My dog has 5 recall words or commands. I know this sounds excessive, but I love recall. In fact, my dog knows pretty much nothing else except this important command.
He’s pretty good with this one, but I felt like I used it too often. For example, when he was on one side of the couch, and I was on the other I might say, “Come here, Eddy” to get him to come and cuddle. He didn’t want to cuddle and therefore, didn’t come. Word ruined. If I just say “Come” in a really excited voice, he still obeys, but it’s not his best word.
Eddy is reactive to other dogs, so we put him in AnimalSense’s Doggone Issues class. Not only did this class help me to manage his needs better, we also talked about the importance of recall and how we might want to change the word to “Here”. He’s very good at this one, as we only use it when we know he’s going to come. In other words, when he’s looking at me from across the yard or looking like he’s going to approach I always yell “Here!” and make it a huge party when he gets to me.
Eddy’s full name is Edgar Aluicious Garrity. My husband named him, but I felt like I needed to put his middle name to good use, so Aluicious became Eddy’s emergency recall word. Every day when we feed him, we take one piece of kibble out, say “Aluicious” and he comes from a short distance for the treat. We’ve been doing this for at least 2 years now. I have thankfully never needed to use my emergency recall word, but I did practice in the yard once, just to test the theory, and he totally came to me. It was an amazing experience.
For “Front”, he must sit directly in front of me first, but technically its still a really great recall word. Plus its just another tool in my recall belt. For “Touch”, this one helps me to have Eddy target my hand so he comes directly to me. Both Front and Touch are great for recall because the dog has to do something in front of you. If they get away, it is much easier to grab them, where with other recall commands, the dog might come, but then run right by you.