If you teach your dog no other command, make sure he knows this one. Recall is not just handy for bringing him in from the back garden, it can help find him when he is lost or keep him away from a dangerous threat. Luckily, recall is also the easiest of all the commands we have looked at so far.
Simply take your dog to a distraction free environment, call him, and show him a tasty treat. He’ll come just to get that tasty treat! You can reinforce this by clicking your clicker the second he starts moving forward, reinforcing his moving toward you.
Repeat this. You don’t even have to do it in a formal training setting. Just keep a handful of treats in your pocket, whip one out and call him during quiet moments throughout the day.
Call him for unpleasant things like a bath or a trip to the vet. Sure he might have come that time, but when he is in a dangerous setting and you have to put his recall to the test, you don’t want him thinking twice about coming to you. Go get him and don’t say anything for unpleasant things.
Use your formal recall command (Mine is, “Here!) in distracting situations where you know he isn’t going to come. This means when the doorbell rings, there is a visitor to jump all over, or something exciting is happening in the backyard. At this stage in your dog’s training he won’t be able to listen to you, and you may reinforce him not coming when called.
Call him for his dinner, for play time, for his nightly walk, and anything else you know he won’t want to miss! Doing so will help reinforce his training indirectly. He’ll learn that when you call, it means he is about to get something fantastic! So if he is ever in an emergency situation and you need to recall him, he is more likely to flip a U-turn and come straight back to you.