I grew up in a zoo: dogs, cats, guinea pigs, hamsters, birds and a bunch of sisters. Everybody had a name but not everybody responded to recall. Like when mom called, it depended from her tone. Many times it was a signal to hide or something good awaits. For the animals it was not as strict to respond as for us, so when the dog did not come, when called, it was not a big deal. Same time studying and knowing how important is recall with dogs in this modern society makes me emphasize its importance. It’s not anymore just fenced in safe place where it’s not life threatening situations. Within knowledge of basics and more advanced approaches than usual, it appears of highest significance to make your dog respond to his name 100% of the time.
Regularly walking streets, hanging out in parks and other social places is usual for a dog owner. Dogs training is put to the task every single minute walking outside your door. Sometimes dogs do what we want them to do and sometimes they don`t, its normal. But what’s not, if they don`t respond to their name instantly! That’s Nr.1 task to master when you have a dog! We might think the dog is stupid, stubborn or whatever, but what it really is : dog has not been taught, that his name is the best sound in the world! So he looks at you and comes even when you whisper his name. With that been said, you need to understand that by mastering this simple training you will avoid lots of drama or even save your dog’s life.
Why do I say its life or death? Because, if he sees a squirrel across busy street and is ready to take off, by just saying his name, you will change his path from being hit. Same as, if he wants to approach somebody like runner or another stranger with recalling you save yourself from possible lawsuit! Because who knows, what kind of attitude they have! As we are in public space for four hours everyday, we have met so many dog disliking people, that we could start a registry! For instance there are these few older runners, who are very unpleasant from the looks and one of them always carries a pepper spray threatening if a dog comes close and he will react to it! (This person has already sprayed other dogs in parks. Its absolute crazy as they run in front of the dogs and act like they are there to harm them, not realizing as they have startled or been seen only as chasing object with whom to play!)
You might be wondering, how do I get my dog always respond to his name?
- Always say his/her name in a positive tone!
- Start off with highest interest treats (rewarding when they responds to name)
- When you have Nr1 and Nr.2 in check, practice it with distractions.
No matter how angry you get when your buddy does something wrong, don`t use their name! Simply say NO, BAD DOG, whatever BUT not his name! Strong emotions associated with the name can be lethal in the end as dog will simply ignore it associating it with bad memories.
It’s not an easy task to remember but we have to drop negative tone when saying dogs name. I have realized my own mistake doing it in the past and then wondering why he ignored recall. From using Nietzsche (Stressed out, oh you little shit! Worried tone) when upset to always Nietzsche (higher pitch happy tone) and big fat NO or LEAVE IT when done something undesirable.
You need to understand that a dog is a creature of simplicity, they don`t categorize our attitudes or think more of the situation in a long run, they associate key element with provided emotions and mostly pick on negative vibes to stay. If by any chance your dog already has issues with his name, because of misbehavior and your anger following it. Please turn the course of your path. Its lethal for the dog to think, that his name is the best thing on the planet!