Reliable recall is one of the most important skills your dog should learn, but this can be challenging to teach. Dogs find a lot of things interesting and when we are teaching them reliable recall, we are asking them to stop whatever they are doing and give their attention to us. This means asking them to turn away from appealing scents, other dogs, and even food.

Reliable Recall Training: How to do it?

The ultimate aim is for your dog’s recall command to become appealing to your dog more than any other distraction around. You can do this by gradually extending his recall sessions. Start off by having him sit and then calling him by his name. Once he has sat down, give him a treat and lots of praise, then repeat the exercise two or three times.

Once he has started to understand that he will get treats and attention when he responds to your commands, start to vary the number of sessions you offer. You will need to vary the time length of each session to suit your dog. 

Make sure you are not giving him too much praise at one session as then he may associate the behavior with getting praise, which defeats the whole object of dog training. Gradually increase the number of repetitions you offer as well as the time duration. 

By doing this, your dog will respond to your training and it will become much easier to teach him a reliable recall.

Give him treats

To begin dog reliable recall training, make sure you always have some tasty treats available when you practice. Your dog will love to see you all stretch out and have a good time, so make sure you always have something tasty to chew on. 

When he understands that when you say “come” and he comes, he gets to eat some tasty treats afterward. This helps to reinforce the idea that when you say “come”, he should come.

Off-leash playtime

Another reliable recall training, you can use off-leash playtime. You can train your dog by allowing him to run around in your garden or in the local park. As he plays near to you, point to some objects in the grass and have him walk past them and give him praise. 

After he’s gone past them, say “come” and give him some praise. It will take some time to get used to doing this, but it is a very effective way to train him to come when you call him.

There are many different ways you can use off-leash playtime to train your dog for reliable recall. You can even use it as a reward for obeying another command such as when you tell him to sit or come. However, be careful not to use the word “come” too often as he may get confused. Some people prefer to use the word “stay” instead.

Another way to train your dog reliable recall with off-leash playtime is to let him free to run around on the leash, but be very close to him. As he runs past you, say “come” and pull him towards you. As he gets closer, say “stay” again and lead him to you. Once he is within a few feet of you, release him from the leash and lead him into a treat or his favorite toy.

Effective Recall Training Tips

  • Call your dog once and that’s it. If you have to constantly repeat your recall cue, it is either the distraction might be too distracting or your dog doesn’t know this skill very well. 
  • Reward your dog with eye contact. When you see your dog maintaining eye contact with you or has decided to be close to you, give them praises and treats. What this teaches your dog is when they choose to be near you, good things will happen. 
  • Don’t punish your dog. Reliable recall takes a lot of time to teach. Even if your dog is slow in learning this skill, still praise them every time they do. 
  • Always reward your dog. When training a dog for reliable recall, give them high-value treats and toys, especially during the early stages. 

These tips should help you train your dog in a reliable recall. Keep in mind that dogs instinctively know their name. Using your voice to call their name when they have come to you is a great way to remember them. Even if you never want to touch them, pat them or give them a hug when you are at the dog park. 

When you go places where there are crowds of people, especially with small dogs, remember to keep them close to you so they can call out to you.