Recall Skills For Dogs

Do you want to train your dog to come back when called? Kat Johnson shares her tips for improving your dog’s recall skills

Tips For Improving Your Dog’s Recall Skills

  1. You should start training puppies as soon as they are old enough to go outside.
  2. If you have a rescue dog, you need to spend time getting them used to their new home and building trust with you (their new owner) before you embark on recall skill training.
  3. Training should be fun. Start by practicing in the garden. Make it fun to come back to you or reward them with a treat when they do come back.
  4. Minimal distractions are key and training should take place daily in a location where there are no distractions.
  5. Don’t let your dog move too far away from you when you first start training.
  6. Vary the rewards your dogs gets daily. These rewards could be normal dog food, special treats and high value food treats. Toys and play time should be included, especially with younger dogs.
  7. Try and get the dog to come back to you every few minutes, put them back on the lead for a short while, then continue training. This will stop your dog associating having their lead on as home time (and the end of their fun).
  8. Always be positive when the dog comes back to you (even if you struggled to get it to come back). Negativity may make the dog more reluctant to come back. Instead think of the reasons why it took the dog so long to come back (too many distractions? No treat? No interest in the reward on offer?)
  9. Never chase your dog – it will think it’s a game and run further away from you. Instead, turn around and run in the opposite direction. Alternatively, feign interest in something on the floor.
  10. Dog training classes are a great way to teach your dog to come back in a friendly environment where there are dogs and other people.

Dog Training Classes

If you are interested in taking part in dog training classes, Kat Johnson runs these at Pride Veterinary Centre on a Wednesday and Sunday. For more information please contact the reception team at the Scarsdale Vets Park Farm practice on 01332 554422 or speak to our dog trainer Kat Johnson.