Recall

“Come”, “Here”, “Quickly”, “Hurry Up” 

Recall is probably the most important behaviour that you can teach your dog. Having them come to you every time you call could literally be a lifesaver. We will train the foundations of a reliable recall without distractions so that we can eventually take it to the dog park to use to interrupt your dog during play. 

The best way to build a reliable recall is with patience, persistence, practice and lots of high-value treats. Since you must feed them anyway, making your dog work for a portion of their daily calories is a great option. 

Rules: 

  • Be consistent – use the same recall word (in the same tone of voice) or sound each time 
  • 1:1 ratio of the recall word and food – every time the word is said, food happens
  • After giving the food reward, send them back to “go play” 
  • Prepare treats well ahead of time (we want them to disconnect food prep from the party) and if possible, use something that is never given at other times 
  • Never engage in “catch me if you can” games; be patient and wait for the opportunity
  • When training, never call them for things they don’t like (to leave the park, get a bath, go to the vet, etc.) 
  • Only call them if you’re 99.99% sure they will come – you be comfortable betting $100 that they’re going to come when you call

Directions:

  • Begin in the home with no distractions.
  • Do only 2-3 single reps per step at random times in random contexts each day.
  • Praise during approach and reward generously with treats every single time. 
  • If your dog does not come to you after much prompting, do not repeat your cue! Go to them, leash them up and walk them away from the distractions for a few minutes before allowing them back.

Gradual criteria:

  1. From 10 ft, cue then prompt with happy talk, crouch, clap, back away 
  2. From 10 ft, cue then prompt with happy talk 
  3. From another room, cue then prompt with happy talk, if needed 
  4. From the other end of the house, cue then prompt with happy talk, if needed
  5. Outside while on the leash
  6. Outside in the yard
  7. Outside in an empty park, off-leash
  8. Outside in a park with 1-2 dogs but not during intensive play
  9. Outside in a park with more dogs but not during intensive play
  10. Outside in a park with 1-2 dogs during play
  11. Outside in a park with more dogs during play