How does a dog learn to have great recall?

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Doggerel

OK, I have a question for all of you dog training pros out there:

If your dog has great recall, how did you train him/her?

I’ve always thought about this, and one of the most puzzling things to me is that the dog I know with the BEST recall wasn’t that seriously trained (or trained with methods that I disagree with, or have been taught are flat-out wrong).

Dublin is the dog with the most outstanding recall that I know. She lives, as you may remember, next door to my parents and my dad considers her his surrogate dog; he spends a ton of time with her. Dublin will stop on a DIME when you call her name. Dad told me that this past week, she got out of the gate to chase a cat in the neighborhood, but she stopped immediately when he called her — in the middle…

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2 thoughts on “How does a dog learn to have great recall?

  1. My dog is not great at the recall but he is great at wait. He’ll stop anywhere anytime and wait for me to get there. I think this worked because he knows it’s temporary. It a great command for safety for my wheaten terrier. If he’s off leash at the side of a road and a car is coming he’ll stop in one place until I release him. I’m interested to hear what you learn about recall.

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    1. Hi Kristina, Sydney, like your dog, seems to love “Wait” because he complies 97% of the time. Recall depends on how much I have reinforced, calling, sending him off to chase a bit of kibble in our “find it game” during that day. I describe the game under tips and dog leader games.

      However, dogs like children are individuals. Each has distinct motivators. I consider “recall” important. Because Sydney’s not only a chow hound, he’s a dog equivalent of a foodie. New treats, taste tested, make him 100 % recall (even if I skip a few times between and just lavishly pet and praise him).

      I want to try the long lead recall training with 25 feet to do the recalls, first in our fenced yard then out in a dog park, etc. I do think that dogs seem to respond differently depending on the activity nearby. Have you tried this method?

      On the funny side. Sydney goes barking-bananas NOTHING works. He just has to shout how excited he is or how happy he is to see a person he loves.

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