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Easy Whistle Recall Games

Updated: Feb 4, 2023

Dog Recall Training Blog
Dog Recall Training

Recall training is one of the most important behaviours to work on with your dog. In my opinion, recall is also one of the hardest behaviours for a dog to do, if you think about it 9/10 we are trying to call our dogs away from something and ultimately it is ending their fun.

Some of the most popular searches on google are "how to train my dog to come back", "How to train a reliable recall" and "How to improve my dogs recall".

For a recall to be successful the first thing to look at is your bond with your dog, having an excellent relationship is key. The first ingredient of the perfect recall recipe is that your dog enjoys being around you and they see you as someone fun to be around. This can be created by lots of fun games, playing and training. If your dog or puppy is constantly getting told off then the experience that they have when interacting with you is negative. Setting your dog or puppy up to succeed in everything that they do is the best way to form a healthy and happy relationship.

It's important to remember that dogs don't come programmed to know what you want them to do when you call them, you have to train it and work on it. It's like going to the gym, you won't get the perfect body only going once, you have to stick at it and keep working on it. Imagine recall is a muscle that needs a lot of work to make it stronger. Put the time and you'll get the results that you're after.

Choose The Right Rewards For Recall Training Payment is a very important part of recall training. The environment is a very rewarding place for a dog, there are always new smells, different dogs, empty rubbish, fox poo, children, footballs, and the list goes on. That means that we have to compete with all those things and offer our dog better rewards. Think of food treats in terms of money value, a piece of your dog's kibble could be equivalent to 50p but a chunk of hot dog could be equivalent to £50. In order to build a good recall you need to be taking out a variety of your dog's favourite treats and toys so that they enjoy the reward that you are giving them.

Please don't go to the park with empty pockets and no toy, your praise alone will not be enough.

If you haven't started working on a whistle recall then check out my blog post here to get started.

My Favourite Whistle-Recall Games:

All of these games are great to build up a fun and positive association with a whistle recall, each game builds proximity to you. The aim is to create a strong conditioned response to the whistle so that as soon as your dog hears it they come running back to you.

For these games, I recommend using high-value treats, something that your dog loves and make sure the treats are big enough for your dog to find easily on the ground.

Recall Training Game 1- Ping Pong

  • Start by standing in one spot, and make sure you have a treat pouch full of yummy treats.

  • To start the game throw a piece of food out to the right of you, your dog should run out chasing the food, and as soon as they've eaten it blow your recall whistle. As soon as your dog runs back to you toss another treat out to the left of you. Repeat.

  • Continue until you finish 10 treats.

Recall Training Game 2-Funder

  • Bowl a large piece of food through your legs behind you, your dog should run under your legs to chase the food, immediately turn to face your dog, and blow the recall whistle, as they are heading back bowl another piece of food through your legs behind you.

  • Continue the game until you finish 10 treats.

Recall Training Game 3-Food Circuits Food is fun and when it is combined with chasing then it is even more fun. Food circuits builds movement, reinforcement and proximity all in one game.

  • Take a large treat and place it next to your dog's nose, think of a clock face, you will start at 6 o'clock, and on the spot, you will turn your body clockwise until you hit 6 o'clock again, the whole time keeping the treat close to your dog's nose, the aim is that your dog follows you the treat around your body as you turn on the spot. As soon as you are at 6 o'clock throw the treat out in front of you. As soon as your dog runs out to eat the treat happily shout your recall cue and when your dog gets back to you place the treat to their nose and begin the game again.

  • Continue the game until you finish 10 treats.

Check out the videos below to see these games in action!

If you need any help on this please get in touch, I work remotely or in person depending on your location.

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