Really reliable recalls!

by Katie Scott-Dyer // November 2017

Really reliable recalls!

Teaching a recall in our classes provides our Dog School attendees with the skills to take their pup out into the real world and enjoy the freedom of an off lead run when they are reliably recalling. Dogs aren’t born knowing how to come back when called, it’s something we need to teach them and could potentially save their lives one day if you need to call them away from a bad situation.

By starting off easy, with very little distance and just saying pup’s name so that they look at you, following this with what we call a marker. A marker is a signal that tells your dog that what they just did was right, and then follow this a with something they like such as a bit of chicken or hotdog. Your pup will very quickly understand that when he hears the marker word, he has done well and that something nice will happen.

The training is done on lead so that your pup doesn’t have the opportunity to wander off and play with pup next door! We start adding distractions, such as people wandering around the classroom, other puppies, objects, sounds and smells, at a level your pup can cope with so that they can learn to pay you attention when you ask, even with all sorts of things happening around them.

We then progress to a long line, which is a really long lead that aids recall training and provides a bit more distance and freedom while being safely held by you, the owner.


Your long training can be taken out into the world with its many real-world distractions, so that you can practice when you’re not in classes, and as we all know, practice makes progress. Once pup is coming back to you each time you call from away from all sorts of wonderful distractions, you can start dropping the long line and then only using it when you’re not 100% confident and eventually, you’ll have a perfect recall. 

As distractions do happen out there, we try to make the training a bit fun for all concerned, so that you can take this forward and get to that holy grail, coming back when called from distractions! Like this photo demonstrates:


 I think one of the best things is watching a dog running full tilt back to their owners, big happy grin on their faces, all coming back when called.


Tag us in your photos of your dogs on Instagram: bristol_dogschool and Twitter: @BristlDogSchool we would love to see them!

Want to come to and learn how teach your dog a really reliable at one of our Bristol venues? Book your puppy in by dropping us an email to