• Saintly Dogs

AMAZING RECALL (OR NOT?)


Teaching an amazing recall starts at home. If your dog struggles indoors then good luck trying to get them to happily come running back to you in a park environment, especially when they’re having so much fun!


If you are fed up chasing your dog around, or you have a new puppy & want to teach them a fantastic recall, then start following these basic, simple, quick exercises today.


Adventure

Owners want to let their dog off lead to have a great time running free, an adventure of investigating, sniffing & socialising. Yes, this is important, but you need to be their adventure!!


You will need:

  • · Correctly fitted flat collar/ harness.

  • · Regular lead (no flexi/retractable/chain) & training line.

  • · Lots of food/treats/favourite toy.

  • · Happy/positive attitude!

  • · LOTS of patience & consistency!

Choices - time to think like your ‘dog’

Your dog always has a choice, should they come back when called or not. They will always pick the option which has the most beneficial/rewarding outcome. We need to make sure that coming back to you is the most fantastic, fun & rewarding option.

Action plan

When teaching your dog, keep everything simple so they fully understand. No extra words!!

Always begin the exercises in a quiet, calm environment, with no distractions.

Only when they are doing well gradually introduce small distractions, then increase difficulty when achieving reliable results. If they are struggling, go back a step.

Set them up for success, not to make a mistake!


These exercises are quick and simple, practice.


Be fun – initially practice this exercise indoors, then in your garden.

  1. Run around encouraging your dog to chase you (not the other way around!) in your home garden.

  2. Make happy sounds and be lots of fun!

  3. Play Hide & Seek.

  4. When they reach you, heavily reward with either food/treats or a quick play session.


Word Association

It is important that your dog fully understands, and responds to, your chosen recall word. If you prefer to use a whistle, follow the same exercise, replacing the word with the whistle.


  1. Choose your recall word carefully. Keep it simple and never add extra words.

  2. Always say this word in a happy tone. They won’t want to return to an angry owner!

  3. Twice (or more) times each day do 5 repetitions of saying your recall word and each time immediately follow with a yummy treat.

  4. Use a high value treat, that they will never get at any other time.


Introducing word to action

  1. Asyour dog is chasing/running towards you, add your recall word.

  2. Only ever add your word if you know they are definitely coming back to you!

  3. Heavily praise/reward.


Time to put their lead on

  1. To prevent your dog coming back, eating their treat and then running off again, start to introduce holding their collar/harness before rewarding them.


Practicing outdoors

  1. When they are ready to start learning in new environments, such as in your garden or on walks/in the park, always start with the basics again so they fully understand this exercise applies in all places/situations.

  2. ALWAYS practice using a long line until your dog is reliably returning without you needing to guide them back.

Avoid using longlines with front clip harnesses & headcollars, ideally use a harness with their lead clipped on the back area.


Extra tips

  • · Do not keep repeating your recall word or it will become ineffective.

  • · Never go to them, unless an emergency. Instead, run in the opposite direction/past them or hide.

  • · Practice calling them in various situations, such as when they are playing/distracted at home, not just outdoors off lead.

  • · Do not just call them back when it is time to go home. Regularly recall them, treat/reward, then let them go off again.

  • · NEVER tell them off if they do not come back or are slow in returning.

The quickest way to achieve success? Take your time & be patient!

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