|LASSIE COME HOME!!
By Cherie Maitland, Trainer and Behavior Specialist at Our Furry Friends Training Center
The recall command, “Lassie, come” is such an important command that it's important to set up training scenarios to train this
command, rather than just using it when you really need it without prior practice. Let’s first start by building a good foundation for your dog
coming to you willingly and even happily. Be sure to call your dog to you for something she enjoys like a walk, dinner, belly rubs, treats,
frisbee. If it is for something unpleasant go get her, give her a treat, play with her for a couple of minutes. Then, oh by the way as long as
you’re here it’s time for a bath. Remove the distasteful event from her approach to you or yours to her. Also in the beginning, do not call
her away from something she loves, such as playing with other dogs, digging, running free in the back yard etc., (this comes later.)
Practice calling your dog to you in the house at close distances with no distractions, at mealtime or for other positive reasons. You want
your voice to mean to her, “Hey Lassie, I’ve got your most favorite toy/treat/friend over here - come see!” Praise her as she is
approaching, (she’s already decided to come,) rather than waiting until she gets to you. Be careful about asking too much of her when
she arrives - like sit, down, stay - just reward her. In the beginning, you’ll need to be an enthusiastic actor and act like she is doing an
amazing thing every time she approaches you.
Try the recall hide n’ seek game with 1 or 2 other friends/family members in the house or in the yard if it's fenced. Give each person
some yummy treats such as cheese, roast beef, hot dog pieces. Better to give 5 small morsels than 1 big piece each time your dog gets
to you. After she gets the hang of it, hide in a different place after she is on her way to the next person. Make it fun!
Slowly increase the distance from your dog, when you call her. At other times, slowly add more distractions. And in other sessions,
practice in different locations. If you are unsure of your dog’s ability or compliance at first, let her drag a long line, so if you have to, you
can step on it if she decides to ignore you. You don’t want your dog to learn that ignoring you and going off the other way works. In dog
training, we never want commands to be optional. Practice in short sessions and slowly add more challenging scenarios. And
Lassie will learn how to come home every time!!
Please contact me for further information on this or on any other training and obedience issues. You can call me at
209-304-5139 or 530-622-PUPS.
E-mail to: AsktheTrainer@DOG-B-GOOD.com or by mail at PO Box 97, Pine Grove, CA 95665
NEXT STEP is setting up TRAINING SCENARIOS taking into account: