How to teach your dog a recall – Transcript

Hi, I'm Sarah and I'm a canine behaviour and training advisor here at Battersea  

Today we're going to show you how to teach your dog to come back to you when you call them 

This is known as a recall  

Tt's essential that all dogs have a really strong and reliable recall before being let off lead in a public place 

This means that you can always get them back on lead and if necessary you can get them out of any dangerous situations  

The key to this training is to make sure it stays fun for your dog that way you'll ensure that it's always appealing for them to come back to you  

The last thing you want is for your dog to associate going back on the lead with all the fun ending  

It's also important that you never get angry with your dog if they ignore you because if you do that they really won't want to come back to you  

You need to start your recall training in a secure area in your home where it's quiet and where your dog doesn't have too many distractions  

You'll need to work out what type of reward motivates your dog the best and for many dogs this is going to be food but for some dogs it might be playing a game with you or maybe their favourite toy  

Whatever the reward is it needs to be something your dog really likes and that you only use for your recall training  

Begin by teaching your dog the cue word for your recall  

This could be “come here” or even a whistle  

Just make sure that once you've chosen a word you stick to it  

Stand near your dog and call them to you with lots of enthusiasm using your cue word and their name and when they come to you give them lots of praise and whatever it is you've chosen as their reward 

Keep repeating this throughout the day around your home and in the garden and once your dog comes every time you call them you'll know that they understand the cue word 

Next try calling your dog when they're a bit further away from you in a different area of the house and make sure that you reward them as soon as they come to you  

Practice this until your dog is reliably coming back to you from wherever they are if they're struggling they either don't understand the cue yet where it may be that the reward you're offering isn't tempting enough 

Once they understand the recall you're going to need to start to introduce distractions around your training and in order to do this you're going to need a friend to help you out  

Have your friend distract your dog by playing with them or doing some other training  

When you're ready call your dog and reward them as soon as they come back to you  

Practice this a few times over a few short training sessions  

Now your dog is confident with this you can start to practice during their walks  

Whilst they're still learning we'd recommend using a long line training lead attached to a harness  

If you need to you can use this to gently reel them in calling them as you do so and then you reward them once they get to you  

To begin with, only recall them when you're confident they're going to be successful  

For instance not when they're playing with another dog or when they're sniffing something really interesting  

You can build up to these situations as they improve when they come back to you reward them and sometimes click the lead back on for a few seconds 

It's important to practice this throughout the walk not only at the end when it's time to go  

Once your dog is reliably coming back to you even when there are distractions you can then consider removing the long line  

Always practice your recall and reward your dog for coming back to you  

Those are our tips on how to teach your dog a reliable recall if you'd like to learn more about how to teach your dog The Battersea Way visit our website and follow our channels