One of the main complaints dog owners have is how their dog does not “come” when called. Just like teaching a dog to sit and stay, recall is also part of the obedience training protocol.

Here are some helpful tips from Performance K9 Training based in San Diego to help make teaching recall easier.

“One of the most important things to remember is not to get upset if your dog hesitates with the recall,” said the spokesperson at Performance K9 Training.  “Keep your voice happy and upbeat because dogs will react far better to that tone; make the recall a positive thing where your dog will learn to become
eager to come back to you.”

Clapping hands and making the request an exciting one with an upbeat tone will also capture their attention. Training should always be fun for both the dog and its owner. A helpful tip is to have a “treat on hand” when the dog returns. And don’t forget the “good dog” praises. These positive actions give dogs a reason to team up with their owner. Their favorite toy is also worth a try.

“Another thing to avoid is once your dog comes to you they are put up right away, let’s say, in their kennel or backyard. Let them play for a while longer so they don’t associate the recall with getting put up,” she said. Recall training can also be done during mealtime. Calling a dog to its bowl of food is very positive training.

Other helpful recall tips include:

  • Begin your recall training with easy requests
  • The early recall stages should be short distances and something achievable
  • Don’t do this training in areas where there are lots of distractions.

“If your dog doesn’t listen, don’t get angry; walk to your dog, clip on their leash and guide them to you,” she said. “When you have your dog’s attention, hold on to the end of the leash and call them to you in a happy tone with their favorite treat in the palm of your hand — gently pull them towards you if there is any hesitation and feed them once they get to their destination.”

Repeating the above scenario will help reinforce the recall training.

“Once your dog begins to understand the recall concept, increase the distance between you in increments one day and  one session at a time,” she said. All dogs learn at their own rate and learning curve.

“With time, patience, and enjoying the  moment, your dog will be running to you in no time at all.”