Originally Posted by Digston
Your game is exactly what we did in the puppy obedience class I went to. The trainer held the pup back while the owners hid, releasing the pup when the owners used their recall command.
My boyfriend and I still do this with our dogs. Now it is less for training and more for easy exercise
You've found something that works for you so keep it up. To address the pre recall running try playing your game in different locations, and at different times. We play hide and seek in our house. We take turns holding the dogs back while the other hides then calls the dogs.
I don't think you'll have to worry about your pup losing interest in the game... ours still haven't
Yes! So far this game has done the trick! It's really been a breaking point for us.
We also have a great "out-and-back" walk in the woods (about 10k). I think that with the out-and-back, it's easy for our dog to "know" the way. I've been able to let her off the leash the whole way, and sometimes she comes back on the path to check for me without me having to call her! She still likes to run in the woods (sometimes out of view), which is fine as she has come back every time I call! Hooray for small victories!
The next step is to let her in the yard on her own. Although something tells me that no matter how much training we do, she'll never be one of those dogs that just hangs out in the yard!
As of now, we've had our dog for just one year. It took that long for the training to really 'click'. So a word those adopting (or getting a new puppy): BE PATIENT. If you stick to positive, fun training, you'll eventually affect some change! We're excited to teach our dog some new tricks, and maybe adopt another one!