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Teaching a Recall Command

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Teaching a Recall Command

 

Yorkie Puppy

 

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.

 

   
 

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