Trainer reveals one thing you can do to build a reliable recall with your dog — and it’s super effective

Man walking with his dog in a grassy field on an early morning in summer
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Unless specifically stated, any expert comments quoted in this news piece have been taken directly from the Instagram post cited below.

When it comes to an issue that almost all pet parents struggle with at one time or another, recall training is right up there. 

There could be many possible reasons why your dog's recall isn't reliable, but distractions in the environment tend to be a big contributing factor.

With so many new sights, sounds, and smells to explore, it can be hard for your dog to pull themselves away from their new found freedom to return to you when you call them. 

Thankfully, Adam Spivey, an expert trainer, author, and founder of Southend Dog Training, has a clever little tip that will instantly improve your dog's recall.

Check out his full explanation of this in the Instagram video below or keep reading for a summary of what he had to share...

The first thing Spivey says you want to do is attach your dog to a 30-foot leash and then attach that leash to a harness.

"What you want to do is every time the dog starts to go too far in front, step on that leash," he explains. 

"The dog's going to hit the end of it and it's going to turn back to see what's going on. 

"At this moment you're going to say 'come' and you're going to move backwards, backwards, backwards and then you're going to reward your dog and then you're going to let the dog go back."

Spivey says you want to repeat this exercise every time your dog gets too far in front of you on the leash.

"What this will actually do is cause the dog to be more spatially aware and more aware of where you are. 

"It will check in with you way more which opens the door to doing more frequent recalls, which will improve your recall, and it will also make your dog more boundary aware."

Spivey says that practising this will result in you having a dog that will stick closer to you and come bounding back when you issue their recall command. 

And if you've let your pup off leash for the first time and want plenty of tips and tricks up your sleeve to entice them back to you, check out these helpful ways to get your dog to come back to you on off leash walks

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Kathryn Williams
Freelance writer

Kathryn is a freelance writer who has been a member of the PetsRadar family since it launched in 2020. Highly experienced in her field, she's driven by a desire to provide pet parents with accurate, timely, and informative content that enables them to provide their fur friends with everything they need to thrive. Kathryn works closely with vets and trainers to ensure all articles offer the most up-to-date information across a range of pet-related fields, from insights into health and behavior issues to tips on products and training. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with her family (which includes one super sassy cat), drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and reading all the books.