The first thing you will need for teaching recall is a long line, ideally 30 metres or so for both basic and advanced training. The goal with recall is to teach your dog that coming back to you on command is a positive, exciting and rewarding experience! In order to achieve this, you need to:
Start training in a quiet location, such as a garden, with minimal distractions or obstacles.
Step 1: Attach the long line to the dog’s collar and let your dog loose with the lead trailing on the floor behind them. If your dog strays too far, follow him/her and stay close to the handle end of the long lead. Once your dog stops at a distraction, allow them to sniff for a minute or two before picking up the end of the lead and commanding “Come”. At this point it is important to give the lead a slight tug as it will redirect their attention away from the distraction and towards you.
If they are still hesitant to look your way, repeat this stage until your dog looking at you on command, awaiting further instruction. Remember, the goal here is to get your dog’s attention on command, the lead tug is just a small reminder to not ignore you, so in time it will be unnecessary.
Step 2: Once your dog’s attention has been redirected, take a few steps whilst commanding “Come” in a positive tone. It may also be helpful to clap several times and/or come down to their level - the more exciting you make yourself, the more keen your dog will be to come.
Step 3: As your dog comes running towards you, encourage them to stop and sit before praising them with “Yes” and releasing a treat. Each time you practice this, reduce the amount of treat rewards and reward with praise instead.
Keep training sessions short and interesting!
Only check/tug the lead IF your dog is ignoring your command!
Be “exciting” when your dog runs towards you!
Praise for coming, ask your dog to sit and praise again!