The Recall One Year On

Nemo trying to find some cool earth on a hot day

About this time last year Nemo joined our family as part of the Vision Australia seeing eye dog puppy carer program. Nemo was ten months old when he came to us and had limited off lead training with other dogs, as a result his manners left little to be desired.

Nemo would chase dogs and rush up to them at full speed, often scaring them and their owners. Of course I knew Nemo was only doing this to be friendly but other dogs and their owners did not know this. This behaviour is typical of dogs who have lots of confidence and love to play with other dogs and is inappropriate at the dog park.

After witnessing this behaviour it became apparent that teaching the recall to Nemo was my first job. I set about the task of working on Nemo’s attention and recall every day as soon as he arrived to us. You can watch a video of one of our first training visits to the off lead park in my article The Recall In Action With Nemo.

So, where are we now? After a year of working on Nemo’s recall and attention at the park the video below will give you an idea of how far we have come. How did we do it? With hard work, time and lots of tasty treats. I wanted to film us one year on to show that developing skills like this takes time, and understanding that your dog is always a work in progress will help you measure your expectations.

Nemo’s recall is not always perfect and our walks are not entirely relaxing for me because I need to be vigilant and actively supervise him to be sure he behaves. We still have a way to go and often if I am too tired to work with him around other dogs we find somewhere to walk on our own or I have him on lead.

Enjoy the video, your journey with your dog is not a sprint but a marathon, so take your time to train for the long-term, and enjoy the benefits that come from growing with your dog.


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3 Responses to The Recall One Year On

  1. Hi Katarina, another great post! As you know I am struggling with the same issues with Florrie and Mabel. We are definitely making progress but we’re not as far along as you are with Nemo. I often have to put the dogs back on their leads or even find another place to walk when there are other dogs around. It’s more difficult with two dogs than with one, but letting Florrie and Mabel play together outside is also valuable. Your advice about handling this situation was really valuable and I continue to apply it.

    Best regards —

    • katarina says:

      Hi Michael, great to hear from you! Thanks for your comment. Training two dogs takes much more time and experience but it sounds like you are on the right track, just keep going :) As you can see I’m a year on with Nemo and it’s still a work in progress but improving all the time.

  2. John Miller says:

    Katarina, it is very encouraging to see the way Nemo is paying attention to you and responding to the recall. After 2 lessons with yourself and my golden retriever, I am pleased with the easy manner he is learning the recall (without any other dogs around).
    With lots of practice, I’m sure he’ll develop further. He is relaxed and enjoying his training.

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