Are you struggling with recall training with your dog? Recall training is, without a doubt, the most important behaviour you can teach your pup.
Recall training is more about keeping your dog safe than teaching them to come back when called. It's an essential command to know; it can stop a dog from eating something they shouldn't, running onto busy roads, getting hurt by others, or hurting others.
Training your dog to come to you when called can be a lengthy process, and you'll need to be consistent for years to come.
One of the best ways to teach your dog recall is with a training collar!
What is a Training Collar?
A training collar (commonly called an e-collar) is a system that includes a remote control and receiver that your dog wears.
The remote allows for manual training. So it works very well when training your dog around non-repetitive issues like recall, rough play and jumping. It also allows you to train your dog in larger areas, like a park rather than your home or yard.
Training collars come with three different modes of distraction and the ability to customise a level to suit your dog.
Shop training collars here: Training Collars
What is the Difference Between a Bark Collar & a Training Collar?
The difference between a training collar and a bark collar is that a bark collar will only address excessive barking, but a training collar can address behaviours beyond barking.
A training collar is a perfect tool for recall training since it uses manual training to teach your dog to come back to you! You'll be in much more control when issuing the distraction to your dog.
How Do You Use a Training Collar for Recall?
These are the three steps you need to follow to train that rock-solid recall into your dog.
1. Find the Right Setting
Training collars usually have different distractions and the ability to customise the level of the distraction for the nature of your dog. Most commonly, a training collar will have Sound, Vibration and Static as modes.
Depending on your dog (the breed and nature), each dog will react differently to the distractions. You'll need to take the time to identify a suitable setting for your dog. Ideally, it should be just enough for your dog to notice the distraction and stop what they're doing.
Starting with the lowest mode and intensity (i.e. Sound at level 1), observe your dog and see if they react to the distraction. They may stop and look around, turn their head over their shoulder, or shake their head.
If they don't react to the distraction, gradually increase the level or mode of distraction. The ideal setting is one that is high enough for your dog to notice.
Note: Be aware that large and stubborn dogs may need a higher distraction level.
2. Introduce the commands
Now that you have the perfect intensity level for your dog, it's time to teach your dog recall!
Let your dog explore a safe space with a lead and let them become engaged in exploring.
Call "here" (or any other word you want to use for recall) in a normal tone and send a distraction whilst gently pulling your dog towards you.
If they don't return to you, repeat the "here" command, send another distraction and gently pull your dog towards you again.
When your dog returns to you, give plenty of praise, and wait a moment before allowing them to explore again. Use the command "ok" (or any other word you use for release) and allow your dog to return to their exploration.
3. Repeat, repeat, repeat!
Do this again and again, and ensure you use the same sequence every time.
The sequence is the verbal command "here", begin to send a distraction, gently pulling the lead in towards you.
Be sure to praise, then release with your verbal command.
Stop using the training collar and pressure on the lead as soon as your dog starts to move towards you.
Be consistent with that sequence; your dog will associate all of these actions together. By forgetting one, they may forget the rest of the sequence.
What Does Successful Recall Training Look Like?
Your dog's recall should improve once you've practised this a million times in different locations, surrounded by various triggers.
You'll know they are improving when they respond immediately to your "here" command.
Be Consistent With Dog Recall Training
Being consistent is the most crucial factor for you and your dog to master recall! But take note of these other tips:
- Make sure your dog comes back to you with your command. You don't want to reward them if they stop halfway, change direction or if they stop just out of reach. They should come back close enough to you that you can reach down and touch them.
- Be conscious of not over-training them. If you command "here" too frequently, they will stop leaving your side altogether.
- Make sure you give your dog time to sniff, explore and be immersed in their environment before calling them back. Keep the calls random, and let them play and be distracted for varying lengths of time before you call them back.
General Dog Recall Training Tips
Both dogs and humans learn best when they practise their new skill every day — ideally, practice recall around five times per week.
Keep sessions to 20 minutes or so, but if you have a high energy dog, you can do longer training sessions or train twice per day.
Allow your dog to relax after training; it'll let all that practice and information sink in so they can retain more for next time!
What is the Best E-Collar for Recall Training?
The best training collar should:
- Properly fit your dog's neck.
- Have all the features you need for your lifestyle.
- Have different modes and levels of distraction to suit your dog.
- Be easy to use.
Check out our extensive range of training collars here and start training!