All footage was filmed pre-COVID-19.

What is recall training for dogs?

Dogs love being able to get off their leads and explore. But if getting them to come back is difficult, you might not want to let them off. That’s where recall training comes in.

If you’re planning to let your dog off the lead at any time, it’s important that you master the art of recall. This is where you are able to call out a simple command and get your dog to return to you quickly.

Recall training is a basic exercise, but an essential one. If your dog is straying into an unsafe situation (a busy road, for example), then having the ability to get them back to you safely is vital.

How to get started:

1 Start with your puppy or dog on a lead and in a quiet place free from distraction.

2 Initially, every time the dog responds to your call and focuses their attention on you, give them loads of praise and rewards.

3 Once you’re both comfortable in a private space, move somewhere with a few (mild) distractions.

4 Continue the recall practice on the lead. Remember: show tons of enthusiasm when your dog comes back to you, and keep the treats varied.

5 Repetition is the key—keep practising on the lead in various places until you feel ready to let your dog off.

What to watch out for

The most common problem in recall training is when you haven’t spent enough time getting the command right in a safe, enclosed environment. You’ll end up feeling that your dog is being disobedient, and they’ll be confused.
Patience is vital.

Also, be careful with distraction levels. Don’t be tempted to head to an area that’s too busy until you and your pup are entirely confident.

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