Here is some guidance on ‘How To Teach An Adult Rescue Dog To ‘Recall’.

I suggest you work with the recall training with your new dog from the first day you bring them home so that it becomes a way of life for you & your dog as soon as possible. These methods will have to be, in the future, transferrable skills into real life situations, such as recalling from distractions in the park, on a beach or in the woods.


I would work with the dog in an enclosed environment such as a training hall or an outdoor area from the beginning to prevent the possibility of the dog escaping as it may not yet have built much of a relationship with me also at this point in time.

The dog would have a long-line connected to its collar starting with being walked into the training area on short distance lead without other distractions present at the time. I would show the dog some food, hold the food at my waist level and wait until the dog gives me eye contact then throw the food about ten feet away.

As the dog goes to the food and takes it I would say ‘come’, if the dog returns I say the word ‘good’, shown the food again, throw the food slightly further away after eye contact. Then repeat the exercise for approximately five to ten minutes then allow the dog free time.


After the free time for the dog I would bring in another person to distract the dog by walking around the training area whilst I carried out the same routine as previously. When the dog consistently responds to the recall exercise I would transfer this to a different outdoor area with more controlled distractions such as other people standing or walking. This area would be somewhere that the dog cannot escape from until the recall is ‘proofed’ by the dog responding under distractions.

Here is the link to ‘Part 1’ of a series of videos where I am training my recall dog Sandie using a ‘long-line’ lead: