4 ways to reward a really good recall

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This blog post is going to cover the importance of getting your reward strategy right when calling your dog back. And give you 4 different ways to reward your dog for a really good recall.

When giving your dog off lead freedom, it’s really easy to forget just how difficult it can be for your dog to choose to come back to you. They are being exposed to lots of exciting things including being able to follow their noses, play with other dogs, say hello to people, chase that squirrel…

And to be honest, they probably have the ability to get attention from you at home whenever they want, so when you step out that door you’re not the most interesting thing in your dog’s world at that point.

So how can we address this?

Well of course training with games is going to be top of my list as an absoluteDogs PRO DOG Trainer, however another key part is going to be your reward strategy.

This is all about the EXPERIENCE you provide your dog when they’re being rewarded. Simply feeding them a treat can be a bit boring, and it isn’t enough to make it a no brainer for your dog to choose you when you call.
Let’s take a look at 4 different ways you can reward your dog for a great recall!

1. Jackpot!

This is when you give your dog several treats in a row, in quick succession. I like to do this while stepping backwards, to add a bit of extra movement in and make it even more interesting. 

* Warning: Make sure you check out what’s behind your first! *

2. Game of chase

Most dogs LOVE to chase things. Whether it’s a ball, another dog or a wild furry creature… So why not get them to chase you instead? 

As your dog comes back to you, instead of standing still, start running away from them. When they catch you, you can have a party!
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3. Happy behaviour

Think of something your dog really enjoys. This might be a behaviour you’ve taught them, such as spinning or leg weaves, or something they naturally enjoy like jumping on your lap / into your arms. 

When your dog comes back to you, ask or allow their happy behaviour, it’ll give your dog a great feeling when they return to you!

4. Game of tug

If your dog enjoys a game of tug, you can use this as a reward too!

I like to take a small tug toy like the Tug-e-Nuff Pocket Magnet with me on a walk. Its handy size means I can easily hide it out of sight and suddenly produce it when my dog returns, to create an unexpected party.
Ultimately, you’ll get the greatest success when you find out what your dog loves and you use that in your reward strategy. 

Need some more ideas?

Check out my mini-course, ‘How to become more interesting to your dog’.
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