The Perfect Recall?

Miller and Brittany

Active Member
Miller is 16 months old and his recall is pretty good, he comes back 90 percent of the time. But the other 10 percent of the time is the times in need it the most, like if he is playing with other dogs. Any tips on improving this, Thanks!


Honored Member
First, don't give up hope! Miller is still pretty young and he's doing really well with a 90% recall(y) . (Wish Ra Kismet had been that good at that age):D

It is frustrating when other dogs are more exciting and interesting than coming back to you and also, as you say, when recall is most needed.

If it's at a dog park where he developes 'selective hearing' do you immediately put him on his leash and head for home when he finally comes? Actually, is this what you do anywhere when he's playing with other dogs? If you do, then stop that for a while and make sure he comes to you and has a PLAY/TREAT first. Because if he thinks that by coming to you, and leaving all the fun time of playing with other dogs, means he's going on his leash and home, then he'll think twice over responding! He knows what you're going to do - stop his FUN!:eek: "OMD she's acting like the fun police - I'm not going to hear that come".

He'll ignore you and keep playing because who wants to stop having fun!

It may take some time and of course, he may run off to the other dogs again, but keep rewarding and remember it takes time and patience to get a full total recall at all times:D

What you need to do is make recall TO YOU even MORE exciting than the other dogs. LOADS of HIGH VALUE treats and praise. I think you do use a clicker?????

Practice if possible, with a friend's dog, make a game of recall, calling him from the other dog to you and around to a friend etc. making sure he gets HIGH VALUE treats each time he comes. Not a leash in sight. He'll start to reason that, even if there's another dog, you've got the best rewards "hey Mom's got a super special reward, beats even playing with other dogs, I'll run over to her now, right away, here I come Mom"

You really need to make yourself into an 'excitement machine', more so than all those doggy mates. Keep working with him he's doing so well! 90% is excellent!(y):D


Honored Member
Great advice above - and when you call Miller to you from playing with a pal, give him something fabulous, then send him right back out to play again. Let him realize that your calling him doesn't necessarily mean the end of his fun (altho sometimes it will). Make it a habit to just call him over to give him a reward and say "hi" - then release him. It will make his coming back all the better for him. If he checks in with you while he's playing with his pals, reward that too, then send him on his way again. It will make running over to say hi even more rewarding than just the pleasure of your company. :cool: He'll start feeling like it's really a good thing to "come" when you ask him too. (y) And Mary's right, he's still a youngster, so to have a 90% recall at his young age is really good. Keep up the good work!!


Well-Known Member
All of the above works a treat...with Russ we use a game of fetch as a reward which *trumps* playing with other dogs EVERY time. You need to find something that *trumps* playing with other dogs. What we also do is just pop Russell's lead on for a millisecond and then longer sometimes... and then lead off again for fetch. This has really helped so that Russ never races away everytime the lead is produced and doesn't mind it being put on him as he knows that "lead" = "fun continues" or "1 time out of 15 lead is put on and we go home for good".