Charlie is working like a dog through his 3 weeks at Training Camp! One very important goal for him is to learn to come when called, even around lots of distractions. Recall is something that takes lots of practice throughout a dog’s lifetime. Sometimes they get rusty and forget, but with lots of consistency and practice, their skills stay sharp. Trainer Kersti is working on building those skills for Charlie, and making it lots of fun in the process!
Equipped with a 50 foot leash, Kersti and Charlie took a trip to Dix Park, a big open field outside of downtown Raleigh where people often go to fly model airplanes, picnic, take their dogs off leash, or soak up some sun. Any new outing always begins with leash drills, walking circles and practicing stop, sit, and come, before adding anything new. This focuses Charlie’s attention on Kersti so that he’s looking for what she wants him to do next.
After Charlie seems more relaxed, it was time for the long line! Kersti had Charlie hold a sit while she walked away, then called him to her. She says his name very happily and excitedly, and only says “come” when he’s on the way. Recall should always be the most fun thing in the world so your dog ALWAYS wants to check in! They also practice recall by playing the “follow me” game. Dropping the leash (but still having to check in! They also practice recall by playing the “follow me” game. Dropping the leash (but still having and quickly follows her. By changing directions when he least expects it, Charlie gets in the habit of always keeping his eyes on Kersti.
Doing these activities was great mental exercise for Charlie. The added distraction of airplanes and drones buzzing around and dogs running off leash in the distance didn’t seem to phase Charlie. He knew he was on the job. Afterwards, he got to relax in the shade with Kersti and watch all the action at the park.
It’s a hard life being a dog, but someone’s gotta do it!
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