As summer is approaching in my job as a dog trainer I am getting lots of requests for help with recall. As the sun shines and longer off-lead walks are taken, getting your dog back on walks can suddenly feel like much more of an issue.

Well this Bank Holiday weekend I thought I’d share with you some of my top tips for keeping your recall on track!

Stay Calm!

Being in a situation where your dog won’t come back to you is not fun. I’ve been there! But remember if you panic, get stressed, or start getting angry with your dog then things will just get worse. With every rise in your blood pressure you are lowering the chance of your dog returning to your side! Breath, count to ten and bring out your “happy” voice!

Stay Safe!

Recall is a serious safety issue. If you know your dog won’t come back to you, use a long line to ensure your dog’s safety and your sanity. There is nothing to be embarrassed about, in fact other dog owners should applaud your sensible plan. With every long line sold at Ruff Shop, we send you out a training helpsheet to help you get your recall back on track.

Keep things fun!

I see a lot of clients who are so stressed about the idea of getting their dogs back on a walk that ALL walks become a stressful experience. Think FUN! Play games with your dog, have cuddles, laugh, enjoy the world and bring fun back into your walks. You will both be more relaxed then and your bond will grow. A fun owner = an owner a dog wants to return to.

Click to Success!

Using a clicker to mark your dog’s intention of returning to you can make them more likely to commit! The clicker works brilliantly for marking correct behaviours at a distance – so can really help your dog learn when it’s getting things right. Check out our Clicker Guide to get started.

Emergency Whistle!

I like to have an emergency recall cue, for those times when your voice just isn’t cutting through the environment. Using a whistle for an emergency recall can work really well as the tone will carry better on windy days or when your voice is a little croaky. I pair the whistle with an ‘ultimate reward’ such as liver paste to make it be SO exciting to come back for. Check out our Whistle Training Guide to get started.

These are just a few tips to help you along the way, but the most important thing is practise! Make time every day to recall your dog – whether it be on walks, in the house or coming back in from the garden. Regular practise creates an automatic response for your dog and means you are less likely to fail. If you feel like your recall is on track, still keep practising – there will always be a new environment or distraction that could put things back a step.

Got any questions? Add a comment below and I’ll help in any way I can.

Happy Bank Holiday weekend to you all, from Caroline and the Ruff Shop Team.