Dog Training

Recall Training – Simple Steps for Training your Puppy to Come When Called

Oh my, for some of you the time is getting close for your pup to be able to go out and about, off the lead for the first time and away from the sanctuary of home and your well enclosed garden. Will they stay close to me? Will they run away? Will they come back when called? If you put in the time now to prepare both you and your dog well, your first outing should not be so daunting.

Having a well trained, obedient dog is essential when you’re out for their safety and your peace of mind. Recall is an important part of your puppies training and the earlier you start the easier it is for doggy to learn. Remember those Latin and French lessons at school?

You can start Recall Training from six or seven weeks indoors before moving into the garden at 12 weeks and a secure field when you both feel ready. There are loads of secure field play areas for dogs opening up around the country, our local one is a lovely 2.5 acre field available to rent by the hour with a 5.5ft high netted fence and some activities. Using a secure field is a great way of giving your pup some freedom without you being racked with anxiety!

Use a whistle to make Recall Training a game for your pup. Have two of you in separate rooms armed with heaps of praise and loads of doggy’s favorite treats. After choosing a ‘come’ toot on your whistle take it in turns to summon pup and pile on the praise, offer a treat and use key words like ‘good’ and ‘take it’ when they come to you.

Once your doggy has got the idea of the game – ‘run to mum, (and/or dad) get a cuddle and a treat’ introduce a ‘sit and stay’ command – use a different whistle toot for this (write the different commands down so you don’t forget which is which!) Try and get doggy to sit and stay whenever he comes to you and don’t forget your praise key words and a treat.

Now doggy has ‘sit and stay’, move to a different part of the house and give the ‘come’ whistle command. Repeat this exercise by moving to different rooms, count to 10, give the ‘come’ command, praise and treats.

As doggy starts to learn these commands and they’re old enough to be out, it’s time to venture into the garden or a secure field to play the game outside. Use your long line (extra long recall lead) and keep all commands the same so there is no confusion for doggy. At this stage, if your dog gets distracted by smells etc give a little tug on the lead to re-focus them. Remember your key words and treats. Keep up with the ‘take it’ when giving treats so it becomes a clear signal to take the treat, especially useful if you have more than one dog.

As doggy grows up and needs to go for longer walks you can start recall training in a new place with lots of distractions like a park, wood or moor. The work you have already put in will now start to show its worth. To begin with, use your long line for safety while giving your dog freedom to sniff about and roam. Remember to reinforce your commands with praise and treats.

These stages all take time, but the results will be well worth you perseverance. Like children, dogs need to have a few guidelines to know where they stand. Once you and your doggy have learnt and practiced your recall training, you can let them off their long line with confidence that they will happily return to you when called. Hopefully your pup will love this recall training game more than you did double French after lunch on Thursdays!

We’ve got everything you need for recall training here

To help you get started with your Recall Training here are a couple of useful links to videos: