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Emergency 01620 822262
Haddington 01620 822262
Musselburgh 0131 6653343
Dunbar 01368 860461
North Berwick 01620 894471
Prestonpans 01875 814772

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Recall Training

Recall Training

Recall training, otherwise known as teaching your dog to ‘come here’, is arguably the most important command they need to learn.

It’ll help to keep them safe out and about on walks, and also improve their sociability and cooperativeness.

You will need:

  • Plenty of treats for rewards (choose appropriate nutritional treats or preferably take from their daily food allocation – toys may also work
  • A suitable harness and a training line/long line for your dog to wear

Schedule in some time to practice too. Training generally works better in short sessions, no longer than 5 minutes, multiple times per day.

Dog recall training, step by step:

  1. At home, call your dog’s name. When they look at you, toss them a treat. Once they pick it up, call them again and when they look over, toss another treat in a different direction. Play this game regularly with about 10 treats per session and your dog will soon learn to look at you when you call their name.

  2. You should start to find that when you call your dog, they not only look at you, but come over to you too. When this happens, kneel down and open your arms in an inviting gesture with a treat in one hand. Your dog should come over and as they do, label it with the word ‘Come’.

  3. When your dog gets to you, use the treat-holding hand to get their attention. Gently take hold of their collar/harness and once you’re comfortable, you can feed them the treat.

  4. Repeat this a few times. As your dog gets better, try it from further away, from another room or in the garden, until your dog confidently comes to you when called. If your dog is a natural and responds to the basic recall at least 90% of the time, try getting a friend or family member to fuss over them (or even feed them) and see if you can call them away from that!

  5. When walking your dog, use a training lead/long line on their harness. This will give them freedom but prevent them from running off. Call their name and reward them each time they respond – and if they come over to you, reward them with even more treats!

  6. Be careful when you first let them off the lead – aim to do it somewhere safe, and well away from traffic and distractions (such as other dogs). Only let your dog off the lead outside when they respond first time to 90% of your calls.

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