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It is very important that you don't exercise your dog off the lead until they know to come when you call. Exercise them on a long line of 8 to 10 mtrs. The objective is to make them feel as free as possible but still have control.
Start at home
It is very important that you do not give treats at any other time, in case they don't understand the meaning of a treat as a reward.
Begin by calling at 10 to 15 minute intervals, increase the interval by 10 minutes each day. As the days go by, vary the place and distance that you call them from until you can call from anywhere in the house.
Your first field trip
Keep exercising them on a long line but call them back and reward them with praise and a treat, as you have been doing in the house. If they show more interest in their surroundings, attract their attention with a gentle tug on the line.
Again, when they have come to youevery time for 21 days you can be fairly confident that they will come whenever you need them to. It should then be safe to let them off the lead permanently.
If at first you don't succeed
Once you are satisfied that your dog knows to come back, you can remove some of the rewards. Never remove all of them, you need to keep refreshing their memory, at least twice a week.
Above all, be nice to your dog. No dog will want to return to an owner that shouts at or scolds them.
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