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Recall Training Tip- Reward Voluntary Check-Ins

Updated: Jan 31, 2023

Is your dogs recall not very good? Does your dog not come back when called? Do you reward your dog for simply paying attention to you during your walks?

This is something that a literally bang on about to my clients, to reward their dog every time that they voluntarily check in with them.

Often this behaviour is ignored by us humans because the dog is being good but if no value is added to the dog checking in then the dog is more likely to find the environment more rewarding and stop checking in completely.

So pay attention to your dog during your walks and any time that they check in with you then reward them for this. Don’t be stingy on this one!

In order to build focus and engagement with our dogs, it's important to reward them when they voluntarily offer us attention. This often goes unnoticed so the dog starts to wander further away and seeks reinforcement elsewhere.

The aim of the game:

  • Stand still with your dog on the lead- pay attention to them but do not chat to them. Wait until they offer you attention when this happens, and mark with a click or 'Yes' and reward them for this. Allow them to disengage and repeat. If your dog does not disengage and keep its attention on you then reward it again. Play this game for 2 minutes, and try it in a variety of environments.

Check-Ins during walks

It's important to play this game during walks on lead and off. Reward your dog for offering you any attention. Remember this is attention that they are choosing to offer you, you are not asking for it. If you are in an environment that is difficult for your dog to offer check-ins then you can imagine that you have a bubble around you, reward your dog for coming into that bubble and slowly shrink the bubble.

You'll be amazed at the transformation in your dog's focus on you once you introduce this game to everyday life.

If you would like some more tips on how you can improve your dog's recall then download my free E-book.

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