Chase The Rabbit

Chase the rabbit - Recall by putting treats on the ground away from your dog and running away. 

  • Step 1: Show treat and throw it away - Show your dog that they have an amazing treat. Waive it in front of their nose but do not let them get it. When their attention is on the treat, throw it away from them onto the ground - aim for 1.5-2m away. Do not throw too fast that they lose track of where it ends up or that you threw it. Make sure that they can see it. Let them go and eat it. Do not say anything to your dog. 
     

  • Step 2: Automatic return to keep game going - Wait for your dog to automatically come back to you and give you eye contact.. Do not say anything or call them back. You want to capture their choice to return to you (the reward then holds so much more value being off their choice) and it is the return that keeps the game going. Bridge and reward by throwing away another treat. Do not feed the treat to their mouth. You want this game to be fast pace, with a high rate of reinforcement. To begin with they may be slower to return as they figure out the premise of the game. Continue to repeat the game until your dog instantly returns. 
     

  • Step 3: Swap direction and distance - Continue to repeat the above steps, now swapping the direction and distance the treat is thrown. This creates unpredictability and instils more excitement into the game.
     

  • Step 4: Introduce a sit - Increase criteria by now expecting your dog to immediately return, offer a sit and give eye contact. Bridge the eye contact off the sit. Reward 1 x treat to your dog's mouth and then throw 1 x treat away for them to get and start the game again. 
     

  • Step 5: Pair verbal command - When your dog is in the action of automatically returning to you, say the cue "come" (you can use whatever verbal cue you would like as long as you are consistent with it). Bridge when your dog gets to you but wait for an automatic sit and eye contact before you release the reward - 1 x treat into their mouth followed with 1 x treat thrown away.  
     

  • Step 6: Introduce a hand touch - Show your dog you have a treat and throw it away - for this step throw it at least 3 or more meters away. As soon as they turn around and look at you after eating the treat, with a closed fist wave it above your head. When your dog gets to roughly 1 meter away, hold your arm down and out next to your body with an open palm. Bridge your dog booping your palm with their nose and reward by throwing the treat away.
     

  • Step 7: Hand touch and sit - Repeat the process of step 6 but after the hand touch wait for a default sit. Bridge the sit and reward 1 x treat to your dog's mouth followed with 1 x treat thrown away. 
     

  • Step 8: Introduce a collar grab - Show your dog you have a treat and throw it away. When they return to you, lean down and grab their collar. Bridge and reward to your dog's mouth. Reset by throwing another treat away and repeat. 
     

  • Step 9: Collar grab and settle - Show your dog you have a treat and throw it away. When they return to you, lean down, grab their collar and wait for your dog to relax into the hold or sit - even better relax and sit. Do not command them to do this, instead capture. Bridge and treat either the relax or sit. Eventually your end goal is to be a relax into a sit. 1 collar grab = 1 treat. Repeat until your dog doesn't hesitate to relax and sit into the hold when you grab your dog. Reset by throwing another treat away and repeat. 
     

  • Step 10: Collar grab and drag - Show your dog you have a treat and throw it away. When they return to you, lean down, grab their collar and start to walk. The moment you feel the resistance loosen and they start to follow/move with you. Bridge but walk another 3 steps before rewarding them to their mouth as you continue to walk. Initially you may have to help them by luring them as you start to walk. Reset by throwing another treat away and repeat.