To start with, Derek and I stood on opposite ends, each with a baggie of treats. We'd come about halfway up, then call Cody with a "Cody, HERE!" and take off running. We could have stood there and called him, but running away encourages the dog to chase and increases their reinforcement for coming to us. Once there, we touch his collar while feeding treats. Touching his collar is vital - if he ever gets loose I need to be able to grab his collar without him shying away from my hand because I haven't done it enough to associate it with good things!
- Call from different rooms in the house
- Toss a toy, then when the dog chases the toy call the dogs name and start running across the room
- Walk down a moderately busy street and recall on-leash
- Walk into a busier street or quiet pet store and recall
- Take a dog on a long-line of 20-40" and practice recalling in a park, starting out with short distances and working up to longer
- Walk by dog parks and recall on leash, starting with a short 4-6' leash and working up to the long-line
- Walk by a busy wildlife area filled with birds and squirrels (or at least their smells!) and recall off interesting smells and droppings
Below is another example of teaching the recall. Instead of bouncing between people, I hold Cody by his harness and Derek calls him and starts running. Before he just bounced between us, but now I'm holding him back just a split second so when I release him he is really raring to go. You can feel a dog increase their drive in the bunching of their muscles, the strength they show when they try to launch away from you, and some dogs will even vocalize!