Teaching a Solid Recall
The recall is one of THE most important things we can teach a puppy. A dog that will come when called can enjoy the freedom of being off leash which translates to play sessions in the park, hikes, playing in an unfenced yard or simply just being free! A strong recall also alleviates stress on your part because you can trust your dog.
When a young puppy first joins your family, he has a natural instinct to follow you. I use this instinct to train my puppies to come when called. We spend a lot of time in the yard working and playing off leash. Every minute or so, I quickly move away from my puppy while saying, "COME!" and then I ALWAYS give my puppy a treat for doing so. I feed him a treat, take hold of his collar (because it's good practice and prevents the "catch-me-if-you-can game") and then let him go play again.
I do this A LOT! Multiple times a day, every day until my puppies know that when I say the word, "COME," it means they will get a treat and a scratch under the collar EVERY TIME. I start by calling my puppy to me from 2-3 feet away. Then I progress to 6 feet, 10 feet, 20 feet until finally my pups can be running on the opposite end of my acreage and come running from over 300 feet away. Every. Single. Time.