I have spent quite a bit of time trying to get my dogs to have a good recall. I want them to be as free as possible on the site and smallholding, but for this to happen I need to know that when I call them they will come.
Someone who knows a huge amount about dogs and training once told me that it is only in difficult situations that you know you have a recall. It is easy if there are no distractions and you have a ball or a treat, but what about when there is something that is far more interesting than you. Daisy Dog used to have a good recall about 99% of the time. The other 1% was when she saw deer – then suddenly she couldn’t hear me as she raced off to try and round them up. As Margo said that meant that effectively I didn’t have a recall with Daisy.
Daisy Dog now has a solid (touch wood) 100% recall – even with deer. Although if I am honest she can be a little hard of hearing when playing with children on the site. Kainaat is still young but his recall is good. He did chase deer a few times but recently we seem to have overcome this problem.
So far this holiday my recall with both my dogs has been tested and it is strong. I have mainly walked in places away from livestock but we have encountered deer, wild goats, sheep and cows on the beach. Each time the dogs have seen them and have wanted to round them up but have listened – I am so pleased with them. And of course this means they can then spend more time bouncing around the beach not walking at heel or on the lead.
N.B. no photos of the deer as I wasn’t quick enough, but hopefully you can see the goats, cows and the lone sheep!