|LASSIE COME HOME!!
By Cherie Maitland, Trainer and Behavior Specialist at Our Furry Friends Training Center
The recall command, “Lassie, come” is such an important command that it's important to set up training scenarios to train
this command, rather than just using it when you really need it without prior practice. Let’s first start by building a good
foundation for your dog coming to you willingly and even happily. Be sure to call your dog to you for something she enjoys like
a walk, dinner, belly rubs, treats, frisbee. If it is for something unpleasant go get her, give her a treat, play with her for a
couple of minutes. Then, oh by the way as long as you’re here it’s time for a bath. Remove the distasteful event from her
approach to you or yours to her. Also in the beginning, do not call her away from something she loves, such as playing with
other dogs, digging, running free in the back yard etc., (this comes later.)
Practice calling your dog to you in the house at close distances with no distractions, at mealtime or for other positive reasons.
You want your voice to mean to her, “Hey Lassie, I’ve got your most favorite toy/treat/friend over here - come see!” Praise her
as she is approaching, (she’s already decided to come,) rather than waiting until she gets to you. Be careful about asking too
much of her when she arrives - like sit, down, stay - just reward her. In the beginning, you’ll need to be an enthusiastic actor
and act like she is doing an amazing thing every time she approaches you.
Try the recall hide n’ seek game with 1 or 2 other friends/family members in the house or in the yard if it's fenced. Give each
person some yummy treats such as cheese, roast beef, hot dog pieces. Better to give 5 small morsels than 1 big piece each
time your dog gets to you. After she gets the hang of it, hide in a different place after she is on her way to the next person.
Make it fun!
Slowly increase the distance from your dog, when you call her. At other times, slowly add more distractions. And in other
sessions, practice in different locations. If you are unsure of your dog’s ability or compliance at first, let her drag a long line,
so if you have to, you can step on it if she decides to ignore you. You don’t want your dog to learn that ignoring you and going
off the other way works. In dog training, we never want commands to be optional. Practice in short sessions and slowly
add more challenging scenarios. And Lassie will learn how to come home every time!!
Please contact me for further information on this or on any other training and obedience issues. You can call me
at 209-296-4DOG or 530-622-PUPS. Toll-Free at 1-888-DOG-B-GOOD (1-888-364-2466.)
E-mail to: AsktheTrainer@DOG-B-GOOD.com or by mail at PO Box 97, Pine Grove, CA 95665
or PO Box 678, Diamond Springs, CA 95619.