Last summer I took Susan Garrett's online course, "The 5 Minute Formula for a Brilliant Recall!" A different game was presented every day for a month to help achieve brilliant recalls. It was a good course and introduced a lot of fun games to play with your dog. I believe Susan's philosophy is that if you have a brilliant recall, everything else will fall into place - so to speak.
I think that's true - if you have a brilliant recall, you likely have a good relationship with your dog and he is much more willing to work with you. It's all about the dog finding the value with you, and not with other distracting things around him. Not having done a lot of these games previously, things moved along pretty fast and I found it hard to keep up. I was still trying to master the first day's game at the end of the month. Fortunately, at the end of the course, we were able to download all of the daily lessons so we could go back through them again at our leisure. So, that's where I am this spring, starting back with the basics.
Jackson has a pretty solid recall - but brilliant - it is not. So, now we are recommitted to going back through those lessons to make our recalls more brilliant. Today we worked on one of the first games to shape the basic recall. Jackson is not motivated by toys so I used the highest value food treat that I have found - moist dog food.
Since the weather is breaking here in the Midwest, it was a great day to get outside and play. (I wish I had done a lot more of this type of activity when I first started training Jackson : )