Unfortunately the rain interrupted our trip back to the Ledges today but during a break from the drizzle, I took all the dogs out in the back 40, where we resumed some lessons. Loki was pretty consistent about coming when I called him and I think he will only continue to improve.
At the end of our stint they all climbed up on the back porch for a group photo.
I took a bunch of videos for reference. As you can see, I do use a clicker but I prefer to click when the dog first starts toward me, rather than waiting for him to reach me. When he hears that click he knows the food is coming and it will actually speed up his recall.
Loki usually offers a nice sit at the end but I don’t require it. His job for now is to get to me and stop near me, preferably making eye contact. I hand out treats to the other dogs, too, which is a great way to capture his interest if he is distracted.
This next one is a really good example of how distractions will waylay him. At this point, although he did come to me, he was not really into it, and yes, Allie did get his treat.
That did the trick, because this next video is an example of a beautiful recall.
The next video is an example of how I like to call him when he is distracted. Notice his immediate response even though he didn’t really want to come away from whatever it was. He was pulled back again but did return for the food.
The next video is an example of how I like to call when they are deep in foliage, in another situation where it may be hard to pull them away. Unfortunately this video doesn’t capture my call. I always call the dog’s name only once. They get one shot, and if they don’t respond right away, another dog gets their cookie.
This is an example of the ultimate goal. When the dog hears his name, he does an instant about face and comes running. Perfect!