3. Come Back When Called

Exercise 3.7 - Recall-Front-Finish

In this exercise we work on a formal 6ft Recall with a Front and a Finish.  This is a lovely exercise to work through not least because it teaches the dog that even though the lead has come off you and he are still working and have a task to accomplish together – an important concept!


If you’ve already got into the (bad) habit of removing the lead and immediately allowing your dog to rush off then it will be time well spent rectifying this first!


Proceed as follows!

1.                   Sit your dog

2.                   Remove the lead

3.                   Take one step back and return

4.                   Reseat the dog if he moves – even an inch!

5.                   Repeat until successful

6.                   Build up to five steps back

7.                   Play break

8.                   Sit your dog

9.                   Remove the lead

10.               Take one step forward and back

11.               Reseat the dog if he moves an inch

12.               Repeat until successful

13.               Build up to ten steps forward


Once you’ve mastered this you’ll be ready for this exercise which starts with the Backwards Follow exercise.  You can then build on this to incorporate a short 6ft recall to the Front position.  Then all that remains is to teach your dog to ‘Finish’ by moving around your right hand side back into heel position and put everything together.


Here is the exercise description:

  1. Dog starts on lead in heel position in a sit or down position.
  2. The handler gives the dog a verbal cue and/or hand signal to stay and removes the lead.
  3. The handler will walk at least 6 feet away, stand normally, pause for a minimum of 1-2 seconds, and then call the dog to front with a verbal and/or signal. 
  4. After another minimum 1-2 second pause, the dog will be cued with a verbal and/or signal to finish to heel position.
  5. The dog must go directly to heel position and sit or stand within 30 degrees of correct heel position at the handler’s side.
  6. The exercise ends when the handler releases the dog from heel position.