Coming When Called: How to Improve Your Dog’s Recall!

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Dog’s Recall: Coming When Called

Hey, it’s Tenille here from Dog Matters. Today we’re going to do a quick video on how to improve your dog’s recall, which is coming when called. So first I’m going to show you what not to do, and to do that I’m not going to use a real dog, because it would be a little bit unfair. So I’m going to use my pal here, Scooby. Scooby, oi, stop doing that. Scooby, come, come. Scooby, come. Come here. Here. Come here. Come. Come here. Come here. Ah, no, bad dog. You’re not coming when you’re called. Come. Come here. Bad dog. I told you to come. Now we’re going home. Oh, you never listen. We’re going. Okay, that was a little bit unfair, because Scooby’s actually one of my better behaved dogs. He does a great stay.

I’ve got Chester here today. Yeah, Chester. He’s going to help me out with the demo. So there’s a few rules to always keep in mind when you’re doing your recall. First, is that the recall is always highly rewarding. So use your dog’s best reward. That could be something really valuable like a meaty treat, a toy, a ball, a Frisbee, or something like that. Something the dog really, really loves. Another thing you can do is release the dog back to having fun as a reward. Don’t accidentally punish your dog by only calling them when you’re ready to put the lead on and go home if they’re having a ball running around somewhere.

The next rule with the recall is to set yourself up for success. To do this we always want to work using a long line until the dog is 100% reliable in that environment, and then we can start doing off lead recalls. So let’s have a look at how we would use the long line to improve our recall. We want to not worry about our excess line, just let it drag on the ground, whatever you’re not using. Let the dog go free, exploring, and practice calling them when they’re actually distracted. Don’t always get them to stay and then call them. Because when we need to call our dogs the most, it’s usually when they’re distracted and doing other things. Let the line sort of flow between your hands.

Off you, Chester, go. Wait til the dog’s not looking at you. Say their name first and then say their recall word after they’re already looking at you, and then real them in. Free, off you go, off you go. Chester, here. Good boy, yeah, good! Have a nice piece of sausage. Good boy. Free. Off you go, good boy. Chester, here. Yes, good boy. Free, yeah. This way. Good boy. Off you go. Chester, here. Yes, good boy. Now, if your dog’s coming in really quick like Chester did, you might not get the line all the way in, but try and reel it in as a habit, because the whole reason that we have this on is because it’s like your training wheels, it’s your step between on lead and off lead work. It’s there as a backup to make sure that you can make sure that the dog comes to you when they’re the called, the first time every time. Don’t repeat your command over and over. One command and then make it happen.

So, one of Chester’s favorite rewards when I call him at the beach off lead, is just to go again. So let’s have a look at how he does. Free. Chester, here. Yes, good boy, good. Now, I can give him the sausage and he’ll take it. But what he really wants to do is go again, and that’s his reward. Free, yeah, good boy, go! I don’t even really need the treat because he loves this experience so much. You can really use life rewards to your advantage. Chester, here. Good boy, thank you. Uh-uh, sit. Good boy. Ready? Free. I just wanted him to look at me before getting released.

You can see Chester loves the experience of being recalled and released again so much from practicing it, that he’s just looking at me ready to go, which is a great skill for your dog to have. Here. Good boy. Good boy. Always make sure that when you’re playing this game you can still grab the collar and they come in close enough for you to do that, so that when it is time to put the lead on, you can do that easily. Free. Here. Good boy, good, good boy. Free.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this video today. Thanks for watching. If you have enjoyed it and it’s helped you out, please do share the video online with your friends. Don’t forget to head on over to, where you can get another free video with my top six tips for a loose lead walk with your dog. And you can buy my ebook, which has all my training methods in there for a range of exercises. I hope you have liked the video, because don’t forget, I did call a stuffed dog out in public for you. We also have the Dog Matters community on Facebook, so make sure you jump in, and we’ll see you in there. Thanks for watching. Bye. Here.

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