I always encourage people never to shout at their dogs when they come back, even if its taken that dog ages to return.
But sometimes I think shouting at the dog can remove the unwanted sauntering back behaviour. When I say shout, I don’t mean screaming at them or being aggressive. I mean one firm “NO”, basically telling them to pack in that faffing about and get to you.
All dogs will wander about, not wanting to come back to you. They only get to go out for specific times of day at your discretion. They want to spend as much time as possible on that walk, getting to stretch their legs, most owners understand this, giving their dogs not only physical but mental exercise while on a walk.
But every dog will try and take advantage of their owners, saunter back on their own time to draw out the walk. Sometimes you have hours to walk and frolic in the park, others you have time for a quick walk before you have to get home for a delivery or work. That is life unfortunately, and while every dog owner wants to do the best for their dog, their life does not revolve around the dog. Sometimes the dog will have to get a shorter walk in the morning while the owners are in a rush, but will get a better walk later in the day along with a play session.
When the recall counts that dog needs to come back, and playing nicey nicey isn’t always going to cut it. Sometimes you need them to know you mean business, a firm command to stop them doing what their doing then an excited recall command is all it takes. That firmness is enough for most dogs to know you mean business.
The firm command is no good when the dog is always at your heel, that is just telling a dog off for coming to you. That is never going to create a reliable recall, what I’m on about is the interruption of behaviour, stopping them in their tracks forgetting what they were doing them recalling them to you.
Having this firm command instilled in the dog could one day save you a lot of hassle or even your dogs life. Sometimes your going to be in situations where you need to call that dog back asap from what ever it is doing, a few treats won’t cut that. That dog needs to return you because it has to, yes it’ll get a reward for coming back but wafting treats about you’ve got their attention is going to do nothing. Busy roads, out of control dogs, people are all hazards to your dog.
Also these situations where theirs high stress, like when you can see a danger, such as if theirs a dog you know to be aggressive or in my line of work if someone comes near my dogs when off lead, with them being security dogs I need 100% control in all situations. In these situations your not going to be cooing your dog over, your going to be screaming their recall. Many dogs would move further away thinking they are going to be told off, but those used to the louder command and being told to stop faffing are more likely to return without fuss.
Recall is such a basic command, but for many its not proofed to deal with all situations.