Recall Stars Classes
If your answer to any of the following questions is ‘yes’, then this may be the course for you!
Does your dog close their ears to you as soon as you take them outside for a walk?
Perhaps your dog recalls beautifully when there isn’t too much else going on, but ignores your requests to come back in favour of playing with other dogs, saying hello to strangers, sniffing around in the hedges or chasing squirrels in the park?
Do you have to call / whistle to your dog more than once before they come back to you?
Is your dog reluctant to let you reattach their lead at the end of a walk? Perhaps they dodge away from you or struggle when you hold their collar / harness, and / or ‘plant’ themselves once the lead has gone on and refuse to move?
Or maybe you are in the early stages of recall training with a new puppy, and want to establish a strong basic recall and avoid recall breakdown around a range of common distractions from the outset?
Whatever your current circumstances, don’t worry, you are not alone!
Establishing a reliable recall is at the top of the wish-list for many dog owners, and also tops the list of requests for ‘remedial’ training support.
It is very common for a once reliable puppy recall to start faltering when our young dog isn’t so reliant on our proximity to feel safe and doesn’t find it quite so much fun to chase us around anymore.
Oftentimes we haven’t established the recall cue as strongly as we think we have, especially around distractions. Then, as our dog becomes less responsive to our request for them to return to us, we often start doing things that actually make our dog’s recall even worse, such as repeating our recall cue over and over, getting frustrated with our dog for not coming back straight away, failing to reward our dog with something they value when they do come back to us, and ending our dog’s fun whenever we use our recall cue.
Unlike people, dogs do not naturally generalise a behaviour learnt in one environment to another environment with ease. It is therefore necessary to ‘proof’ cues such as the recall call / whistle in as many different circumstances, and with as many different types of distractions, as possible, so that your dog understands that you are asking for the same behaviour – move towards you – whenever you use your recall cue, regardless of what else is happening.
We also need our dog to perceive us as a very rewarding component of any environment, because as they get older and grow more confident, our dog goes off exploring further away from us, and learns that there are actually a lot of other things in the environment aside from us that are very rewarding to interact with as well. When it comes to the crunch, we want our dog to choose us!
How this course can help
The Recall Stars course will lead you and your dog through a structured recall training programme, designed to help you establish a strong basic recall cue, and to ‘proof’ your dog’s response to that recall cue around commonly-occurring and commonly-rewarding distractions such as other people and dogs.
Through this course you will learn how to:
Teach your dog a basic recall cue (if your dog has already learnt to ignore an existing cue you will be establishing a new one during this course)
Use a recall whistle
Encourage your dog to offer you greater focus and attention
Build your value as a highly-rewarding feature of your dog’s environment through a variety of fun recall games
Set your dog up for recall success by learning how to layer training steps when recalling away from different types of everyday distractions in normal daily situations
Identify when your dog is likely to make a mistake and what you can do to change the situation to enable them to be successful
Respond positively when a recall attempt is unsuccessful
Establish rewarding release cues that let your dog know when and what they are free to go and do
Use a recall training line correctly and effectively
Vary the type and frequency of rewards given to your dog to help promote successful recall at different stages of training
Handle transitions between your dog being ‘on-lead, off-lead, on-lead’ so that your dog remains relaxed and cooperative
Avoid training mistakes that can weaken your dog’s recall; make your dog reluctant to be put back on their lead, and; cause problems when entering or exiting an exercise area
When it comes to recall, you want your dog to respond first time and with keenness, even when other everyday things that attract their interest and attention are present in the environment. We want to help you achieve that!
What this course will not do
It is outside of the scope of this course to ‘proof’ your dog’s recall in every situation that they may encounter, therefore your dog’s recall may still be unreliable in any situations in which you have not previously practised recall responsiveness during training sessions.
Equally, if your dog has a strong predatory chase drive, or runs away in response to being frightened, then your chances of recalling them successfully are likely to be significantly diminished, because your dog’s physical and emotional arousal will be driving them to move towards something other than you e.g. a prey target or a safe haven. A different, individually-tailored training and management plan is required for individuals demonstrating these behaviours to prevent them running into danger.
Further course details
The Recall Stars course is held outdoors in a securely-fenced grass paddock at K9 Woodland Services, located just off the A4074 at Summer Barn, Cane End, RG4 9HG, approximately equidistant between the main local towns of Henley-on-Thames, Reading and Wallingford, which are all around a 15 minute drive away.
The course is suitable for well-socialised dogs of any age from 5 months old upwards. If your dog currently has, or has previously had, any difficulties socialising with other dogs, or unfamiliar people, a group training class may not be a suitable environment for them within which to learn. Please contact Sara to discuss which recall training options are likely to be best-suited to your canine chum.
A maximum of five dogs may join each course, so as to ensure plenty of individual attention. There is no limit on the number of people who may accompany each dog to classes, although your dog may find it easier to concentrate and learn if they only have one or two people trying to work with them during any given session.
Your dog must be motivated to work for food as reinforcement for desirable behaviours to participate successfully in this particular training programme. If they are motivated by toys it will be possible / beneficial to use toys as reinforcement for some, but not all of the in-class and homework activities. If your dog is not currently motivated to work for food, please contact Sara to discuss how you may be able to increase your dog's food motivation / alternative recall training plans which could work for you and your dog.
The use of a long recall training line is a key component of implementing the training programme until your dog's recall becomes more reliable, therefore every dog must wear a harness, since for safety reasons, a long line should never be attached to a neck collar or head collar.
The Recall Stars course includes 6 x 45 minute classes, as well as follow-up training notes, homework exercises and after-class support via telephone, video call or email.
You and your dog will receive a graduation gift for completing the course.
6 week course: £120.00
For upcoming start dates and times for the Recall Stars course, please visit the Class Dates & Prices page. To register your interest in booking onto the course please complete and submit the Registration Form on the Booking Information page.
What clients say
"We have just completed Sara’s recall stars training with our 9 month old Vizsla. We found the course really helpful with lots of valuable information and always lots of homework to take away with us so we had plenty to practise in between lessons. The training area is really big and perfect for recall training. We found Sara to be really knowledgeable and a great teacher and even sending us further information after the course had finished, I would recommend Sara to anyone looking for easy to follow and fool proof training."
Dan and Shelby the Vizsla