Recall champ or cheeky runaway

1 Feb

Do you ever have a problem with your dog refusing to come back to you no matter how much you yell their name? Well, you are not alone!

Recall training isn’t easy, i think its most definitely something that comes with practice and time.

You might have this perfect image of your new puppy/or dog running freely across the beach, or park, having fun with dogs and then coming back when you call it. When that doesn’t happen so easily, what do you do? Do you give up, and keep your dog on a lead, or do you keep trying?


We started recall training with Maya very early on. Ultimately, it starts within the house, getting your dog to come to you when you call her name. However, as soon as Maya was given the go ahead to go outside (i.e. had all her vaccinations) we started to take her places where people where not often seen. This meant, no people, no dogs and ultimately, fewer distractions. We also began only letting her off the lead when there were a few of us present, this way, there were lots of ears and eyes to keep a look out, and lots of legs and hands in case we had to chase after her!

It went really well! We chose the golf course, spread out over a few hundred meters and called her between us, making it fun for her!


However, once distractions were added to the mix, it became harder. Maya is a typical happy go lucky Labrador who wants to meet everyone and thinks that anyone will be her friend. This means running up to strangers and chasing after other dogs to start a game.

We didn’t give up.

I’m honestly not sure how, or why, but over the last few weeks i have noticed a big difference in Maya’s recall. Whilst i allow her to go up to other people and other dogs in particular, even allowing her to chase around with them (after-all, this is one of the reasons i take her to the beach) she seems to have suddenly decided that when i call and continue walking, she will follow.

I am wondering if it is partly due to the fact that she has now had her first season, and is perhaps calming down. Although i would like to say its continuing with the routine of calling her and walking on, and our strengthening bond.


Voice or whistle:

As you might already know, i am also whistle training Maya so that she comes back to me upon the sound of two blows on the whistle. This is a popular method of recall because the whistle can be heard above other sounds and is particularly useful when it is windy or if you have a sore throat! However, i do prefer to rely mostly on my own voice. Maya isn’t yet fully whistle trained anyway, but when she is perfect, i feel i will use it more as a back up plan (and just keep up training/practicing) rather than my main method of recall.


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