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Discussion Starter #1
Unfortunately I'm asking for help very last minute, but I thought we'd be able to come up with something over the last few days and haven't.

We're starting a recall class tomorrow morning and the intro email says:
One last and very important requirement, you MUST think of a unique recall word. We will not be using the word "come." You will need an exciting word. Here are some examples from previous clients, yahoo, wahoo, your dog's name said in a unique way (blu,blu,bluuuu), cheezy, pup pup pup, treat treat. The requirement when choosing a word is that it can be said happy and it is not used for anything else.

Do you all have emergency recall words? What do you use?
 

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Well I agree that a rock solid recall is super important. My phrase is dog's name CLOSE!!! That said I don't usually use recalls in emergencies. I prefer to stop the dog and go to them. So my real emergency word is DDRRROOOPP!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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Mine is “here here”.

I like yahoo, my friend uses it to cheerlead her Bernese Mountain Dog to jump over jumps when running agility. Her dog needs coaxing to jump so I know you can say it in a happy excited voice.
 

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Not to take this off target, but this thread reminded me of a previous thread addressing recall.

Catherine had offered several excellent pieces of information in it, one which she mentions in this thread. I hope she doesn't mind that I'll copy her here. I think the additional information will be self explanatory.

"In addition to emergency recall I think it is very important to tell your dog to stop and sit or down in place from a distance. It can be more dangerous to recall a dog to you if they have crossed a road than to have them stay in place for you to go to them...

You have to teach sit and down up close and then slowly add distance. The sit and down have to be super reliable. Also don't reward a distance order by calling the dog to you you have to go the dog and reward it for taking the order in place. It is also well worth it to teach the dog to take emergency orders when you are screaming at it so that when you are in a real panic and really screaming you don't freak your dog out."
 

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I'm currently using "LET'S GO!" as the closest thing we've got to a recall. Not especially unique, but always said with great excitement. Peggy (unless she's deep in play with her puppy pack) will drop what she's doing and run to me, excited to see what's next.

Also effective is "TOUCH!" She turns to look at me and, if I've got my hand out, she'll run straight to it and bop it with her nose. This is something we practice up close all the time, sometimes paired with a collar or harness grab, but I'm still amazed at what a great foundation it's been for distance work.
 

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Not to take this off target, but this thread reminded me of a previous thread addressing recall.

Catherine had offered several excellent pieces of information in it, one which she mentions in this thread. I hope she doesn't mind that I'll copy her here. I think the additional information will be self explanatory.

"In addition to emergency recall I think it is very important to tell your dog to stop and sit or down in place from a distance. It can be more dangerous to recall a dog to you if they have crossed a road than to have them stay in place for you to go to them...

You have to teach sit and down up close and then slowly add distance. The sit and down have to be super reliable. Also don't reward a distance order by calling the dog to you you have to go the dog and reward it for taking the order in place. It is also well worth it to teach the dog to take emergency orders when you are screaming at it so that when you are in a real panic and really screaming you don't freak your dog out."
This is so helpful. Thank you. Peggy tends to run in whatever direction I'm running, so if I were to panic and run towards her, she currently would run away from me. Could be very dangerous. I'm going to prioritize nailing the emergency sit and work on a clear release that's NOT triggered by my approach.
 

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I use "let's go" to mean "I am moving in this direction, and so are you." I also use a let pat.

I very much agree with a drop at a distance. This has saved my dogs lives. A down is better than a sit, I think, but whatever works. For distance recall I use a whistle. I whistle LOUD. Whistle once to get his attention and looking around, the second whistle allows him to discover where the sound is coming from and leap to you with great joy.

Also, hand signals. If there is a lot of noise distraction a simple hand gesture can get your dog to sit, down, stay, come, heel, left right,....
 

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I use a whistle. Each of my big dogs has a unique whistle. I used to lose my voice a LOT so words wouldn't work. All of my dogs have a nickname that ONLY I use. So if I had a dog named Natasha, it might be Nat, Tash, or cha-cha. Some of my dogs get nick named by others "The Beast" got her name because of how scary she was. I had a Haiko once nicknamed Boss. Depends on the dog. But for my dogs the nickname means something

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I use "Dangerous!", not necessarily in a happy voice. When we need it I am usually somewhat stressed, so having the dogs respond to a sharp, anxious tone is important to us. As others have said "Wait!" is at least equally important - I use it constantly in lots of different situations, so it is regularly practiced and reinforced. "Dangerous!" has Poppy dash to me and jump into my arms. I am much more likely to use "Wait" with Sophy as she prefers to stop and think about things.
 

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I used a song with a childhood dog "treat time, treat time, ____name___ wanna treat, treat time, treat time?". Subsequent dogs have been whistle trained as their emergency command. I completely agree with fjm about teaching dogs to respond to an anxious voice. In a real emergency I may not be a able to sound happy , and my dog needs to know good things happen even when I am upset.

Annie doesn't have a great recall right now (need to keep working on this because it's one of those things that comes and goes), but has a strong desire not to lose me. I use "wrong way!" And me changing directions and walking another direction. She may just hang out 5 ft away, but at least she came back.

And yes ... Stay at a distance is so important. I am remembering one dog who ran across a 4 lane highway chasing a chipmunk . We most definitely did not want her to "come", we wanted her to stay right there so a human could come and get her!
 

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I use "Dangerous!", not necessarily in a happy voice. When we need it I am usually somewhat stressed, so having the dogs respond to a sharp, anxious tone is important to us. As others have said "Wait!" is at least equally important - I use it constantly in lots of different situations, so it is regularly practiced and reinforced. "Dangerous!" has Poppy dash to me and jump into my arms. I am much more likely to use "Wait" with Sophy as she prefers to stop and think about things.
Excellent point. I try to teach my clients that if you dont train for it, you can't count on getting it in an emergency. Everything changes when a situation puts stress on the handler. It's a rare person who is self contained/disciplined/controlled enough to be calling "popcorn" in a high happy tone when their dog is going toward a coiled rattlesnake or about to bound into traffic. But if they've heard your tone when you mean business & for my dogs its wait with a stop hand signal... they'll do it. I had to stop Mr Layne from putting his nose on out red hot wood cook stove the other day. Every dog & my husband stopped & gave me big eyes.

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Rose n Poos I am glad you dug that out! I don't know that many people think of the idea of stopping the dog, but as some of the situations mentioned by others here illustrate it is an important behavior to train for. And as mentioned also it is important to add a collar grab and release for the recall too since you don't want the dog to think that coming to you is a buzz kill.



And again any word will work as long as you don't say it in common everyday speech and can say it with emphasis and get a reliable response.
 
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I had a golden/chow mix with 2 chi’s. I was worried the chow would come out and something would happen. I simply taught her the word “STOP!” It meant she had to completely give up whatever she was doing and not move and look at me.

I did have to use it. She was coming out of my bedrooms d seemed relaxed as usual, and getting to the end of the hall she saw penny (9 lbs), and pounced on her. She got her by the neck and I shouted STOP! It actually brought her out of her fight rage and she stood perfectly still and looked at me. I sent her to her bed to get her away from Penny and then put her outside. It saved Penny’s life as Millie had already bitten a hole in her neck. I figure if I use an abnormal word I’ll forget it before the dog does and not use it in a true emergency. Stop, for me, is a natural word to shout in a panic or dangerous situation. For everything else it was “quit it” so she couldn’t confuse the more light hearted command.


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Thanks everyone for the replies. I didn't get a chance to respond this morning before our 9am class, but I did read them all.

Before I posted here, one of the words I read and initially liked when looking for suggestions online was "Pronto," but I was worried that would always come out sharp and urgent sounding, instead of excited and happy like the trainer's email suggested. It sounds like there's two schools of thought on that though...sound excited so your dog wants to run to you, or train it sounding anxious because you probably will in a real life emergency situation.

After reading all your suggestions, my husband and I agreed on "here here!" but we ended up not using it yet in class today so we're not totally committed to it yet. Ateles was wayyyyyyyy too excited being back in a class with other dogs for the first time in almost a year, and far too distracted to be paying attention to me. The instructor suggested I just work on "touch" during the class and not introduce the word yet, until we were home and I could get him to focus. Ateles wanted nothing to do with his high value treats (bits of steak) or the baby food (turkey & gravy flavor) we were asked to bring. He just wanted to run to say hi to every dog and sniff everything on the property.

I hadn't thought of training "Stop" as well, so I really appreciate that suggestion. I understand how important that is. How do you train that? Do you just use your normal sit & down commands, adding distance as mentioned? Or do you introduce a new, "no fail" word at some point, similar to the emergency recall? If a new word, what's the correct process for that?
 

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Training wise I have different words for down (like lie down here and chill around home or during a break in training) and drop (like stop forward motion and chill where you are). Down is static and drop is in motion. You teach a drop by loose leash walking and turn in front of the dog's path to stop its forward motion while giving a signal to hit the ground for a start.
 

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Back to the happy recall word for a moment, what about using a word from a different language? The idea of "pronto" brought this to mind. Something really not likely to come up in everyday conversation like "andiamo", "aqui aqui" or "ven aqui"?
 

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I use both "freeze" with a super long eeee in the middle which basically means don't move whatever your position is, and "Fire" has always been my emergency recall word because I know myself it has to be something I can yell confidently...
 

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Good word ideas Moni.
 
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