The 5 Rules of Recall

Take a moment and read these a few times to really get them engrained in your head. I’ll refer back to this often. 

1

Never call your dog for anything unpleasant…

…such as nail clipping, bathing, or having their leash clipped on to go home from the park. In short, anything that might give them pause the next time you call them. Only amazing things follow a recall. 

2

Never call your dog if you are not 100% sure they will come

All recalls should be successful recalls. Work at your dog’s level: If they have a kindergarten-level recall, don’t give them a graduate assignment like being called away from a squirrel or from play.

3

If you call and they don’t come, make it happen

Run over to them and put a treat in front of their nose, backing up as you get their attention so they follow you. Reward when you get back to a spot where they are focused on you, then release them back to their activities if it is safe. 

4

Never repeat your cue

Resist the urge to call over and over and over. It only teaches your dog to tune out the cue. Call once and, if necessary, use rule 3. Make the recall happen. 

5

Fabulous recalls get fabulous rewards

If you want your dog to stop whatever interesting doggie thing they are doing and come running to you, make it worthwhile. Use extra yummy treats—no dry biscuits here!—or a well-thrown ball, if that is your dog’s fancy.

Now let’s look at some Frequently Asked Questions