash, but in a properly contained space it is crucial to train your dog up to this level on the off chance that you are faced with this situation someday.

Practice Makes Perfect
Recall is the most important step in basic training, more important than sit or lie down. If you as a dog owner do not have this skill nailed down, you will never have the confidence and assurance of knowing that no matter what unfortunate cirsumstance arises, your precious pooch will return to you safely and out of harm's way. You owe it to yourself and to your dog.

Morris K9 Campus is passionate about this topic and commited to the importance of recall. As a result, we offer varying programs to perfect this skill from daycare and play, to pet level training classes, Adult Socialization and Play, to agility and even whole workshops devoted to this subject.

Would you like to see another Off-Leash Workshop offered at Morris K9 Campus?

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