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#1 Reason for a bullet-proof recall


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I walk Gibbs daily, off leash, far from roads. I also recall him lots. He gets a reinforcement Every Single Time. Sometimes it's a bit of food. The majority of the time it's a quick head scratch. And he gets released to roam a bit again. I do other tiny pieces of trick training here and there as well, but recall is worked on daily.

 

A couple weeks ago, I had him on leash at the edge of busy road at rush hour. I was fussing w/something ~ the bait bag, a button on my shirt, I don't remember. What I do remember is that my grasp on his leash had loosened, and he stepped off the sidewalk, heading for the opposite side of the road where we also frequently walk. The leash fell from my hand.

 

Automatically I said, loudly, "HERE!" He'd only taken a step or 2, he turned right around and was at my feet, tail wagging.

 

It took a few minutes for my heart to slow down. Speed limit at that spot is 50 mph. He would have been dead. It might have caused collisions and injuries to people. I would have lost my beloved boy.

 

I am beyond grateful that I taught recall consistently and well, that he would turn on a dime and return. I will keep reinforcing it, practicing it under all different conditions. A good recall saved his life, and probably my sanity.

 

Whatever you teach your dog, sit/stay and come should be top of the list.

 

Ruth & Gibbs

 

 

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I posted this little essay on my FB feed, a friend shared that she was out walking once, and saw a young man on a bike with a dog by his side, running along sans leash.

 

A driver ran a stop sign, the man saw it and yelled 'FREEZE'; at the dog. Dog stopped in his tracks. Both were safe.

 

On these boards, it's been suggested that having a solid sit-stay can also be a lifesaver for a dog. Sooooo glad Gibbs and I practiced, practiced, practice the recall, and now working on sit/stay at a distance. Which is not that great, as of this writing.

 

Thanks, Donald, for summing it up so succinctly.

 

Ruth & Gibbs

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very well stated, and i am so glad.

 

one day, long ago my dog chased a bird

 

and was hit in front of me

i might have been nineteen.

 

i held her as she died.

and i remember her stump of a tail wagging.

 

a kind lady stopped.

 

one moment.......

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Oh, my heart is in my throat and my eyes are tearing! I know EXACTLY what that is like. When I was younger, I had a lab mix. Sweet dog, but loved to chase anything that moved; Birds, squirrels, leaves...it didn't matter. I had nearly the same experience at Tea (Tea, I'm sooo sorry!). Buddy was SOLID on basic obedience commands which saved his life. Chasing a squirrel, he was going to follow the stupid squirrel into the road. Car coming, my heart in my throat, screamed, BUDDY DOWN!! Danged if that dog didn't drop in his tracks. Squirrel kept going, car went past, me bawling and poor Buddy looking at me going, "What the heck??"

 

Yep, I whole-heartedly agree, solid recall saves lives.

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I never managed a bulletproof recall.

After I shot them they never came back.

 

Oh, that's just wrong!

 

But, it was funny! :lol:

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Away from home our recall is good but at home only sometimes. More work needed.

 

Glad for your outcome!

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So glad that this is a gentle reminder, not a hard one!

 

Recall work is part of every single off leash walk I take with my dogs. I always have my whistle and treats in my pocket, and they get recalled half the time to my voice and half to the whistle, and treated every single time without fail. I do half and half voice and whistle because, while I greatly prefer the whistle for its distance ability and consistent sound, there could be a time when I don't have it on me.

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