Dog Training World Forums Obedience Training Phase 1 Obedience Recall Games!!! Reply To: Recall Games!!!

  • Alex Bornemann

    November 5, 2020 at 11:05 am

    I’m just gonna copy paste some exercises from my e-book “Learn to Speak Puppy”. Hope the formatting is not too bad haha


    Circle Recalls

    This recall game is very easy and fun and serves as a good way to introduce yourself and the puppy to recalls. It is great for a family setting or a group of friends but requires at a minimum 2 people. If your puppy seems to have an almost stronger bond with others than with you and you want to focus his attention more onto you, we do not recommend you do this with a group of friends or strangers but either skip it or do it only with those you wish to have a strong bond with your dog. If that’s the case then contact us and we will guide you through how you can get your dog to focus more on you.

    Sit in a circle, feet spread out and touching the persons feet next to you if you’re more than 2 people. Otherwise sit across from each other about 2 meters apart from each other. Every person will have some treats in their hand or behind their back. Place your puppy in the middle between you and then one person brings attention to himself by saying the puppies name and clapping, whistling or otherwise enticing him to come to you. As he is approaching mark “good boy/girl” or click and follow up with a reward when he is with you. Then it’s the other persons turn to do the same. If it is two people only, switch off constantly. If you’re in a group switch off without creating a pattern. Once your dog is coming to you every time and you feel comfortable with the mechanics you can add the “here/come” cue to call him over to you. Make sure you say it only once. The command is “here” not “here, here, here”

    Frequency of game:      Every day for the first 3 days of training then fade out with other games
    Repetitions:             about 3-5 minutes depending on size of group and attention span of puppy
    Progression:             You can slowly increase the distance between people as your puppy progresses
    Reward:                 Basic food reward and low energy petting
    Training equipment:     Off – leash in secure environment






    Hide-and-seek games are especially helpful in teaching your puppy to stay close and keep track of you. Take your puppy to an unfamiliar area where he may safely be allowed off leash, e.g. a friend’s fenced yard, a fenced playground, an abandoned tennis court. Let the puppy explore and get distracted then duck behind a tree or into the shadows. Don’t worry if your pup gets a bit anxious, if it helps whistle, clap your hands or make any other type of noise to catch his attention.
    When your puppy comes and finds you throw the party of a lifetime, give him lots of hugs caress him hug him, run with him or whatever else comes natural and of course it does not help to give him a good amount of high value treats.
    Repeat the same process after a short time, though you will notice that after the third or fourth time your puppy will likely have caught on and will not lose sight of you so easily. If your puppy is not at all interested in finding you, you have some serious bonding issues which need to be addressed. Luckily we go over some bonding exercises down the line.
    If you cannot go out of your house due to a global pandemic or anything similar (what else could there really be?), then of course you can also do this at your own back yard, and you can also do this in your home hiding behind doorways, behind the sofa, underneath a table or even in the closet. Start easy and increase difficulty.

    Frequency of game:      At least every other day until 6 months then as you see fit
    Repetitions:             3-4 times
    Progression:             Slowly increase the difficulty of your hiding spot, be creative, go up a tree, inside a shack. start
    giving cues like whistling and as your puppy gets better use these sparingly.
    After some time you can even teach your family members names like this: “Go find Joe”
    Reward:                 Imagine you have been lost for days in the wild and this is a rescue dog that has saved your life.
    That’s how high your energy level should be when found. High value food rewards help as well.
    Training equipment:     Off – leash if puppy is under 6 months  and in secure environment. 30’ leash otherwise




    Chase me:


    Time to work on your physical condition as well, this may bring back some memories from gym class in high school 🙂 For your puppy it will help him to set the foundation for recalls form a distance, and for getting fast and high energy responses. Show the puppy a treat or a toy if he is already highly toy motivated while your training buddy restrains your puppy. Turn your back on the puppy and start running away without turning back to the puppy. When you are about 5 meters away turn around to face the puppy, this will be the cue for your friend to let go of the puppy, who will now start flying towards you. Keep running but do let him catch up, your’e not trying to set a World Record here. As the puppy is catching up to you, you can face him, as he gets closer stop and bend down and open your arms to receive the puppy. Throw a big party as he arrives towards you and give him a treat.
    The first couple of times that you do this exercise, do not use a verbal command like “here or come”. Once you are sure your puppy is coming to you and you feel comfortable with the exercise, you can say “here or come” as soon as you pass the 5 meter mark and turn to face your puppy. Then mark “good boy” before he even gets to you and follow up with a treat.

    Frequency of game:      At least every other day until 6 months then as you see fit (alternating days with hide & seek)
    Repetitions:             3-4 times
    Progression:             Add a verbal cue once you’re confident that your puppy is running to you and you are
    comfortable with the mechanics. With time you can increase the distance until your partner lets
    go of the dog. At a later point you can run, and then stop to call the dog without being in motion.
    Progress slow, do not rush training.
    Reward:                 Lots of sincere praise paired with medium to high food reward.
    Training equipment:     Off – leash in a secure environment