Common Mistakes to avoid when having your dog off leash & ways to improve your dog’s recall:

1) Giving your dog too much freedom, too soon:

If your dog won’t come to you in your backyard or home under low distractions, your chances at the park are slim! Build him up and help him to be successful and have fun safely.

2) Leaving the first time you call your dog to you:

You want your dog to associate positive things with coming back to you. So, if your dog is running around, having a ball, and is taken away as soon as he comes to you, he will be less likely to come to you next time. Instead call him multiple times throughout with a reward, and then release them to have fun again.

3) Shouting at your dog when he finally comes back to you after you have called him multiple times:

He has come back to you! This is worth praising, otherwise he will be even more reluctant to come back to you the next time you call him. When this happens, practice afterwards at a short distance to reward him for responding to one cue.

4) Not using rewards your dog finds valuable.

You are competing with some pretty amazing sensory rewards out there, so you need to make it worth his while!  Think outside the box with things he loves, such as super yummy high value food, squeaker toys or tug ropes.  Use whatever floats your dog’s boat.


 5) Breaking your ‘Come’ cue

If you cannot bet money he will come to you, then don’t use your recall word.  He can get pretty good at ignoring it!  Instead, it is best to get close to him and use it when you know it will work, even if he is one step away.

6) Chasing your dog

Your dog can learn to play keep away and think you are engaging in a fun game of ‘chase me’.  Why not try moving away from him, to encourage him to chase (and catch) you. 

7) Not having effective control of your dog that runs up to other dogs and people. 

It is great when dogs play and get on well, but remember not all dogs are keen on a super excited, bouncy dog running up to them.  If dogs are being walked on lead they should be given space.  Your dog may be friendly, but that dog may not be! That owner is being responsible and their dog deserves space, so help keep everyone safe and happy.

    •  Remember you are competing with all the exciting sights, scents and tastes out there.  You need to be worth coming back to!  If you are having problems with getting your dog to come to you when called and are keen for professional help with strategies that work, reach out to us today!  


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