Tips for success
Keep the following tips in mind as you train your recall and incorporate the recall into
• Always make recalls rewarding.
• Use the highest value rewards you have.
• If you don’t have a reward handy, make a big production of taking your dog to get one. She earned it, and the whole party is a jackpot.
• Practice calling your dog away from something she wants, give her a high-value reward, and then let her go back to what she was doing. Practice that a lot.
• Do lots and lots of short-distance recalls. You’ll get more reps and build a habit faster. Grab your dog’s collar before you give the reward every time. Again, a recall is no good if you can’t catch your dog.
• Call your dog one time. If she doesn’t respond, go and get her.
• Don’t call your dog when she isn’t going to respond. Yelling “Missy, come!” over and over as she runs around ignoring you only weakens your cue.
• Practice your recall in distracting situations, increasing the level of distractions gradually.
Finally, don’t take recalls for granted. Remember, your dog’s life could depend on the reliability of her response. This means never, ever punish a recall:
• Don’t call your dog and then do something she doesn’t like, such as crating or confining her and then leaving her alone.
• If your dog is doing something you don’t want her to do, don’t call her and scold her—or even call her and ignore her. If you call her, reinforce her for coming.
• If your dog is doing something she enjoys, don’t call her away without rewarding her. Balance the times when fun ends with several “practice” recalls after which she is allowed to go back to what she was doing.