A few days ago, Isaac and I were hiking in a local park with a friend. Isaac was off leash and he really needed to run. We'd gone on walks the previous two days, but not anywhere he could run off leash. He was racing around super fast. You could just see he really, really needed to run.
Then, off in the distance, we saw a couple other hikers, with a dog. Isaac saw them and started off in their direction. I got out my whistle, which is what I use to recall him, and blew. I wasn't very confident he was going to come. Another dog is about the greatest distraction ever, except maybe food. Or deer poop to roll in. Anyway, I thought there was a good chance it was going to take some doing to get him to come back to me, or else maybe I'd have to go get him.
And then Isaac stopped. He stood still for a second. And then he turned around and raced back to me at top speed.
Isaac got a whole handful of treats for that.
Recall Level: Master
But then there was today.
It rained all day yesterday. It was raining this morning, too, but by afternoon, the sun was out. I knew it would be all muddy but I also knew Isaac really wanted a walk. I decided to go to a small park with a lake where he could swim, because it is so warm. 60 degrees here, three days before Christmas.
So I let him off the leash. He ran around, sniffed things, peed on things. He started getting farther away from me than I liked, as well as closer to the road than I liked. So I blew the whistle to recall him.
He ignored me. Kept running. Got father away.
I blew the whistle again. He stopped running, sniffed and peed on some stuff, but didn't come to me.
I got close to him. Pulled the leash out of my pocket.
He looked at me and then loped off in the direction from which I'd come. At least he was no longer heading toward the road, but still.
I was pissed.
He didn't go too far and then he stopped to sniff and pee some more and then I caught up to him and snapped his leash back on.
I informed him that our walk was over. Don't come when you're called or even worse, run away, and it is time to go home.
Recall Level: Fail