Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Kathryn Rosenberg

Are you making this mistake with your dog’s recall training? Canine expert reveals one thing you don’t want to do

Dog evades owner on beach

If you're a dog owner, then you've likely had the experience of letting your canine companion off their leash only to have them sprint off and refuse to come back to you when you call them.

There are lot of possible reasons why your dog's recall isn't reliable, but top of the list is the sheer number of distractions in their environment that pull their focus away from you. 

However, according to expert trainer Carolyn, the founder of Good Dog Training, there's a simple mistake we pet parents can make that can also make our dogs reluctant to come when we call them — and that's punishing them.

If your dog has terrible off-leash behavior, the last thing you want to do is scold them for eventually coming back to you, that will only decrease the chances of them returning to you in the future. Carolyn explains more about this below...

"No matter how long you've been trying to get your off-leash dog to come back, no matter how frustrated and embarrassed you are — DO NOT punish them when you finally catch them," Carolyn stresses.

"You think you're punishing your dog for ignoring you for 20 minutes, but your dog is just associating coming back to you (or being caught) with punishment. They'll remember that next time."

Carolyn says that when you get your dog back you want to avoid the angry tone and rough handling and instead be glad you got your pup back and think about how you can prevent the situation from happening again in the future.

"When you get your dog back, take a deep breath and remember — they don’t understand what you’re saying only HOW you say it. Returning to you should always be full of joy and excitement."

So, next time your dog runs off and you can't get them back, avoid punishing them when you finally do as this will only make things harder for you in the long run.

Instead, praise and reward them for returning. Do this with patience and consistency and you'll see their recall begin to improve. 

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.