Happy Paws – Recall tips

July 6, 2016


Nothing says summer like a romp at the beach with your dog, but what happens when Fido gets out of arm’s reach?


A strong recall (“come” command) helps keep pets safe.  Here’s some advice on how to train it from Tim Molina, Lead Trainer at Happy Paws Humane Pet Training.

  1. Call your pet, starting from a short distance away. Cheerful tones often produce better results. Remember to actually give the command “come.”
  2. Make yourself interesting. Clap, whistle, squat, open your arms, and cheer your dog in. Once he arrives, have him sit then spill the treats.  For your cat, make any sound that prompts him to come. Shake a bag of treats or open a can of cat food, then treat/feed as soon as he reaches you.

Tim abides by the Top 5 Rules of Recall when teaching this important skill.

  1. Never call your pet for something unpleasant such as nail clipping, medicating, bathing, or heading home from somewhere fun. For these activities, go to your pet instead.
  2. Never call your pet if you are not sure he will come. All recalls should be successful recalls. Work at your pet’s level. If he has a kindergarten level recall, don’t give him a graduate level assignment like being called away from a playmate or tasty treat.

Interested in learning all 5 Rules of Recall? Check out the Total Recall Course at Happy Paws. This class will teach you how to train your dog to come when called, even with distractions. While this course is just for dogs, remember that cats can be taught the recall command too!

Happy Paws is a collaborative project of the Chesapeake Humane Society, Norfolk SPCA, and Virginia Beach SPCA. Training offerings include individual consultations along with obedience, agility, shy, and reactive dog classes.