Why teach recall?

Recall, or “come” is the command you will use to ask your dog to come to you. Recall is a foundational behavior that ensures that your dog will always come to you when you need him to, whether it’s to call him for dinner, time to leave the dog park, or to keep him out of harm’s way. Training recall can take time until your dog consistently responds in all situations.  

How does Companion teach recall?

Companion teaches your dog to come close to it when hearing the word “come”. The training focuses on distance and attention. It teaches your dog to change their direction so they start walking or running towards the voice that is calling them when they hear “come”. Like other behaviors, Companion teaches “come” by using acquisition, pairing, and stimulus control.

Acquisition

is the first step of learning. At this stage, Companion will simply reward your dog each time she walks from the end of the training area toward the treat dispenser. When she arrives close to Companion, she will hear “yes” and get a treat. She will soon understand that every time she comes near Companion, she gets a treat, and will start to repeat that behavior consistently. 

Pairing

At this point, the training switches to “pairing”, meaning associating the vocal command “come” with the behavior of recalling towards Companion. Everytime your dog starts toward Companion, she will hear the word “come”, then hear “yes” and get a treat when she reaches it.

Stimulus Control

Finally, Companion will work on “stimulus control”: ensuring that your dog will respond to the command “come” when she hears it. Companion will time saying the word “come” at times when your dog is moving away or looks distracted, teaching her to respond even in the presence of distractions. She will graduate when she is consistently responding to the cue “come” while distracted.

How to practice recall at home?

Practice recall at home to make the best out of Companion training.

1. Set up

Take a small handful of treats in your pocket or your treat pouch. 

Sit down with your dog in a quiet, familiar room with your dog and make sure he doesn’t need to go potty

2. Give the cue

Stand idly and let your dog wander. When they look at you next, say “come”.

If your dog does not look at you, say their name, then “come”.

3. Reinforce or lure

If your dog does not start toward you within 5 seconds, do not repeat the word “come”. Make funny noises, whistle, or speak in a high pitched voice and back away from your dog to attract your dog towards you.

As soon as they move toward you, say “yes”, and give a treat when they reach you.

4. Repeat

Repeat this exercise in a quiet room until your dog consistently recalls 5 times, before moving to more distracting environments.

Keep training sessions under 10 min, and remember to keep recall fun!

Tips

Need more pointers to practice recall at home? Explore our tips!

Change It Up!

Remember to practice recall from different positions and locations. Practice asking your dog to recall while you are sitting, standing,...

Collar Grabs

One of the main goals of recall is to be able to leash your dog, so you should be able...

Pick an End Position

Picking an end position for recall can make it easier to perform daily activities, like clipping on a leash. To...

Use a Long Line

When your dog’s recall is reliable indoors, the natural next step is to start practicing outdoors, where distractions abound. But...

Reward extra for leaving fun

Keeping recall as positive as possible is a key to making this behavior consistent. The hardest part of recall is...

Play “Catch Me”

During your next walk, play “Catch Me” with your dog. Get her attention by making a noise or calling her...

Hide-and-Seek

Playing Hide-and-Seek is a great way to include recall practice in a fun game. Start by practicing recall at a...

Puppy Ping Pong

Puppy Ping Pong is a great game for dogs of any age to practice recall. To get set up, ask...

Pet parents trust Companion