The German Shepherd puppy called Dom has been with me for nearly three weeks. He is now five and a half months old. His recall, while vastly improved, has only gotten to about the 60% mark. When he does come, at times, it’s slow. When I call the dog’s name, I want to see an immediate response.
Since he is a fearful dog, I have used all positive methods in his training and avoided using many corrections. This is especially important with the recall. You never want to discourage or scare a dog who is supposed to be coming to you. It’s one sure way to create a dog you can never catch.
I have been using other dogs in training Dom and the results are very good. It puts a competitive spin into the exercise, as well as offering tantalizing distractions that are good for proofing.
While I take the other dogs out walking, I call them, too. This shows the pup that others respond to my voice, and also teaches him the names of his “roommates”.
Dom gets a bonus when Jasper doesn’t make it to me fast enough. This gives Dom added incentive for paying attention to me and what is happening around him.
When Jasper succeeds, everybody wins, although Dom is more interested in chasing his idle, Til the Border Collie.
It’s a good example of how Dom would rather pay attention to the border collie than to me. He does come when I call him… Sometimes.
When he’s good, he’s really good. Other times, he’s like, meh.
I’ve had to take Dom back to kindergarten. Since he came with the name, Dom, he was already kinda conditioned to ignore it. So I have started retraining him with another name, Top. Since this is an entirely new word for him, he is responding much better to it. He has to identify it amidst all the other names.
This Name Game is a great way to introduce your dog to whatever word you want to use to call him in.