Puppy recall training is probably one of the most important things you can undertake as a dog owner as it will help keep your dog out of potential danger.
Introducing recall training
To introduce the recall, make sure your dog is on the lead in the garden. As an initial recall, follow the below steps:
- Take one step back
- Ask them to stay using a flat hand
- Pause for a few seconds (around five seconds)
- Call your pup back
- Reward them with a treat
The recall command can be developed from here.
In the early stages of developing your puppy’s recall, stay relaxed about it. You’re simply looking to get those first stages in place. You can gradually extend the distances that you’re moving away from the dog and once you’re away from them, you can extend the time that you wait there before calling the dog to you.
Top tip: Make sure you begin recall training in a relaxed atmosphere without any pressure. Also avoid using a finger when asking to stay!
Developing the recall
Once the initial recalls are looking settled, you can move on to recall training your puppy at a greater distance.
With the help of a partner, you can ask them to hold the dog in advance of you calling them. As your puppy returns to you, gently take the dog by the collar and reward him with food - this gives you a little bit more control.
Remember, body language and tone of voice are key to the recall. Keep your arms open and use an enthusiastic tone.
Once you have successfully got your dog back to you, you can encourage your helper to recall the dog to them, what we call a ‘Split-recall’.
Recalling in open spaces
If you feel confident with your dog’s recall in an open space such as the garden,
Once you’re feeling confident with your dog’s recall in an open space such as the garden, you can then take these skills out into open public spaces. You can then start to test your dog’s recall in increasingly difficult situations.
Find a quiet corner in a playing field and test your dog’s recall from a short distance.
Rather than letting your dog off the lead and hoping for a successful recall, you can use a long training line (these are usually around 30 to 50 feet - depending on your dog). Each time you call your dog, you can reinforce the recall if necessary by simply guiding the dog back to you using the long training line.
Recall training is about showing your dog that each recall means that they must come back. Equally, it shows your dog that they can’t learn to ignore you. Using the simple long line technique can make all the difference when developing the recall with a young dog.