Perfecting Recall!

by Emma Rex // May 2018

If you are anything like me there’s nothing better than watching dogs running around and playing, however this can be a little nerve-wracking as an owner if the dog/puppy is new to the home, you might be worried that your new furry friend won’t come back when called or that he might get easily distracted by the world, which is totally understandable!

Whilst training a recall it is a good idea to start in a very boring environment with minimal distraction and build up to the outside world. Once you have a reliable recall somewhere boring indoors (such as a bare corridor!), you can then build up to your garden, and finally to the outside world.

It’s a good idea to start practising with your dog on a “long line” (a really long lead, around 30ft would be a good start) until your dog is reliably coming back to you when you call him. Alternatively, you could find a secure area where you can let your dog off the lead without anywhere he can run off to.

Below is a list of local rescues/organisations I have found within the West Midlands who offer their enclosed exercise fields to local dog owners so their dogs can practise recall safely or just have a good run and play.

  • Daybreaks Trust, Coventry Road. B26 3QS

    They ask for a £5 donation to the charity for the use of their sand run for half an hour which needs to be booked in advance.

  • Hevs Happy Hounds, Redditch. B97 5SR 

    Hire is £12 per hour and booking in advance is essential.

  • Pawpounders Park, Sutton Coldfield. B75 5QX 

    Hire is £10 per hour for a larger field and £8 per hour for a smaller field, bookings can be made in advance online.

  • XPC Pets, CV37 0LX

    Three 1 hour sessions offered per week for £15, booking in advance is advised.

Here at West Midlands Dog School we always begin training our recall in an environment with as little distraction as possible. We ensure that our owners are calling their dogs name once only to ensure good attention to their name and then we give their dog a cue to come back.

For example – my recall cue is, Pudding (his name, to get his attention),

This way (cue for what I would like him to do).

When I can see that I have my dog’s attention I will try to make myself look appealing, smiley face, wide open arms, maybe slightly crouched. Sometimes I’m even turning my body position away as if already leaving. It’s important that, to begin with you are using a high-value reward (his absolute favourite treat) for your dog. This is dependent on each dog as an individual. Pudding’s favourite is cheese!!! For some dogs, this could be a favourite toy or even lots of fusses from their owner. Dogs deserve a super reward for coming back off their leads particularly in a distracting environment like the park. I ensure my dog gets lots of verbal praise, fuss and treats and we sometimes even play a little chase game with the food.

For more information on how we train a recall please follow the link below to Dog Schools website to see our training video on how the start recall training.

To find out more about West Midlands’s classes and events, call us on 07391 680154, or drop us an email at