Recall; an essential skill for every dog!

It’s not uncommon these days, to think of recall as being a non-urgent cue that we’ll teach our dog at some point. With the increase in popularity of extendable leads and long lines it has felt even more optional. But teaching a reliable recall is an essential skill for every dog. In fact, our dogs safety and mental health could both benefit from it. Here’s five reasons why I think every dog needs to learn a good recall…


Recall is more than just a way to get your dog back at end of the walk; it could save your dogs life. You just never know what could happen next in life, and in unpredictable situations, such as a gate being left open, or the dog bolting out the front door, running from a fright, a snapped lead, or escaping from the car, a reliable recall allows you to immediately regain control and bring your dog back to you.

Also, off lead exercise is safer than on lead. Jarring the lead repetitively, even when wearing a body harness, can cause injury (to you both) and a fair amount of frustration.

a small terrier type dog swimming with a tennis ball in her mouth
Without a good recall your dog wouldn’t be able to enjoy a swim – Wilma loved retrieving in the sea!

Mental Stimulation and Engagement

No one wants to be dragged into a shrubbery by their dog, but there could be some pretty awesome scents in there! Our pups are curious and they need plenty of mental stimulation. Having a good recall allows them to explore freely and without interruption, which is the perfect way to engage with scents and trails. Exploration challenges their mind, which prevents boredom and the development of destructive behaviors. Just 10 minutes of scent trailing could be as satisfying as a 60 minute walk!

Bonding and Trust

The recall command is not just about control; it is a reflection of the trust and bond between you and your dog. When you trust your dog to respond to you, it deepens the emotional connection between you. They learn to associate the recall with positive experiences, rewards, and working in harmony with you. This mutual trust strengthens your relationship, fostering a sense of security, and enhancing their overall emotional well-being – which could indirectly improve separation anxiety!

Socialization and Fun

A dog with a solid recall can enjoy a wider range of experiences. Whether it’s exploring off-leash areas, participating in dog-friendly events, chasing a ball, take part in a sport such as Hoopers, or playing with other dogs, recall allows your dog to socialise in a safe and controlled manner.

This exposure to different environments, people, and other dogs not only enriches their lives but also promotes their mental and emotional development. Dogs that have positive off lead experiences are more likely to exhibit confidence and resilience too.

two small dogs run together in long grass
A good recall allows your dog to socialise and explore with friends

More exercise

A well-trained recall command allows your dog to explore open spaces, engage in physical activities, and experience the joys of off-leash adventures. This freedom allows them to cover more ground during their walk, if they choose, and in a way that suits them. Whether they are plodders or love to run in circles, they can choose what suits them best.

A powerful tool…

Recall is a powerful tool that goes beyond mere obedience training. It is an essential command that contributes to your dog’s safety, mental well-being, and overall quality of life. By providing safety, freedom, mental stimulation, bonding, and enjoyable experiences, a good recall empowers your dog to navigate the world with confidence!

Are you struggling with your dogs recall?

Check out my 30 day recall program and teach your dog a recall you can rely on! Check it out…


I have more than 15 years experience solving all kinds of canine behaviour problems, at home and in rescue. A bad experience with a old fashioned dog trainer inspired me to learn more about dog behaviour, and it is because of him, that I wall never use harsh methods when training and rehabilitating dogs.

I work privately with clients in Dundee and the surrounding area with dogs of all ages, breeds and issues including anxiety, aggression and hyperactivity.

In 2009 I was proud to publish a book about dog behaviour and training. How to be the Perfect Pack Leader (by Caroline Jenkins) remains popular today and a follow up is expected very shortly.

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