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Dog Training - Using Toys for Recall

Posted by Zena Conkey on 23rd Feb 2020

Are you having problems with your dog and recall? Perhaps you have a new puppy or rescue dog and want to start his recall training off right but feel that food reward simply does not motivate your dog? Read on to learn the benefits of incorporating toys into your recall routine.

Whether you are teaching your dog to come back when called, deciding that his recall needs sharpening, or desperate to learn some new recall tricks because your dog runs away you can get the help that you need by using toys as a bonus for recall training.

Which Toys Work Best For Your Dog?

The first and most important thing to do is work out exactly which type of toys motivate your dog. You may find that a simple tennis ball gets your pet running in circles like no food reward ever could.

Many dogs will turn on a penny and come running back like lightning when they hear a squeaky toy or you may need a very specific noisy toy to get their interest away from whichever distractions the area otherwise provides. It’s a great idea to get really inventive for some dogs because you may find that a giggling baby toy in the thrift shop bargain bucket will motivate your dog like nothing ever has before.

How Do You Use Toys For Dog Training?

Using toys for dog training requires care if they are to help you get the best result. As we are talking about recall here then it is important that you only give the dog the toy, which he loves, if he comes back when called first time.

You can certainly use the toy to distract your dog and tempt him back to you, but it’s vital that you also don’t allow him access to it if he does not come back first time. A good trick, if your dog saunters back in his own time, is to show him the toy and send him away a short distance, this will show the dog what he could have had. You can then call him back again quickly and your dog will come racing back.

Make the Toy Precious

By only allowing your dog access to his most coveted toy on walks and even then only letting him carry tug or hold it for a short time you will be making the toy a really precious article to him. The aim is that your dog hears his recall and races back because the recall has automatically made him think of the most precious thing in the world. The recall toy.

So depending on what your dog likes to do best, play tug, play retrieve or simply let him hold the toy for anything between 30 seconds to 2 minutes a time. Always reward the better attempts more.

Then at the end of a walk put the toy away and never allow your dog access to it between walks, for this could easily affect the toy’s status as the most important thing in the world.

Using toys for recall training with dogs adds another, fantastic type of motivation to the training session, so get inventive and have some real fun with your dog, if you do it right your canine friend will have no idea that he is being trained at all.