Here are a few simple rules to train a great recall
Today, I received a call from a person who said he was calling because he was looking to help his client find a dog.
The caller described his client as a “geriatric shut in”, who just put down his elderly dog.
He was interested in a specific shelter dog for his client. The dog his client was interested in adopting was a 3-year-old dog aggressive, high drive Pit Bull Terrier. This is a dog that we are hoping to place as a narcotics detection dog program. This dog would thrive with a job. I explained about the behaviors we have seen from the dog and the fact that some of our young male volunteers struggle to handle her. The caller insisted that he needed this dog for his client stating “My client has a fenced in yard and has big dogs all of his life. She’ll will be perfect for my client.” He exclaimed.
He hadn’t asked the family if they would want to take the dog if something happened to his medically fragile client. I got off the phone thinking “Okay, so maybe she’s perfect for the person, but what about the dog’s quality of life? It certainly wouldn’t be a perfect fit for her”
Not a single question was asked about what the dog’s needs would be, or about the dog’s personality.
This pushed me to post this blog that I had been struggling with.
A puppy’s first 16 weeks can influence its behavior more than most people realize. Puppy brains are very special. The results of many behavior studies and EEG measurements demonstrate that a puppy’s brain is better equipped to learn about new experiences with less repetition and to retain those memories and early learning experiences longer. The ease with which they learn begins to decline noticeably around 14-16 weeks. This is when the “critical period of socialization” window closes.
When we think about what is natural, healthy behaviors and lifestyles for domestic dogs we don’t think of hanging out inside all day, staring out the window all day. While some owners think of their dogs as lazy the truth is it’s very rare for a dog to be what we consider lazy. Dogs have been developed to be masters at conserving energy, so that on those long cattle drives or days hunting birds with their handlers they don’t get burned out or use to many precious calories. In the animal world efficiency is the name of the game. What is true is that a little yard time and hanging out indoors all the time rarely satisfies the needs of any adolescent dog regardless of breed.