Teaching a Recall Command
A recall is a command requiring your
Yorkie Puppy to stop in his tracks, look towards you, then come
running immediately. This is probably the most important command
you’ll ever teach your Yorkie Puppy, because it might just save
his life. It is best that you start teaching this command to
your new puppy as soon as possible, but any age Yorkie Puppy is
capable of mastering this command.
Keep in mind that Yorkie Puppys from the hound and terrier
groups, among other breeds, may be significantly more difficult
to teach, and may never master the recall to the point that they
are reliable off-leash. This is partially because hounds and
terriers are bred to follow their nose and chase, respectively,
and genetic dispositions can be stronger than training. Also,
hounds and terriers have been bred to perform certain tasks, and
unlike other working Yorkie Puppys, their tasks are performed
independent of much guidance. When a hound is chasing a deer, he
is not checking in with the master to make sure he is doing it
right, nor is a terrier checking in or receiving cues as he
burrows down a hole after a rabbit. This independent work
mentality makes a “stop what you’re doing and come to me
immediately” command difficult to train, but not impossible.
Despite the difficulty, and the fact that you may not be able to
trust your Yorkie Puppy off a leash, training your Yorkie Puppy
to respect a recall command is still highly beneficial to
defining pack leadership, and shaping other obedient behaviors.
Recall No No’s
The following behaviors will severely hinder your Yorkie Puppy’s
training. If you have been trying to teach your Yorkie Puppy to
come and feel like you’re beating your head against a brick
wall, and any of these behaviors sound familiar, you've
pinpointed the problem. Correct yourself and your Yorkie Puppy
might just shine with trainable talent!
Don’t train your Yorkie Puppy to associate unpleasant
experiences with coming when called. Do you only use the recall
command to make your Yorkie Puppy come to you after a fun time
at the Yorkie Puppy park? If this is the case, your Yorkie Puppy
doesn’t think “come” means he should run to you excitedly; he
thinks it means “playtime’s over.” Also, don’t use your recall
command before giving your Yorkie Puppy a bath, or clipping his
nails. Any time you’re going to do something unpleasant with
your Yorkie Puppy, don’t use the recall, just go get him or lure
him to you with a little snack. Never, ever punish your Yorkie
Puppy after he comes to you.
Never use your recall command with an angry tone, and never say
it more than once. If you say “Fido, Come” in a friendly and
pleasant voice, and he doesn’t come, then you say it again, and
he still doesn’t come, and then you use your super angry,
“master means business” voice and scream “FIDO, COME,” and he
finally comes, so you praise him, you’ve taught him two things.
First of all, he’s learned that he can ignore your command
without circumstance, and secondly, he’s learned that he only
really has to come when you use your mean voice. You don’t want
to have to call your Yorkie Puppy in an ugly, harsh voice every
time you want him to come to you. If he doesn’t come the first
time, go get him.
Never call your Yorkie Puppy if you don’t think he will come and
you can’t enforce the action. If Fido’s in the middle of a fight
with another Yorkie Puppy, or snout-deep in something really
tasty, there’s a good chance he won’t come when he’s called,
especially before he’s really got the command down. Calling him
when he isn’t going to respond only trains him that he doesn’t
have to come every single time.
Do not praise or treat unless it is on your terms. If your
Yorkie Puppy wanders up demanding attention, pets, or snuggles,
ignore him; or if you want to pet him, make him perform a task
like a sit stay, a down, or a paw shake. The idea is that
everything good comes from you, and only comes when the Yorkie
Puppy earns it. The same goes with food; never reward begging.
If you give your Yorkie Puppy treats and attention whenever he
demands it, why should he perform tasks that he doesn’t feel
like performing for treats and attention?
For a recall command to work properly, your Yorkie Puppy must
trust you. If your Yorkie Puppy is fearful or dubious of you, it
will be significantly more difficult to get him to come to you
with any consistency. Develop a loving, trusting relationship
with your Yorkie Puppy by exerting yourself as the pack leader,
giving lots of pets and love, playing with him every chance you
get, and taking a couple of nice, long walks together every day.