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Reliable
Recall

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A reliable recall is one of the most important skills your dog can learn.

When out walking your dog, you want to be confident when you let them off lead they will come back when called.

Teaching recall can be challenging due to the exciting distractions of the world. You must show your dog that you are more interesting than any other dog, smell or other distractions that surround them.

We caught up with Head of Enrichment Louise to find out her top tips in teaching a reliable recall.

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1. Your cue word

1. Your cue word

Choose a short and sharp word like “come” or “here” as your dogs recall cue.

Use a sound if preferred and its best to add in a visual cue in case your dog cannot hear you.

Don’t overuse your cue. Give your dog a few seconds to respond before calling again. If you have to repeat yourself, it could be a sign the environment is too distracting. If this is the case, do not continue to recall your dog as they may learn to ignore you.

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2. Reward, reward, reward!

2. Reward, reward, reward!

When teaching recall always use high value treats and toys for your dog.

Start at home and get your dogs attention using their name. Use your cue and step away from your dog. Reward them with praise, high value treats and excitable body language when the come to you.

Remember to always praise your dog for coming back to you, even if it takes a while.

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3. Add in distractions

3. Add in distractions

Once you’ve built up basic recall at home, it’s time to practise in the big wide world.

Slowly increase the distance from your dog and the amount of distractions around them. Start in your garden and then move onto your dogs walk. You can use a long line before you take the big step in letting your dog off lead.

Let your dog move away and explore before using your recall cue. When your dog returns to you, reward them with a high value treat to build up a positive association.

Remember if your dog ignores your cue, be patient and guide them in using your lead or long line. Do not tug or pull your dog as this can build up a negative association.

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