2 weeks ago we became the owners of lovely Lenny, a 2 year old JRTxPug. We rehomed him from the NAWT centre in Somerset. He's really good but we would like some help training him with recall so we can build our confidence up to let him off the lead. We're using a long training lead at the moment which is working well but I'd like to learn some techniques for when he's picked up a scent or sees a cat/rabbit as his treats don't seem to cut it then!
We'd also like some help in training him to release a toy to us.
He is in our kitchen in the mornings while I work and at night when we go to bed. Most of the time he settles quickly (up to 15 mins barking and whining) but we're going on holiday in a couple of weeks and my in-laws have said they'll have him. I'm worrying that he won't settle as well for them as they'll have their two dogs in their bedroom and he'll be in their kitchen. What's the best course of action for ensuring he'll settle.
Bringing home a rescue dog is an exciting time as it is with any new addition to the family. But letting them off the lead for the first time can be a daunting idea!
Dogs, like us get better when they practice things. And if your new rescue dog has practiced ignoring a recall cue and chasing small furries or tracking scents, then they might well be pretty good at it by now!
So the first step is preventing them practicing what we don't like anymore - so having him on the long line is ideal to help with this.
But also it's important to note that recall training isn't just about the actual act of calling your dog - relationship building is a huge part of improving it. And we have lots of fun training games at Daybreak to get you started!
Meanwhile here are some suggestions to help in the short-term with the questions I have been posed above:
- Firstly great training treats are a must - and actually you're often better off making your own! Here's a list that I know dogs love from my blog: https://www.daybreakdogs.co.uk/category/adult-dog-training/recipes/
- And some other ideas if you're not handy in the kitchen! https://www.daybreakdogs.co.uk/2014/06/my-top-10-suggestions-for-training-treats-your-dog-will-love/
- Using a long line whip with a toy on the end to replicate small furry things, demonstrated here at Devon Dogs. Further details can be found on the 'Naughty But Nice' training DVD by Absolute Dogs.
- Preparing for your holiday, play the brilliant impulse control Crate Games from this DVD by Susan Garrett. They'll help you with far more than just helping your dog love their crate!
- And for releasing a toy during a game, Zak George is a trainer I'd recommend - here's one of his videos:
Today I'm grateful for the amazing online resources available to help dog owners with when I can't be everywhere to support them. It's an exciting time to be a dog trainer! :)