How to teach your dog a rocket fast recall 

dog recall training

Do you have a ‘stubborn’ dog who ignores recall and goes their own merry way as soon as you let them off the lead? 

Well, it’s time to put an end to those frustrating and embarrassing calls which go ignored and teach your dog the magic word: recall. 

With our step-by-step guide on teaching recall, you’ll be able to call your dog back to you rocket fast.

7 steps to teaching a rocket fast recall 

Grab your treat bag and get ready to turn your wandering pup into a loyal companion who values being by your side. Let’s get started!

Step 1: Choose your recall word

Step 2: Start in your home or garden, say your recall word and drop a few treats at your feet

Step 3: Touch your dog’s collar gently as they retrieve their treats

Step 4: Practise lots in low distraction environments to build new habits

Step 5: Take your best treats and get outside – practise your recall word with your dog on a longline training lead

Step 6: Don’t be stingy – give plenty of treats in your early training

Step 7: Don’t ditch the longline until you’re confident in your dog’s recall 

Take a look at how this looks in real life with our free rocket recall training guide (including video)

Free Recall training page

Best treats for recall training

It’s important to reward your dog well when they come back when called. The more you do this, the more you will see a transformation in your dog’s desire to come the first time you call. 

Choose high value treats to make it extra appealing for your dog to come back. You can use cheese, chicken, sliced and dice pure meat pate, or readymade tasty training treats

Don’t forget to be generous with your rewards and vary how many your dog gets each time. 

4 recall training quick tips

Discover more recall games for dogs here.

How long does recall training take?

The length of time it takes to train a reliable recall depends on the age of your dog and how long they’ve been practising ignoring recall. 

As a general guide, it’ll take around 3-12 weeks to train a solid recall in a range of environments. It’ll take time to slowly introduce distractions and practise your recall training in different locations. 

adolescent dog recall problems

Adolescent dog recall problems

You won’t achieve a solid and reliable recall until your dog comes out the other side of adolescence, this is totally normal! Use your longline training lead and don’t allow your dog to practise ignoring your calls to come back. 

Learn how to use a longline training lead safely here.


Are you a chauffeur or a partner in crime? 

Mastering a reliable recall is all about your relationship and building a bulletproof bond with your dog. 

If your dog engages happily with you at home, but disengages entirely when you’re out and about, you’ve become a chauffeur! Let’s explore how to reset the balance and make you your dog’s favourite partner in crime. 

Does your dog ignore you when other dogs are around?

If you’ve spent months ferrying your dog to the local park and letting them off to play with other dogs, then mastering recall will take longer. Up until now, you’ve just been a generous doggy chauffeur, taking your dog to play and run off with other dogs. 

dog ignores me when other dogs are around

You need to build value and concentrate on developing your relationship with your dog, so that even when there are other dogs in the environment, they still choose you every time. 

Play games at home with your dog and build value in being together. You can select a special recall toy that you only use when you go outside, keeping it as a top dollar reward for staying close to you. 

Our favourites are the chaser toys from Tug-E-Nuff, which act as a brilliant training aid for developing a rocket fast recall. 

Get more tips on teaching your dog to ignore other dogs in my 4 step training guide here.

My dog won’t come when called outside

If your dog ignores your recall cues when outside, but they’re not interested in other dogs. It could be that the natural environment has become their source of entertainment. Spaniels, Beagles, Dachshunds and other working breeds find scents extremely rewarding. 

So, if you find yourself on a woodland walk with your dog running off into the bushes to track scents, again you’ve become a dog chauffeur!

Try incorporating scent games like ‘find it’ into your walks, and use your dog’s nose to amp up your relationship and the value in staying close. 

Follow the tips and techniques in this guide and you’ll be well on your way to teaching your dog a reliable recall. If you’d like more help then take a look at our recall training classes in East Lothian or grab your free training guide below. 

With the right training, you’ll be able to enjoy off lead freedom with your dog by your side.

Get your free rocket recall training guide (including video)

Free Recall training page

You May Also Like…

Becky Milne East Coast Dog Training with Border Terrier

Hi, I’m Becky

I’m an ethical and positive dog trainer who wants to help you create a fantastic relationship with your dog.

I offer fun and effective dog training that makes you WANT to train.