February 8, 2017
Dear Abolish the Crate Federation Members,
Today’s topic is considered by many humans to be the gold standard in good dog behavior. It is, “coming when called” (hereafter referred to as the recall). Now you may be wondering what the point of a good recall is and I will tell you. Remember our goal of abolishing the crate? Getting your human to trust you in as many circumstances as possible is vital toward obtaining our objective. For reasons I cannot fathom, humans love a fast recall from their dogs. I believe it is something we should capitalize on especially since it requires virtually no training on our part.
I often hear complaints about the timing of the recall. I’ll admit, there have been times when I have been shocked by my Mom’s bad timing. Some examples of Mom’s bad recall timing have occurred when I have been sniffing, digging, running in the yard or playing with Grady. Humans will often call you even though it’s clear you are busy; I believe they are either oblivious or don’t care. Grady sometimes ignores Mom explaining, “She needs to learn delayed gratification.” Do NOT ignore your human no matter how tempting. It does nothing but undermine our goals and you will probably get in trouble (like Grady). Indeed, there were times I suspected Grady cost us both a treat.
Another problem with a good recall is once you run to your human, the fun usually stops. There is no solution to this. As everyone is aware, having thumbs seems to give one all the power and we just have to accept whatever our human has decided we get to do next. Nonetheless, their joyful expression when they see us running toward them is heartwarming and truly worth the effort.
Here’s my 4 steps to a fast and fabulous recall:
1. The second you hear your name, immediately stop what you are doing.
2. Quickly ascertain where the sound is coming from.
3. Once you know the direction of the call, run as fast as you can in that direction. (A side note: Although helpful, it is not necessary to see the person calling you. Just run in the direction of their voice).
4. Do not stop running until you get to the human calling you. Make sure you do not slow down or allow yourself to be distracted during your run. In fact, enjoy the run! You can run flat-out and jump over things such as a creek, a jump or your sibling! And, unless you are headed into a wall, there’s no good reason to stop.
If any human is reading this, perhaps you are wondering how could you help with our recall. For one, be glad to see us when we arrive, no matter how long it takes us to get to you. No one likes to be greeted by a grumpy-butt. A treat is always appreciated and, as Grady is quick to point out, we are not picky about the timing of getting one.
There you have it. Chapter and verse.
Dawson Earnest Huntley
President & CEO
Abolish the Crate Federation
P.S. A special thanks to Grady for sharing his puppy picture doing a recall with Mom!