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training your labrador retriever
calves liver
labrador retriever
happy time
repetitions
small pieces
hot dog
pup
brink
third time
hallway
Training Your Labrador Retriever To Come
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Training your Labrador Retriever to Come

The recall is an important command for a Labrador Retriever. When you have spent time training your Labrador Retriever to come to you and have it reliable a whole new world opens up. Imagine the relief that you will experience when you know, for a fact, that when you call, your Lab will come back to you, Every Time! You can go for walks in the woods and never need to worry that those deer crossing your path will be too tempting to resist. You can call your dog back to you before it decides to play with the skunk.

Training your Labrador Retriever to come back when you call is actually quite simple. It does take a focused effort to turn it into a compulsion. To start, find a treat that cannot be resisted. Many Labs will work for hot dog bits that have been microwaved into jerky. Some will work for kibble. Find a treat that drives your dog to the brink. If all else fails, saute some calves liver and break it into small pieces. I've never found any dog that will resist this treat. Set up with a helper in a long hallway about 5 feet apart, get down on the floor on your knees and lean back on your heels. Hold the treat up by your chin. Call the dog when it gets to you, give it the treat and make a big fuss over the pup. If you are working with an older dog, get it to come in close enough to get hold of its collar and give it the treat. Make a fuss here too. Under no circumstances should you raise your voice, this should be the happiest experience that your dog has ever had.

Move a bit further apart and repeat the process. You should see your dog leave skid marks as it runs down the hall to you. The third time is the charm. Repeating the process three times seems to set it into the dog's brain. Working in sets of three seems to be most beneficial. You don't want to overdo your training. Keep your sessions short and repeat them 2 to 3 times a day. As the dog becomes more proficient you can increase your repetitions. Make absolutely sure that this is a happy time. If you are feeling a bit down or the dog has just run off with your best shoe, skip this session. You should both be in good spirits for these training sessions.

Repeat this process for a week, eventually when the pup is coming in well, add a sit in front of you. When the sit is good, stand up and repeat the process with you standing. When standing, touch the dog's collar each time you give the treat, put the leash on then make a huge deal as you release the dog. Keep your dog happy and excited every time and you will not have a problem training the recall.

Training your labrador retriever should be a fun time for both of you. Keep the training happy and you will get a relationship with your Lab that is a pleasure for all.


Street Talk

Great article! I have a husky mix. For those who don't know huskies, they know exactly what it is that you want them to do, they just really don't care! He's pretty good with recall, when he feels like it, but has no concept of "stay". Any suggestions?

Reply
  about 4 years ago
Taz   

Thanks for this article. I will use it today!

Reply
  about 4 years ago
Steve37  

Good article...this is exactly the way I trained my lab...she is awesome and people are amazed how well she listens to me...

Reply
  about 5 years ago
  

Keeping them happy and rewarding the good behavior and ignoring the bad is the best way to get a lab working for you. Today, I worked mine on Subjects in the woods. Her recall is automatic now. It is actually a chained command where she returns, lets me know she has found someone and returns to the subject. It is a pleasure to watch. All done with rewards. Her reward is actually play time! We have replaced food treats with her toy. Yesterday she even went into the toy bag with a bag of hot dogs sitting on top of the bag. Ignored the food for the toy.

Reply
  about 5 years ago
Sherry B.  

Great article! Definitely does work to have a treat that your dog can't resist :)

Reply
  about 5 years ago

Great one Craig, I shared it around!

Reply
  about 5 years ago

I do know how hard labs are to train...thanks so much for this....

Reply
  about 5 years ago

Great article, it must be a lot of fun.

Reply
  about 5 years ago
Meredith  

I've been doing it All wrong. Hannah does that for me and it works every time.

Reply
  about 5 years ago

I found small pieces of cheese worked well with my lab Tess. Good tips.

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Labradors are amazing dogs, they're almost human! Very useful article.

Reply
  about 6 years ago
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