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Recall workshop notes.

We recently held a series of workshops for local dogs and it was great to meet you all. The first was the recall workshop and  here are some notes that I hope will be useful.

Firstly, there is no definitive way to guarantee that your dog will come back everytime you call them.

Here are some reasons why they may be ignoring you:

1. They cannot hear YOU – maybe they are distracted and prefers to be with their friends.

2. YOU aren’t important enough to your dog – there is no bond through respect in their eyes.

3. YOU are just saying their name – and not telling them what they want to do

4. YOU haven’t taught them yet – not trained

5. The word doesn’t mean anything to your dog – you think that come means come back to you but that is not what your dog thinks.

6. Adolescence has hit!

7. Your dog is stressed and simply cannot hear you.

8. They have a hearing problem  (they really cannot hear the packet rustle!)


We discussed a couple of things that you can practice at home:

Sitting in a chair – get your dog come and sit in front of you. Say dogs name and say come and reward.  You can reward by using treats, toys or just get your hands on your dog.  After all that’s what you will want your dog to do – get close enough to get your hands on .

Once they have got the idea, then use a treat to lure your dog away from you and then call them – get them back to sitting in front of you for the reward.


Once a week, choose a different day each week, every time you call your dog, reward them EVERYTIME YOU CALL THEM!

Make sure that you treat them everytime they come in from the garden – use a jackpot if they come quickly.  You can also practice this from one room to another.  Never miss the opportunity to remind them that as soon as they come you will be there to be reward and praise.


Use high value treats to reward to begin with – for at least a week.  Sorry a dry dog biscuit is not going to be good enough. Make it fun and worthwhile especially indoors.

Finally, we looked at being outdoors:

When out and about if you have any doubt that your dog will stray or not come back immediately when you call them, then use a long line – we discussed the type to use which should have no knots or handles on it and try to keep it clean for each outing.  About 10 – 12-foot max which is the length you are going to give your dog for at least the next month.  

When you go out, make sure your dog stays within the distance of your line and work with them to keep them engaged with you.  

Encourage them back to you all the time, so they enjoy being with you.  

We showed you that by keeping changing the direction and encouraging your dog to choose to follow you, saying “This way” your dog starts to make better choices.

Just to remind you that we are not saying your dog cannot go off and sniff and enjoy themselves but check the distance you are giving them and remain engaged in what your dog is up to.  Put your phone away, stop chatting to partners and enjoy some time with your dog – then they will enjoy being with you.

Although we didn’t practice this you can also keep changing direction with your dog and every now and then, stop and move backwards calling them.  Again, it is all about the bond between you.  It should be more teacher/guide -dog rather than pal and mate. Remember your dog will be attracted to a confident and positive owner who knows where they are going 😊

Its all about practice folks – if you let them practice ignoring you, then they will continue.  If you practice being with your dog and engaging with it, putting some light and shade in your voice, then you are much more fun to be with.


Want to come and practice with me at my secure field, then the next workshop is coming soon. Contact me today to secure your place.


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