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Teaching an older dog recall

(11 Posts)
Dogadviceneeded Tue 12-Jan-16 15:48:30

How feasible is it to teach an older resue dog (say 3 - 6 yrs old), who has previously not had great recall, to recall reliably?

Dp and I are hoping to adopt a rescue dog this year, almost certainly an adult. Lots of the dogs listed on rescue sites say their recall "needs work". I'm just wondering how to interpret this?

Any advice would be appeciated - thanks!

Dogadviceneeded Tue 12-Jan-16 15:55:30

Nb this is the dog I have in mind (sorry - can't work out how to do neat links confused)

Scuttlebutter Tue 12-Jan-16 17:28:59

All of our dogs are rescue dogs that have come to us as older dogs and can learn recall. With our latest dog, we've been doing whistle recall and it's great, very simple, straightforward and reliable. The unexpected bonus was that it had a fantastic effect on one of our other dogs who worked out very quickly indeed that the sound of the whistle meant that high value treats such as sausage and cheese would be administered. As a consequence, one whistle now brings two dogs, both looking very hopeful!

Our Rally coach lent me the DVD of Pamela Dennison who walks you through how to teach a whistle recall brilliantly. link

Alternatively, once your dog has arrived, take it to classes with an APDT trainer, and they'll help you with this.

Dogadviceneeded Tue 12-Jan-16 19:53:43

Thanks scuttle, that is reassuring.

Shriek Tue 12-Jan-16 23:30:45

best thing to do is start from scratch indoors with high value treat and new command, this is why whistle works so well as its novelty value, plus highly distracting sound will grab attention and if you treat immediately the whistle blown the ddog will understand immediately, just reload and repeat at increasing distances around the house, then garden, and so on. with increasing distractions around, and only do it when you are sure of response and have their attention to start with, its all in the timing/treating.

Dogadviceneeded Wed 13-Jan-16 22:31:15

Thank you shriek. I will remember that for when we even get our dog smile

Dogadviceneeded Wed 13-Jan-16 22:31:37


LimeJellyHead Thu 14-Jan-16 17:46:12

Years ago we adopted a very stubborn Bedlington (about 6-7 years old) who I despaired of teaching recall to. He was a real foodie though, which always helps. This solution worked a treat on him (forgive the pun, lol). Each time I fed him I blew a whistle - so put the bowl down and blow a whistle. I did that for 2 weeks before testing him by blowing the whistle indoors and waiting to see if he would come running - which he did. You can then transfer that to the park etc... but make sure you are carrying very high value treats to begin with like cheese, chicken or hot dog sausages.

ThatsNotMyRabbit Tue 19-Jan-16 16:15:44

Pippa Mattinson's "Total Recall" is a great book and covers both puppies and teaching older dogs 🙂

AnUtterIdiot Tue 19-Jan-16 18:08:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RoosterCogburn Tue 19-Jan-16 18:29:59

I adopted a JRT with no recall at all. We used clicker training and although it was hard work he now has fab recall.
The dog you are looking at is grogeous!

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