I have one thing to say, actually two. 1. Be Nice and 2. Treats help.
See the thing with getting me, and most doggie friends, to come back to you if I am running around playing, sniffing and from what I read about Ruby, rolling in stinky stuff, is that you (wonderful handler) need to be more appealing than whatever I am doing. If not, at best you might get a glance as I hear my name yelled, but then I will go back to what we were doing.
So in obedience world I think it is called recalls. In reality it is just mum’s sanity of not having to spend half an hour trying to get me back on lead at the park. Here are some 1st World Dog tips (in no particular order);
1. Have treats. Now if you haven’t already figured this out, you should always wear something with a pocket and therefore also have treats in the pocket. When I come back… Treat. At minimum a lovely scratch behind the ear.
2. Sound happy and exciting. Why would I come back if you were cranky. Ah… Nah… Will stay where I am thank you. High pitch happy voice…ohhh I think maybe something fun going on. Better head back and see what mum is doing. Jumping around like a silly person can help if you are up for it or sometimes mum calls my name and then runs in the other direction so I come chasing her. It makes it a game. I like games.
3. Other motivators. When we are getting in the car at home and I wander off up to the letterbox sniffing mum has been known to grab the ball from the boot and stand and bounce it. Guaranteed to get my attention and get me to come back. Different dogs like different things. Owners… Your job to figure it out.
4. Don’t just call me back when it is time to put the lead on and leave. If the only time you call me is to leave the fun then I am going to figure this out and not come. I’m a smart dog but I will give you a hint… Mix it up. Sometimes call me, give me a treat and then let me go again (after a scratch behind the ear) just to keep me guessing. Calling me shouldn’t also mean that the Fun Police have arrived to finish up the party. Sometimes even put the lead on and take it back off again so I get used to that. Ohhh and treats when the lead is on. It helps me understand the lead is ok.
Rather than a bunch of pictures we did a quick video of me coming back on our walk this morning. Little Miss Poppy was with us too… Mum gives her treats too when she comes so she is pretty keen to head straight to mum when she calls.