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Improving Your Dog's Recall

Improving Your Dog's Recall

by Beth Ostrowski-Parks, CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA



Training Tips from the Training Staff at It's PAWSible!



Improving your dog's recall...Does your dog come when called?

We would like to remind everyone that you should never stop training the recall. This exercise is the most important exercise your dog can learn. Your dog can be trained and should come 99% of the time when you call him. Do you have that kind of recall percentage? If not, you can. 

Unfortunately, it's very easy to train your dog not to come. Have you ever found yourself in one of these situations?

1) Your dog is having a blast with another dog running around and playing and it's time to go home so you call him to come.

Your dog's response: I'm having way too much fun over here to listen to you right now. I can't hear you!

2) Every day at around 7:45 a.m. you call your dog in from the yard so he can go in his crate or just be alone in the house while you go to work for the day.

Your dog's reponse: Why would I want to come in now? If you're leaving, I'll just stay outside--thanks.

3) You just found out that your dog has an ear infection and you need to put drops in his ears a couple of times a day. You call your dog as you are going towards the cupboard with the medicine in it.

Your dog's response: I've seen that look on your face before, NO WAY! 

So what should you do in all of these situations?

You simply go and get your dog without commands and without pleading him/her to come to you. When you get to your dog, put the leash on and say, "let's go" in a happy voice. Giving treats at this time is a great idea, too.

What can you do to help the recall?

Train it! Start playing hide and seek in the house, play hide and seek outside. Or try hiding when your dog isn't paying attention to you and call him or just stay silent and let him find you. Throw a party when he gets to you!

Play recall games back and forth with your dog. If there is only one human, try this: Show your dog a treat and throw it. As your dog is running to the treat and begins eating it, call him/her back to you and treat the recall. Then do it again. This is so much fun for your dog. 

And being fun is the ultimate goal. You want to be a leader for your dog but you also want to be fun to be around. Dog's love to play and if you can learn how to play with your dog, your training will be easy!

Have a lot of fun with this one.  It's easy to forget to train it, yet it is really so easy to do.