5 Steps to a Great Recall

5 Steps to a Great Recall

Having a functional and reliable recall is one of the most important things you can teach your dog.  Giving them more freedom, keeping them safe, preventing them from causing problems, and having more fun are all possible with a killer recall.  Surviving the off-leash experience is absolutely possible, here are some steps to the foundation of recall:

  • Be sure to use a leash when in the teaching phase.  Applying tension to the leash at the proper times is essential to teaching the dog the correct direction in which to travel for a recall.  Equally important is allowing slack in the leash when the dog starts to go “on task” by moving in your direction.  As your training progresses, let the leash drag behind your dog so you can help them if needed.
  • Watch the position of your dog’s head.  Your dog’s head should be looking in your direction as the approach.  It may not seem like a big deal if your dog’s head is looking a bit to the left or right, but that is the first sign that they are going to quickly head in that direction and not yours.
  • Be sure to praise and reward at the correct moment.  We recommend not praising the dog for initially turning around and starting to come in your direction as this often leads to the dog not properly finishing the recall.  Instead, praise your dog for finishing the recall!  You can use verbal praise or a treats in your praise, but remember to do it in a timely manner.
  • Start to incorporate more distractions into your training.  This may mean going to a new location to practice, doing it in the living room as a family member rings the doorbell, practicing when the kids are running around in the yard, etc.  When you increase your distractions, be sure to take a step back and make sure your long line is attached to help ensure your dog’s success and safety.
  • Treat every recall as an “emergency recall” by holding your dog accountable and following through every single time.

If you live in the Austin area and would like help with your dog’s recall, come in for a consultation and let us show you that an off-leash recall is possible!

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