It may seem like an obvious question, yet many dogs don’t practise a consistent recall… sometimes chasing, playing or sniffing around is much more interesting than coming back!
Recall can be a simple word such as the dogs name, or commonly ‘come’, ‘here’, or it can be a whistle which the dog associates with returning to the owner… but why is that a good thing?
In short, it can help us keep our dogs safe at home and outdoors. It also gives the owner confidence in being able to control their dog when needed, such as in moments of seeing livestock near by or avoiding your dog coming into contact with reactive dogs. Recall gives us a tool to use when your dog fancies rolling in poo, but you don’t have the time to wash it off before work, or to stop your dog chasing another dogs ball.
In all situations it allows us to create stress free walks knowing that your dog will stay near by and/or return when called. It also protects other animals and people, alongside protecting our noses from our dogs choice of fox poo eau de parfum!
If your dog is reactive to people, dogs, bikes, joggers etc then a strong recall can also give you confidence in allowing your dog further away from you, knowing that if their trigger were to appear, you can call your dog back without any confrontation.
So that you have a consistent recall, it is important to practise in lots of different situations so that your dog responds when needed. A long line is perfect for allowing your dog to roam on walks, but keeps everyone safe until a good recall is established. The long line is used during training so that you can practise teaching the recall as it helps set your dog up for success, instead of the dog being able to run away, or continue playing. If you’re a dog owner that enjoys the freedom of walking without a lead, it can be frustrating to use a lead… however, the ultimate goal is to achieve a lead free walk. The lead is only in place to ensure the dog and other people/animals are kept safe, and to avoid those ‘Oh, s#!t’ moments.
Teaching your dog recall is fun because there are so many games that you can play with your dog that strengthens the response to name. It’s also a way of developing trust with your dog, as it doesn’t also mean that the lead is going back on! It means that there is going to be a game or a treat, or maybe just to check in. It’s a way of engaging with your dog on a walk and enjoying your time together 🙂