Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 73

Recalls 3 Focus on By Deborah Jones, PhD When I proposed this topic I didn’t realize that recalls would be on the top of my training list again with a new puppy—mainly because I had no idea there would be a new puppy! But you know how that goes. So, Zen, the new baby Border Collie, is getting recall lessons constantly. Why are recalls so important? Not to exaggerate, but I believe that they are the foundation for everything! Teaching your dog not only to come when you call, but also to want to get to you as quickly as possible, is a huge advantage in agility as well as in everyday life. When Judy Keller and I give In FOCUS seminars, many attendees believe that their recall is just fine and doesn’t need any extra work. In reality, they have a minimal response (and then, only when all conditions are perfect) to the recall. No matter how old your dog or his level of training, these exercises can increase his enthusiasm for and responsiveness to his recall cue. There are a number of exercises and games that we use to improve your dog’s response to a recall cue. I will describe some of these in more detail. 1 Use the recall game to call your dog back and forth between two people. Start out with each person having a clicker and cookies, and standing about 6' apart. The first person calls the dog, then clicks as the dog turns to her, and treats when the dog comes. Then the first person ignores the dog as the second person calls. When the dog turns toward the second person, she clicks then treats when the dog gets to her. The second person then ignores the dog while the first person calls again. Continue this back-and-forth process, gradually adding more and more distance between the two people. One nice side effect of this game is that you can give your puppy a lot of exercise running back and forth between the two people. If you are planning to do agility with your dog you may want to turn slightly away as he approaches (a quarter turn), lure him to your side when he gets to you, and give him his treat there, while he faces the same direction you are. 2 March 08 | We always begin with “in your face” recalls. Be ready with 10-15 small soft treats, a clicker (if you use one), and your dog. Start in a distraction-free environment. Get right in front of your dog. Say your dog’s name, your recall cue, then click (or use your verbal marker) and treat. You are not expecting your dog to do anything but take the cookies. Repeat as quickly as possible, until the treats are gone. The sequence is name, recall cue, click, treat. These should follow quickly one right after the other. If you are using a clicker, be careful not to click too close to your dog’s face or in his ear. Once the cookies are gone release your dog with your release word (O.K. is ours) and ignore him for a minute or so. This exercise helps your dog form a positive emotional connection to his name and recall cue because the next thing that happens (click/treat) is always good. It also gives him experience discovering that the click/treat happens when he is in front of you. Remember, you are not expecting your dog to do anything in particular, though he may choose to move closer. You should work this exercise right up in your dog’s face (hence the name), not at a distance. 4 The second recall exercise we introduce is the “Ready? Go! Come!” game. We also refer to this as a “treat-toss recall. You will need your clicker and some small round ” treats that roll well and will contrast with the floor color. We use Peanut Butter Captain Crunch on dark floors and kibble on light floors. Show your dog the treat and tease him with it, asking him, Ready? Ready? Ready? Then, toss the treat a very short distance away (12"-24") telling him to Go! Click as he approaches the treat. As soon as he has swallowed the treat use your recall cue and click as soon as your dog turns in your direction. Give him the second treat when he returns Go! to you. The sequence is Ready, Ready, Ready, toss the treat a short distance, click as the dog approaches the treat, call, Come! click when the dog turns toward you, and treat when the dog returns.This exercise introduces a Ready cue, teaches your dog to run away from you on a Go cue, and teaches him to return quickly when you call him back.This exercise should be practiced with excitement and enthusiasm. As your dog becomes more experienced with this exercise you can toss the treat farther and farther away. And finally, a very powerful tool to strengthen a recall is a random, 30-second jackpot. Every so often your dog’s response to his recall cue wins the lottery! Have enough treats to feed, one after the other, for 30 seconds. Have someone time you so that you don’t shortchange your dog. T h i rt y s e c o n d s i s longer than you think. Feel free to tell your dog how brilliant and wonderful he is as you are giving the jackpot. If your dog is highly toy/play motivated you can tug for 30 seconds instead.The random jackpot makes a huge impression on dogs. They become gamblers and will respond quickly to the recall in hopes of winning the big prize again. If you focus on these recall exercises and games over the next few weeks you will notice a big improvement in your dog’s response. But don’t stop there; take your recall exercises and games on the road and practice them in a variety of new locations. You’ll be amazed at the results. Have fun and stay focused! D Deborah Jones, PhD, an assistant professor of psychology, specializes in social behavior and learning processes. Deb has written several books on clicker training, and helped develop the “Clicker Fun” video series. She is co-author (with Judy Keller) of the book In FOCUS: Developing a Working Relationship with Your Performance Dog, and a series of DVDs based on the book. Deb is currently enjoying agility with Smudge, the Sheltie, and with her new Border Collie in training, Zen. Contact her at www.k9infocus.com. Clean Run 73
http://www.k9infocus.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Clean Run Magazine - March 2008

Clean Run Magazine - March 2008
Contents
Editorializing: An Anthropologist at a Dog Show
Tip of the Month
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Agility…
Backyard Dogs
Give Your Dog a Running Start
On Course with Ronda Carter
Trainer’s Forum
How to Get the Most from Your Agility Classes
Foundation Fundamentals: Restrained Recalls and Chase Games
What Is a Handling System?
Pre-Agility Skills: Laying the Foundation, Part 1
Alternative Medicine for Your Canine Athlete: Navigating the Options
Agility? Deaf-initely!
When Pigs Fly: Agility Success with “Impossible” Dogs
Skill of the Month
Shelter Champs: Sadie
Spy Kids: Goals to Prepare for Competition
Distance Challenge
Focus on Recalls
Cece’s Gym Exercise of the Month: Back and Trunk Strengthening
In Cider
Letters
Course Diagram Keys
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Clean Run Magazine - March 2008
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 2
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Contents
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 4
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Editorializing: An Anthropologist at a Dog Show
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Tip of the Month
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Agility…
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Backyard Dogs
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 9
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 10
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Give Your Dog a Running Start
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 12
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 13
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 14
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 15
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 16
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 17
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - On Course with Ronda Carter
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 19
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 20
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 21
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Trainer’s Forum
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 23
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 24
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - How to Get the Most from Your Agility Classes
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 26
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 27
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 28
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Foundation Fundamentals: Restrained Recalls and Chase Games
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 30
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 31
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 32
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - What Is a Handling System?
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 34
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 35
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 36
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 37
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Pre-Agility Skills: Laying the Foundation, Part 1
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 39
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 40
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 41
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 42
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Alternative Medicine for Your Canine Athlete: Navigating the Options
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 44
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 45
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Agility? Deaf-initely!
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 47
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 48
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 49
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - When Pigs Fly: Agility Success with “Impossible” Dogs
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 51
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 52
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 53
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 54
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 55
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Skill of the Month
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 57
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 58
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Shelter Champs: Sadie
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 60
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 61
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 62
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Spy Kids: Goals to Prepare for Competition
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 64
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 65
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 66
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 67
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 68
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Distance Challenge
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 70
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 71
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 72
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Focus on Recalls
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Cece’s Gym Exercise of the Month: Back and Trunk Strengthening
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 75
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 76
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - In Cider
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 78
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 79
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 80
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Letters
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Course Diagram Keys
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 83
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 84
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