In the early days of Ray living with us, I was introduced to two very important aspects of dog ownership.
The first one (as long as the dog is motivated by food) was learning “Treat Party!” This was said with as much excitement/exuberance as one can muster! My perspective of “Treat Party!” is that I throw to the ground a whole pile of treats. Ray’s perspective of “Treat Party! is that he is in for an impromptu feast! We use “TP” when we are talking about it and do not want to arouse Ray! “Treat Party!” can be an incredibly useful “tool”!
The other thing I learned was that if Ray started to run away from me, and if this was not looking like a good situation (perhaps running towards a road?), then never chase after him. He could just see it is a game of chase and continue on his way. What I should do, against all my chase and capture instincts, is to call him and run in the opposite direction. He will likely chase after me!
We are currently experiencing very hot and dry weather conditions with no immediate break in sight. We have two rain barrels that are empty, and there is every chance of an imminent water usage restriction. I decided to fill the barrels from the garden hose for just such a situation.
In a moment of not thinking, I left the gate open which provides access down the side of our house and out onto the street. Ray, of course, saw the opportunity and went running past me and heading for the front garden (and possibly the street). Where was he going? The neighbors were not outside! Perhaps he was going to look for Carol?
In a moment (that still amazes me), I called him and started running into the back garden and then started shouting “Ray! Treat Party!”. Within a minute, he was back and the gate behind him closed. Of course I had to give him a pile of treats as insurance that it will work if needed again, but it is worth it!
“Treat Party!”, and running in the opposite direction to an escaping dog. Priceless training!