Coming back when called reliably is one of the most important behaviours you need to teach your pup!
I highly recommend you train recall three ways:
But why would my dog, who is a family pet need a whistle?
As always we’re going to train this response in a step-by-step fashion. Let’s look at loading the whistle first.
For the first week we just associate the sound of the whistle with an amazing new food your dog has never had before and that tastes absolutely amazing! Pip the whistle and find that whiskery chops with the food that’s all there is to it.
Dogs that are fed mainly dry food will go bonkers for a premium brand wet dog food so that’s my top tip. Do this at least once a day for a week.
While we’re doing this we can also start teaching the hand signal, there are a couple of important points to notice.
Make your arms outstretched very clear hand signal first then say your verbal cue, in my case “Jim, Here!” and then drop your hands down. You dog is getting used to moving towards your hands with the other exercises in Week 1 so should readily come towards you, feed several treats with one hand while you hold your dogs collar with the other hand.
Holding the collar like this is really important so your pup learns to accept restraint as part of the recall cue.
Dogs often don't like feeling restrained but they need to be very comfortable being held by the collar, or the harness. This is really important because you might need to grab your dog in a hurry and if they are nervous of being held or grabbed then they could shy away from you and get themselves into trouble. So, we hold the collar nice and gently and feed the food and this gets the dog used to being restrained.
Recall is about keeping your dogs safe so you don’t want your pup to bounce back grab a treat and then run off again!