Featuring Jen Larson, KPA-CTP & Whitney Spence, CPDT-KA
Concept by Courtney Emken


Did you know that working on your dog’s recall could save their life? Recall is coming when called consistently, and we have a new series of Recall Games we are going to be rolling out over the next few weeks so you can effectively improve your dog’s recall skills while having fun! This first installment starts with a couple basic games that you can play with your dog just about anywhere. For extra credit, leave us a comment on how teaching your dog these new games went.


– Hi I’m Jen, I’m the manager of the Training Department, and this is Whitney, one of our Certified Trainers, and we’re here today to show you some fun recall games. So, before we start our recall game, there’s just a couple things to keep in mind about recall. So, recall is coming when called consistently. So, there are a couple factors that influence the success of a recall. So, when you’re training with recall, you want to keep a couple things in mind. So, first of all, your body position. So, what are you doing with your body? Are you leaning forward? Moving towards the dog? Reaching down at them? All of those types of things can be considered kind of intimidating for dogs. Instead, you turn to the side, crouch down, move away from the dog, the dog is more likely to feel more comfortable coming to you. A couple other factors that influence your success is sound. So, what types of sound are you using? If you use kind of a high pitched staccato sound, or an excited sound, something like that, a dog is more likely to come to you. Tone is also important, so I know sometimes when a dog isn’t coming we can get a little frustrated, and we might start sounding a little harsher, more intimidating, and that makes a dog less likely to want to come to you. So, if you feel yourself getting frustrated, go totally the opposite direction, get more happy, more excited, squeakier, all that kind of stuff. So, also keeping in mind, when you’re practicing recall, that recall is an essential skill, it’s really important to practice this whenever you can. Recall can literally save your dog’s life someday.

– So the games that we’re going to work on are going to be, Toss the Treats, and some Back and Forth, and we’re going to be using our everyday recall cue, which is just going to be come. So, our great little working partner today is going to be Leo the pug, he is awesome, such a hard worker. So, the first game we are going to play is going to be Toss the Treat. This one is great when first getting our dogs used to recalling, so coming straight back to us, and for rewarding and reinforcing any eye contact. So, to get started, I’m going to toss the treat. Once he gets to it and turns and looks… Yes, good boy! I’m going to mark the reward once he comes back to me. So again. Leo, yes good boy. I’m just going to reinforce him coming back to me for that moment. So, I’m going to toss the treats, when he turns and looks… Yes, good boy! Mark and reward. Toss a treat. Yes! And reward. So, now I’m going to go ahead and add his everyday recall cue which is going to be come. So, I’ll toss the treat. Come! Yes. Mark and reward once he gets back to you. Come! Yes, good boy. And, one more time. Come! Yes, good job Good boy.

– The next game we’re going to play is called Back and Forth, so it’s really simple, and you can play this with a partner at home. Me and Whitney are going to start just a foot or two apart from eachother, we’re going to call Leo back and forth between us, using his recall cue, which is come, then we’re gonna slowly get farther and farther apart. So, when he gets to either one of us we’re going to mark and reinforce him for coming to us, and we’re gonna see if we can get him running back and forth between us. Alright, so we’re gonna first start just a couple feet apart. Leo, come. Yes, good boy.

– Leo, come. Yes.

– And so, it’s important to keep you body language in mind with this game. Leo, come. Good boy, so I’m crouching down a little bit.

– Leo, come. Yes.

– Leo, come. Good boy, so good. So, we’re slowly getting farther and farther apart here. Leo, come, come on. Yes, good boy, so good.

– Leo, come.

– So, Leo’s playing the game now. Leo, come, yes good boy, so good.

– [Whitney] Leo, come, yes good job.

– [Jen] Leo, come. Yes, good boy, so good. There you go. So that’s the game Back and Forth. So, that’s a really fun one that you can play in your house, in your hallways, or your kitchen, you can also do it outside in your yard, and it’s a really fun for the dogs to get excited about running back and forth between you.