Teaching your Cockapoo to come to you when you call, every time you call. Not an impossible dream, but a necessary part of dog ownership. Cockapoo’s are natural people lovers that are eager to please. So getting your Cockapoo to come to you might already not be difficult.
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Ask yourself these questions
- How many times did your parents call for you when you were a child and you’d answer that you will be there ‘in a minute’?
- How often do you actually practice proper recalls with your Cockapoo?
- How often do you give your Cockapoo the opportunity to not recall. Or in simpler terms, how much have you, perhaps unintentionally, trained your Cockapoo NOT to come when called?
Here are some tips
1. Always make recalling rewarding and never take recalls for granted. Always stress to your Cockapoo that coming when called is great and exciting behaviour.
2. Practice lots and lots and lots of recalls, this is not a command like “sit” that can be relatively easy to train. This is a command that will need a lot of commitment and continuous practice. To reinforce that coming when called is rewarding to your Cockapoo.
3. Always reward “check-ins”. All dogs will come over when you’re sitting on the couch, making lunch or just talking to a friend. So reward these “check ins” with love, excitement and treats.
4. Never give your Cockapoo the opportunity to not come when called. If you attempt to recall your Cockapoo do not give up if they dont come the first time.
5. Always have your Cockapoo’s focus before allowing them off leash or free-time. Making them sit or making sure you have their attention before allowing them time off the leash. Reinforcing that you are in charge.
6. If you don’t have a treat or their favourite toy on hand when you recall your Cockapoo. Praise them with excitement and either make a big, high-energy deal of going to get a reward or praise them and allow your dog to return to whatever you recalled them from (if safe to do so)
7. Call your Cockapoo once and if he doesn’t respond, go and get your Cockapoo and reinforce that you needed his attention.
8. Increase distractions around your Cockapoo gradually during training sessions but continue to reward recalls in “low distraction situations” as well.
Week 1 is going to be hard work and you and your Cockapoo will be kept busy but stick with it and it will be worth it!
Your plan should be for recall exercises to be introduced over about 6 weeks but it can take about 3 months of practice to get real results, so take your time and work through the exercises at your (and your dog’s) own pace. Keep calm at all times. Don’t get frustrated with your Cockapoo if they don’t show improvements as fast as you’d like.
Practice will be needed for 2-3, 5-10 minute sessions a day. Also remember to incorporate training exercises into everyday life whenever possible. Remember, that we are always training our dogs even if we don’t think we are, they take it onboard!