Does Your Dog Come When Called?

  One of the most important things your dog can learn is to return to its owner when it is called. Many people seem to think that dogs are born knowing to do this. Well, they are not. While it is easy to teach some dogs this skill, it may be very difficult to teach others. Breed does play a role. Some breeds naturally work with their owners and return happily most of the time. Others are far more difficult. Scent hounds like Beagles are so driven to follow what their nose smell, it can be impossible to get them to focus on their owner to return. Huskies are bred to run. Their joy in that makes one of these returning to their owner a true victory!   Can all dogs be taught to return to their owner? The answer is yes, well, sort of, it depends. All dogs can and should be taught the skill. But, it may be that as owners we expect too much. After all, dogs are dogs. They are not perfect. When we ask a dog to come to us and ignore the deer poop or tossed sandwich, we are asking an awful lot. When we ask a dog to return to us instead of chasing a squirrel, it is next to impossible, unless we have thoroughly trained and continue to train for this response. Owners need to have reasonable expectations and manage their dogs when conditions are less than ideal. That’s what leashes and fences are for.  I am hoping you want your dog to learn this valuable skill called a recall. I will be presenting a free public seminar on this subject on Thursday, January 31, 2013 at 7:30pm. Seating is limited, so please call ahead to reserve yours! I may even use this time for a training session for my 5 month old puppy!   photo at top by Roxanne Franklin