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Red Lodge, Off Lucerne Close, Royal Wootton Bassett, 
Swindon, SN4 7JQ

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Recall Training - How to train dogs to recall


What does recall mean in dog training?

Recall means ‘come’ in dog training. When training a dog to ‘recall’ or ‘come back to you’ you may find it easier to start training when the dog is a puppy. Most puppies will 'come' to you when you walk away because instinctively they’ll follow you. Making recall a reliable response, can take months of consistent and positive training but it is worth it. The easiest way to associate your puppy or dog with the recall or 'come' cue is to begin using it as soon as you bring him or her home and build the word or action up slowly.

When recall training make sure you are motivating and exciting for the dog so that coming back to you is always an enjoyable experience for your dog. Set your dog up for success by making it easy for him to respond and make sure you go at your dog’s pace, so only move to the next stage once your dog is proficient.

The recall cue is most important for safety (for both the dog and humans) and should be the first cue you teach your puppy or new dog. Building a good foundation is key to getting a reliable response. Here are some recall training methods you can use.

Recall Training - How to train dogs to recall

Teaching your puppy to come when called is one of the most important things you can teach it.

Use a variety of things to reward your puppy when it comes to you to really entice that puppy to come to you whenever you call it. And if you make the whole recall training process a big game your dog will love coming when called. Do remember to get down on your puppy's level when calling their name.

Be positive and Be fun! Puppies learn through play so use a variety of rewards when your dog is with you. You can use praise, play, food or toys - puppies love them all!

Puppies love to follow people so don’t be boring when you call back your dog. Be exciting and really welcoming and again, if you make the whole experience a game, it will be easier to train them.

Start the recall training process as soon as you have your puppy or dog in your home. When you call your pup to you, touch their collar and around their neck because that really sets up a habit of your dog coming right up close to you. This will help you in the future so they get close enough to you so you can put the lead back on. 

A common mistake that people make is when they are taking their dog for a walk in a park or field. You call your dog and it comes back to you then you put the lead on and take it home. Then the dog gets wise to this and they think every time they get called back they will get their lead put on and taken home, so eventually they won’t come back when called. So alternate what happens when your dog comes back to you. Try calling your dog, giving your dog a great reward and sending it off again to play. This is so they won't know if they'll get a treat or more playtime or get their lead back on. Another time you can put the lead on and take him home.

With the recall exercise your dog will learn that coming to you is a great thing. After a while you can lengthen the distance between you and the dog when using the command. Always reward your dog when it comes back to you no matter how long it takes the dog to respond. Never get angry with your dog if it doesn’t respond. If you show your dog that you’re angry when it eventually does come back to you your dog is not going to respond next time you do the recall.

That’s how you start teaching the positive recall to your puppy.

Have fun!

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Lucy Pet Carer
Red Lodge
Lucerne Close
Royal Wootton Bassett

Telephone: 01793 330 067