We have finally made it to the grand finale! The recall. Read this blog to learn how to teach your dachshund this command.
By now your dachshund should have learned everything they need to start the first part of this command. This command is quite simple as long as you follow one golden rule. Never give your dachshund the “come” command if they are not on a leash and you can not follow through! This rule is so very important for this command. There are many dogs who are so used to hearing “Spot, come! Come! Come!” that the word “come” means absolutely nothing to them. Some even have to be trained to recall on a different word such as “front”. Whatever word you decide to use in your training, make sure your dachshund is on a leash until you are certain they will come when called.
The second rule for practicing the recall is that you must be very specific about what “come” means. When I use the recall command it means come and sit one foot in front of me not come within five feet and then run off again. It is a command and they are not finished until you say so! If you teach them consistently that this is what the command “come” means, they will do it every time you ask. If you want your dog to just come near you, you can just call their name, but no command. Make yourself exciting so they want to be close to you. When asking your dachshund to come to you, you have to be more exciting than every distraction around them. (Food does wonders for this!)
So for this command we are going to start by putting our dachshund on a stay command. You can start with a sit stay as they will not be staying for an overly long time. If you need to practice or need instruction on how to get your dachshund to stay you can read all about that in Week 5. So in heel position have you dachshund sit, stay and then transfer your leash loop into your left hand, while holding a treat also in your left hand. Step out with your right foot (remember this a cue for your dachshund to not follow you) and walk to the end of your 6 ft leash. If your leash is longer you can start with 6 ft and gradually increase the distance.
Turn to face your dachshund and then in an excited, happy voice say “<
If your dachshund does not come when you first call them use their leash to reel them in. Even if they fight you the entire way it is very important that they do not get away with not following through on the command. Once you have reeled them in remember to give them lots of verbal praise so they know it was the right thing to do.
If your dachshund comes, but does not come close enough or comes in crooked, you can lure them in the right way by using the treat in your left hand. Take a few steps back to straighten them out while showing them the treat. Once they have straightened out ask them to sit if they do not do it themselves. You can refer to Week 3 on how to get your dachshund to sit if they don’t do it on their own.
Once your dachshund has mastered the 6 foot length, you still do not want to take them off the leash. Simply move them to a longer leash! We managed to find a 20 ft long line at our local dollar store. I would not recommend using the clasp that comes with it, so we picked up a quality clasp at the hardware store for a few dollars. Once you get the idea into their head that it does not matter if you’re 6, 20 or 50 feet away, if you call them you are going to make them come, they will realize that listening to you and getting rewarded for doing so is the much easier and more beneficial road for them.
Finally, never give the recall command to punish your dachshund. Never recall them to yell at them or they will not be very eager to come to you the next time. One bad experience is all it can take to ruin a solid recall. So remember to control your emotions when using this command.
There you have it! The recall may have seemed daunting and impossible at the beginning of these 7 weeks, but it is really just consistent practice on leash to make this command a solid one. I have complete faith that by this point in the challenge everyone has the necessary skills to easily progress to the recall. Remember, it may take you more than a week to move through the commands, but the more you practice the faster your progress will be. Do not forget to tag your photos and videos with #DUTrainingChallenge so we can pick 3 lucky winners to receive prizes from the Smoothe Store and Puppia after this week! Thanks to everyone who has participated so far, it is still not too late to get your entries in if you have not yet. Winners will be picked next week! Happy training!