How To Do Recall Training With A Dog

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How To Do Recall Training With A Dog

June 24, 2023 7 min read

How To Do Recall Training With A Dog

Recalling your dog is not as simple as just asking if they want to go for a walk!

If you try recalling your dog while they are in an aggressive or nervous situation, it can easily turn into a struggle for both of you.

This article will talk about some easy ways to do recall training with a dog. You will learn how to get your dog’s attention before taking them for a stroll, what types of dogs are most likely to need this kind of training, and tips on using off-leash exercise as a way to train recalls.


We know that every dog is an individual animal and no two dogs are the same. As such, these tips may work beautifully for your specific dog, but they might not be appropriate for other breeds or individuals.

Never force your dog to go for a walk when they don’t want to, even if you think you know the best way to get them out. It could hurt their feelings or put them in danger if they become frightened or agitated.

These tips were designed with one thing in mind: to help you teach your dog to respond to a verbal command and then take them outside for a few minutes.

Practice recalls with your dog

how to do recall training with a dog

Recalling with a dog is definitely not as easy as doing it with a person! This is due to two main reasons. First, dogs are less likely to show signs of fear or distress when you ask them to return to their owner or someone they know well.

Second, most dogs were socialized from an early age to learn how to interact with other dogs, so they may perceive another canine as a friend rather than as a threat.

That’s why it can be tricky to get your dog to recall correctly if he has never been trained before. Luckily, there are some simple ways you can work on this with any breed, even if yours was not exposed to puppies at a young age.

This article will go into more detail about practicing recalls in dogs, and practical tips that have helped many people train theirs. So don’t skip past the first point! :) Read on for our best tips.

Use a clicker and treats to train recalls

how to do recall training with a dog

When you take your dog out for a walk, you usually give a short warning before leaving. If however, this is not enough time to get him/her into position for back home, then they will continue going outside until they are forced to come back!

This can be very frustrating for both of you as well as other people around them.

It also may scare away potential owners since some may choose not to buy a pet due to fears of being gone with them for too long!

Luckily there is a way to help your dog learn how to recall! It’s called recall training and it uses a tool that helps connect dogs and humans – rewards!

For example, if someone asks you to do something for them, like say pick up their shoes from the floor, you would probably agree unless you have no money or goods to reward yourself with.

So what about when your dog needs to be recalled? You could use food as a reward but this might not work every time.

What about toys? Or maybe just a quick washup under the water faucet?

The trick is to find a neutral item that works for your dog, most likely done by nature. A favorite toy or treat that he loves gets used frequently will work best.

Use a shock collar and treats to train recalls

how to do recall training with a dog

When training your dog to do recall, or come when called, there are two main components. You will need to use either a leash-training tool or a reward-based tool to teach this!

The first is using a verbal cue to tell your dog to come back to you. A popular way to do this is to say “Heel” before walking away.

The problem with this is that your dog may not understand what “heel” means unless he has already learned some basic commands. This can be tricky if you want to work on recall since most dogs have it at least as easy as asking them to sit or stay for too long!

A more practical solution is to use a clicker or treat to help your dog associate the word “heel�” with coming back to you. By saying the word while giving a quick slap to the skin, like the thigh, you get the same effect of the initial command “Say heel.

Teach your dog to sit before beginning recalls

how to do recall training with a dog

The first time you call your dog back, he may not want to go! This can be very frustrating as you’ve invested lots of time in training him and this is his chance to fail.

He may even try to run away or ignore you when you recall him. These are totally normal behaviors that most dogs show when they feel overwhelmed for some reason.

This happens because it takes your puppy about one week to understand what “sit” means. He may have learned something similar like “come here” but never actually seen someone walking around with their head down looking for their dog.

That’s why it’s important to teach your dog to sit using a step-by-step process. First, make sure your dog is comfortable sitting alone. Next, take your dog outside for a few minutes while keeping an eye on him. When you think he’s ready, ask him to sit. Repeat until he does so without any help.

Once he gets the concept, move onto your next step. Begin practicing your recall at a shorter distance then work up to longer distances. As mentioned earlier, your dog may need more than one lesson to get the hang of it.

Be consistent

how to do recall training with a dog

Recalling your dog is not a quick, easy task, especially at first! Retraining a dog that has done something wrong can be very difficult because you need to repeat the action repeatedly until it becomes second nature.

Just like with any other training, repetition is the key ingredient in successful recall. The more times you practice your command, the easier it will become.

It may take several attempts before your dog gets the picture and learns what is expected of him, but don’t give up! Keep trying, and eventually he will realize that you are going to keep your word and work for you.

Be sure to use a calm, steady voice when giving commands as well. If you get excited or angry, your dog won’t understand why you are asking him to do something.

Also, remember that some dogs take longer than others to respond to recalls. Some dogs require multiple repetitions and reminders before they learn their lesson. Don’t get discouraged!

Blog post: Why Is My Dog Avoiding Me?

Bullet point: Socialization is important

When puppies under three months old are isolated from other dogs, they begin to feel left out and insecure. They worry about being the “loser” friend who is ignored by the new crowd.

Reward good recall

how to do recall training with a dog

The first time you try recalling your dog, there’s no way of knowing how he will respond. Some dogs may be reluctant to leave the spot where they got stuck, while other dogs may try to run away as hard as possible.

Some dogs can get distracted or scared when asked to return something they have lost, so it is important to reward your dog for successful recalls.

You could give him some praise, but more likely than not, he will need something extra to help him remember his task.

A small treat or toy that he must retrieve back inside the house is one of the best ways to teach your dog a new trick.

He will learn that going outside means bringing this item with him, and eventually, she will understand what item she needs to fetch if she ever goes out again!

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Be aware of your dog’s cues

how to do recall training with a dog

The second way to do recall training with dogs is by using a cue-to-command technique. This means that before you ask your dog to repeat something, they must be informed what command you will use to get them to perform it.

A common way to begin this type of recalls is to have your dog walk to you while you hold a treat in front of you. Once he gets close enough to reach out and grab the food, tell him “Down!” At this point he will automatically drop his head and paws because he wants the reward.

Once he has done this a few times, add in some new commands like “Take a break” or “Stay here for x amount of time.

Practice recalls at all times

Recalling with a dog is not easy! Doing so requires practice, so don’t worry about making a mistake.

As you work through this process with your dog, remember that it takes time. You will probably have lots of opportunities to try recall in the future, so do not get discouraged if he does not immediately succeed.

Practice as soon as possible after meeting your new friend for the first time, and keep practicing until you can do it without thinking or being prompted.

Once you are able to successfully recall your dog at home, you can move onto more difficult levels like introducing a new toy or taking a walk.

Cindy PetsForLife
Cindy PetsForLife

Hello, I'm Cindy, the founder of PetsForLife. I am a true animal lover with 3 cats and 1 dog of my own. My passion for all things pets has led me to create a unique collection of personalized pet gifts. Check out our personalized pet gifts on our website.

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