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Train a Great Recall With Your Dog’s Dinner

Updated on October 30, 2017
Miranda Hebert profile image

Miranda is a professional dog training instructor and has been actively training dogs for competition and companionship for over 12 years.

A definite perk to feeding kibble is the convenient opportunity to dish out your dog’s regular meals using the kibble as a training reward by turning meal times into regular training sessions. This simple game will help teach and reinforce one of the most important skills to have as a dog: the recall (or come when called).

How to Train a Recall

What you will need: your dog, a mark, and your dog’s regular meal of kibble.

  1. First, toss a piece of kibble away from you at a distance and encourage your dog to “get it.” Putting this on cue is just another way of building communication with your dog.
  2. As your dog takes the kibble, excitedly cue “your dog’s name” + “your recall word.”
  3. Reward them with another piece of kibble upon coming back to you. Repeat.

You can see how a meal of 50-100 kibbles gives you half as many easy opportunities to build your recall.

If you are just starting to teach a recall, you may have to begin by enticing your dog to come back to you by first presenting the treat. Quickly fade out this part of the cue as your dog learns the game in repetitive succession until you can call your dog to you without having the kibble present (i.e., behind your back, or otherwise out of sight).

Expand your dog's generalization of the cue by practicing in different areas of the home, and by going outside in a fenced yard or on a long-line. Remember to keep it simple in the beginning, and slowly build up to more distracting environments. Always set your dog up to succeed when training.

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