Does your dog have a rock solid recall?

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Someone sent me a link to this news story about a Texas dog owner being caught on video (taken inadvertently by a neighbor’s Ring security camera) beating her dog. The person whose security camera caught the event posted the clip on a social media site, where it was viewed by neighbors – and eventually, a local law enforcement officer. The local police department shared the video even more widely, asking for the community’s help in identifying the woman. Eventually, the woman was identified and questioned. Her explanation for her behavior? “Police say the woman admitted she hit her dog after she was forced to chase him when he ran from home.”

Well, beating and kicking him is a great way to make him want to be home. (SARCASM ALERT.)

It should be obvious that hitting and kicking a dog teaches a dog NOTHING (except perhaps to run faster from his or her abuser next time).

It’s strange to me, however, that many people struggle with keeping their dogs inside when their doors or gates are open – and with being able to recall their dogs from some tempting fun.

Train a recall often and make it fun

Does your dog have a rock solid recall?
Waiting inside door, no force or fear required

When people come to my house, they will undoubtedly be met at the door by my canine greeters. When I open the door, many (if not most) people who don’t know my dogs personally will initiate some sort of blocking maneuver, as if to prevent the dogs from escaping out the door. I am forever saying, “It’s okay! They aren’t going anywhere! Look, they come right back!” (Of course, I could tell my dogs to stay inside instead of allowing them to go outside when I’m letting someone into the house; they’re perfectly capable of holding a sit-stay or down-stay indoors – but I rarely consider this, as it’s not even slightly a problem if they slip outdoors; I can call them back without fail.)

I’m not bragging; their recall is something we practice constantly, if not daily. And it’s not a chore or a drill, I keep it fun! Often when I call them, it’s to initiate a game of fetch or hide-and-seek. Sometimes they get lunch meat, or scraps of my lunch. Sometimes I call them in from chasing a squirrel – and their reward for a prompt recall is encouragement to go chase the squirrel again! I keep our recall practice unpredictable, enjoyable, and always rewarding in some way.

Here’s how to train – and maintain – a solid recall

For more about keeping your dog’s recall fresh and quick, see the following WDJ articles:

Training an “Extremely Fast” Recall: https://www.whole-dog-journal.com/training/leash_training/training-your-dog-to-execute-an-extremely-fast-reliable-recall/

Using a Long Line to Teach Off-Leash Recalls: https://www.whole-dog-journal.com/training/on-leash-training-blossoming-into-off-leash-reliability/

Rocket Recall: https://www.whole-dog-journal.com/training/leash_training/rocket-recall/

Games for Building a Reliable Recall: https://www.whole-dog-journal.com/training/leash_training/games-for-building-reliable-recall-behavior-for-your-dog/

Also, here is a good one about stopping a door-dasher, without any beating or kicking required:  https://www.whole-dog-journal.com/behavior/put-a-stop-to-door-darting-dogs/

12 COMMENTS

  1. The Deaf Dog Education Action Fund (also called DDEAF) has an excellent website with lots of resources for owners of deaf dogs. We used it a lot when one of our dogs went deaf, it was very helpful. I donโ€™t know if I can put the link in this post, but they are at deafdogs . org

    A lot of people who get a younger dog who is deaf will use a โ€œV collarโ€ or vibration collar. This is NOT an โ€œe collarโ€ or shock collarโ€” The V collar just makes a little buzz to get the dogโ€™s attention. It is not painful in any way, although it can be startling until your dog get used to it. They have a lot of materials on how to use one well. You can start by just putting the collar next to the dog or even wearing it on your own arm and introduce the buzz that way. Then maybe hanging on the dogโ€™s harness. Again, just so they get a chance to associate the buzz with lots of treats.

    Personally I would strongly recommend not getting one of the E collars that has a buzz setting because itโ€™s too easy to accidentally use the setting that hurts. Just get one made for vibration only if you can.

    You can then use this to get your dogโ€™s attention for longer distance recalls. So it can give you both a lot more freedom than if you are relying on your dog looking at you in order to see the recall signal.

    (I think most people donโ€™t use the V collar as a recall signal itself, itโ€™s basically just like calling the dogโ€™s name. It means โ€œlook at me and I am going to give you another cue.โ€)

    If you donโ€™t want to try the v collar (and some older dogs just donโ€™t like it) , another alternative is to carry a tin with a very smelly treat inside. We used some really stinky salmon treats. We met other people who used sardines or tripe or even super smelly cheese. When you open the container, most dogs will whip their heads around and look at you hopefully. Some will even run right up to you. Itโ€™s a good way of getting their attention, except that you can only use it once in a specific area because the smell will linger. With the V collar you can just buzz again 10 minutes later so itโ€™s better for โ€œcatch and releaseโ€ play sessions.

    We practice recalls with all our dogs all the time, at least a couple times a day, and theyโ€™ve all been really good at them. I think itโ€™s just one of those behaviors that you have to keep training for the dogโ€™s whole life if you want to keep it sharp.

    • Thank you for your very detailed response. My dog is about 8 (not sure, he was rescued) and only became deaf during this past year. I will definitely look into the v collar and the deafdog.org.

  2. One more thing I wanted to mention it on the subject of recallsโ€ฆ Patricia McConnell ( The other end of the leash) has a great idea that we started using 15 or 20 years ago and really like. Each of her dogs has an individual name that they will respond to, but she also has a group name for all her dogs. We used โ€œDoggos.โ€ The point is that you can teach some behaviors with both the group cue and the individual cue. And itโ€™s especially good for recalls. So at our house 10 years ago when Dilly and Tulip were both out in the yard, I could call โ€œDilly, come!โ€ if he was the only one I wanted. Or โ€œDoggos, come!โ€ And they would both come. Saved time and was very practical. You do have to keep practicing all the variations, though.

    We didnโ€™t put all our cues on the group name, but we did use it with Come, Wait, Sit, and Down.

    • I foster and generally walk 5 to 8 dogs at a time, so I cannot call them individually. My recall cue is “Pack ’em in.” The whole pack returns to my side immediately. New fosters learn this command immediately from watching the other dogs.

    • Good point. I tend to call mine as a group “puppers” or “pups” (as in “See you later, puppers!” or “dinnertime, puppers!”). Never thought about purposely training a cue as a group, though.

  3. I back my SUV out of the garage and honk the horn, they all love to go for rides so they come running as fast as they can. I also have a deaf Dalmatian, and he follows the others. I do not drive the SUV on the drive at all with fear of hitting one.. They know the horn sound.
    We have 8 acres fenced in and they love to escape into the front yard. By the way we have one smart Dalmatian that opens doors and we have installed door closers to all doors that lead to the front yard. They are like toddlers!! Gotta watch them, and be one step in front at all times. We have 4 Dalmatians .

  4. Well first that โ€œwomenโ€ and many others like her should not have a dog!! I have my first ever dog. I take this responsibility very serious and go to positive reinforcement training. Iโ€™ve done everything you have suggested as well. Treat is my word…. Anna actually gave up chase of a bunny in the yard when I yelled TREAT…..the training works and Iโ€™m so proud of my girl.

  5. CAB ํ† ํ†  ์‚ฌ์ดํŠธ ํ™๋ณด๋ฅผ ํ•ด ์™”๋˜ ์ดํŒ์ž…๋‹ˆ๋‹ค.
    ์ž‘๋…„12์›”๋ถ€ํ„ฐ ์ดํŒ ์ˆ˜์ต๊ธˆ 526๋งŒ์›์„ ๋ชป๋ฐ›์•„์„œ
    ์ด๋ ‡๊ฒŒ ๋จนํŠ€ ์‚ฌ์ดํŠธ์— ๊ธ€์„ ์˜ฌ๋ฆฌ๊ฒŒ ๋์Šต๋‹ˆ๋‹ค,
    ํ™๋ณด๋ฅผ ๊พธ์ค€ํžˆ ํ•ด ์˜ค๋‹ค๊ฐ€ ํ™๋ณด ๋ฐฉ๋ฒ•์ด ๋ง‰ํ˜€์„œ ์‚ฌ์ „์— CAB์šด์˜์ง„์˜ ์–‘ํ•ด๋ฅผ ๊ตฌํ•ด์„œ
    7-8๊ฐœ์›”๋™์•ˆ ํ™๋ณด๋ฐฉ๋ฒ•์„ ์ฐพ๊ธฐ์œ„ํ•ด ํ™๋ณด๋ฅผ ๋ชปํ–ˆ์Šต๋‹ˆ๋‹ค,
    ๊ทธ๋Ÿฌ๋‹ค ์˜ฌํ•ด 5์›”๋ถ€ํ„ฐ ํ™๋ณด๋ฐฉ๋ฒ•์„ ์ฐพ์•„์„œ ํ™๋ณด๋ฅผ ํ•˜๋‹ค๊ฐ€
    ๋„๋ฉ”์ธ์ด ์œ ํ•ด ์‚ฌ์ดํŠธ๋กœ ๋– ์„œ ์ƒˆ๋กœ์šด ๋„๋ฉ”์ธ ์…‹ํŒ…์„ ํ•ด ๋‹ฌ๋ผ๊ณ  ๋ถ€ํƒ๋“œ๋ ธ๋”๋‹ˆ
    ์ถฉ๋ถ„ํžˆ ๊ธฐ๋‹ค๋ฆด๋งŒํผ ๊ธฐ๋‹ค๋ ธ๋‹ค๊ณ  ๋„๋ฉ”์ธ ์…‹ํŒ…์„ ์•ˆํ•ด์ฃผ๋”๊ตฐ์š”,,
    ํ™๋ณด ์ค€๋น„ํ•˜๋Š” ๊ธฐ๊ฐ„๋™์•ˆ์— ์ˆ˜์ต๊ธˆ์€ 500๋งŒ์›์ด ๋„˜์–ด ์žˆ์—ˆ๊ณ ,๋‚˜๋Š” ์ •์‚ฐ๊ธˆ๋ณด๋‹ค
    ํ™๋ณด๋ฅผ ๊ณ„์†ํ•˜๊ณ  ์‹ถ์—ˆ๋Š”๋ฐ,
    ๊ฐ‘์ž๊ธฐ ๋„๋ฉ”์ธ ์…‹ํŒ…์„ ์•ˆํ•ด์ค€๋‹ค๊ณ  ํ•˜๋‹ˆ,,,ํ™ฉ๋‹นํ•˜๋”๊ตฐ์š”
    ๊ทธ๋ž˜์„œ ๋„๋ฉ”์ธ ์…‹ํŒ… ์•ˆ ํ•ด ์ค„๊ฑฐ๋ฉด ์ •์‚ฐ๊ธˆ์„ ์ •์‚ฐํ•ด ๋‹ฌ๋ผ๊ณ  ํ–‡๋”๋‹ˆ
    “6๊ฐœ์›”๋ฐ˜์ด๋‚˜ ๊ธฐ๋‹ค๋ ค ์•„๋ฌด์„ฑ๊ณผ๊ฐ€ ์—†์–ด์„œ ์ •์‚ฐ๊ธˆ์„ ๋ชป์ฃผ๊ฒŸ๋‹ค๋„ค์š”,,
    ๊ทธ๋ž˜๋„ 5์›”์—๋Š” ๋งŽ์ง€๋Š” ์•Š์ง€๋งŒ 10์—ฌ๋ช…์ •๋„ ๊ฐ€์ž…์ด ์žˆ์—ˆ๊ณ ,์ด์ œ ์–ด๋Š์ •๋„ ํšจ๊ณผ๋ฅผ ๋ณผ๋ ค๊ณ 
    ํ•˜๋Š”๋ฐ
    ์ •์‚ฐ๊ธˆ ์ฃผ๊ธฐ ์‹ซ์–ด์„œ ๊ฐ™์ด ์ผ์„ ๋ชปํ•˜๊ฒŸ๋‹ค๊ณ  ํ•˜๋‹ˆ,,,์ด๊ฒŒ ๋จนํŠ€๊ฐ€ ์•„๋‹ˆ๊ณ  ๋ญ”๊ฐ€์š”?
    ๋‚ด๊ฐ€ ์ด๋ ‡๊ฒŒ ๊ธ€์„ ์˜ฌ๋ฆฌ๋Š”๊ฒƒ๋„ ์‚ฌ์ „์— CAB์šด์˜์ง„์— ๋ฏธ๋ฆฌ ์–˜๊ธฐ๋ฅผ ๋“œ๋ ธ๊ณ ,๋งˆ์Œ๋Œ€๋กœ ํ•˜๋ผ๊ณ  ํ•˜๋ฉด์„œ
    ๊ด€๋ฆฌ์ž ๋น„๋ฒˆ๊ณผ ํ…”๋ ˆ๊ทธ๋žจ๊นŒ์ง€ ์ฐจ๋‹จํ–ˆ๊ณ ,CAB ์‚ฌ์ดํŠธ์— ์ž์„ธํžˆ ์•Œ์•„๋ณด๋‹ˆ,์ผ๋ฐ˜ ์œ ์ € ๋จนํŠ€๋„ ์—ฌ๋Ÿฌ๊ฑด ๋ฐœ๊ฒฌ๋˜์–ด
    ์ด๋Œ€๋กœ ๋‚˜๋‘๋ฉด ์•ˆ๋˜๊ฒ ๋‹ค๋Š” ์ƒ๊ฐ์ด ๋“ค์–ด ์ด๋ ‡๊ฒŒ ๊ธ€์„ ์˜ฌ๋ฆฝ๋‹ˆ๋‹ค.
    ์ผ๋‹จ ์ €์™€ ์ œ๊ฐ€ ์•„๋Š” ๋™์ƒ์ด CAB์—์„œ ๋†€์•˜๋˜ ์ž…๊ธˆ ๊ณ„์ขŒ๋ฅผ ๊ฒฝ์ฐฐ์— ์•„๋Š”๋ถ„ํ•œํ…Œ ์ œ์ถœ์„ ํ• ๊ฒ๋‹ˆ๋‹ค.
    ์ง€๊ธˆ CAB์„ ์ด์šฉํ•˜๊ณ  ๊ณ„์‹ ๋ถ„์ด๋‚˜ ์ด์šฉํ•˜์‹ค๋ถ„๋“ค์€ ๋‚˜์ค‘์— ํ†ต์žฅ ๊ณ„์ขŒ๊ฐ€ ๋…ธ์ถœ๋˜์–ด ๊ฒฝ์ฐฐ ์กฐ์‚ฌ๋ฅผ ๋ฐ›๋Š”์ผ์ด
    ์—†๋„๋ก CABํ† ํ† ์‚ฌ์ดํŠธ ์ด์šฉ์„ ์ž์ œํ•ด ์ฃผ์‹œ๊ธฐ ๋ฐ”๋ž๋‹ˆ๋‹ค,
    ๊ทธ๋ฆฌ๊ณ  CABํ† ํ†  ์‚ฌ์ดํŠธ๋„ ์ƒํ™ฉ์ด ๋ณต์žกํ•ด์ง€๋ฉด ์ผ๋ฐ˜์œ ์ € ๋จนํŠ€๋„ ์˜ˆ์ƒ๋˜๋‹ˆ๊นŒ,
    ๊ฐ€๋Šฅํ•˜๋ฉด ๋‹ค๋ฅธ ์‚ฌ์ดํŠธ ์ด์šฉ์„ ๋ถ€ํƒ๋“œ๋ฆฝ๋‹ˆ๋‹ค!!

  6. Very timely! My Pointer started to take off after a wild animal when I let him out to potty at 2 a.m. today. Thankfully, he has a rock solid recall and skidded to a stop and turned around when I called him. Some of my dogs are better than others. He’s one of the best. Good reminder to brush up on the other dogs’ recalls.

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