Having a dog you can trust to come back to you whatever the situation is so important if you want to give them off-lead freedom. Whether you’re dog conveniently becomes deaf when you’re out, or their recall just isn’t quite 100% reliable, we’ve put together our top tips to give your recall a boost!
1. Management - if your recall isn’t 100% or there are situations you know your dog will just find too exciting, then using a long-line is a great stepping stone so you can keep them safe. Dogs will always do what they’ve always done, so a long line helps to prevent rehearsal of running off before it becomes a habit.
2. Always reward a recall - even if your dog hasn’t come back first time, they’ve been causing chaos and it’s all been a bit stressful! We need to make sure that coming back to us is a better option than running off
3. Reward experience - Sometimes a treat just doesn’t cut it, and we need to create an exciting experience for our dogs. If there are some dogs running around playing, or they’ve spotted a tasty picnic, then we need to make sure we’re offering something just as exciting so we’re always the best option. Think about what your dog loves - if they love a game of tug then offer a toy and a game, if they’re a foodie, can you throw the food for them to catch to make it more exciting, if they love to chase, run away from them with their favourite toy or treat and let them chase you for it.
4. Proximity - When your dog is off lead, reward them for staying close and checking in with you. It can help to have a cue to tell your dog when you want them to stay closer, and when they’re free to roam further. Giving them some extra freedom is also a great way to reward them for staying close - if they’re checking in with you, then you can reward that with the cue for more freedom!
We’d love to hear how you’re getting on with your dog's recall, and any top recall tips that have worked well for you. Let us know in the comments!