Transform your dog’s recall with this clever tip from an expert trainer

Dog running on the beach
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It's the one thing that almost every dog owner struggles with — yes, you guessed it, we're talking about the dreaded recall training! 

There could be many possible reasons why your dog's recall isn't reliable, but no matter the cause, it's an issue that can make those daily walks feel more than a little challenging.

So, what's a struggling pet parent to do? Well, according to Piper Novick, the founder and head trainer at Happy Dogs Training, whether you're doing recall training with a puppy or an adult dog, investing in a long line will make the job a whole lot easier.

"Long lines are a critical tool to help you fulfil your dog's needs, keep your dog safe, and build a reliable recall," she explains in a video shared to Instagram which you can view below. 

According to Novick, a long line gives your dog the freedom to explore in a safe way while giving you the peace of mind that you can get them back by your side whenever you need to.

A long line is also a brilliant way to calm a reactive dog if they become over-aroused by stimuli in their environment as you can shorten the line to put distance between your dog and a particular trigger.

In the video, one of Novick's trainers, Benah, can be seen working with a reactive dog named Suzi.

"Trainer Benah uses the long-line to help Suzi create distance when other dogs ask for it, and gives more freedom as Suzi practices calming behaviors, like sniffing, shaking, and rolling," explains Novick.

If you're finding recall training a challenge, a long line is well worth considering. 

Not only does a long line give your pup plenty of room to roam (meaning they won't feel the same frustration as being on a short leash), it also gives you a lot of control.

And it needn't be forever. Once you're confident that you can recall your dog whenever you need to, you may find you're able to let them off leash when it's safe to do so.

As with training any new skill or behavior, building a reliable recall takes time, patience, and consistency. We recommend consulting a professional trainer if you feel your pup would benefit from some extra support in this area.

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.