How to recall train your dog using a whistle

Owning a dog comes with a high level of responsibility whether you have a miniature breed or a giant. From an early age, every dog needs to undergo a socialisation process to get them used to the sights, sounds and smells of everyday life and to help them learn how to become good citizens. There are some commands that are seen as vital for every dog to know, such as sit, stay, and down. One of the most important but often overlooked skills that a dog needs to learn is recall.

Even if you never intend to allow your dog free reign off-lead, there is always a chance that your dog may one day slip their lead or otherwise get away from you, and you will need to know that you can reliably get them back if this happens. This is where strong recall conditioning is vital. One of the best ways to instil good recall in your dog is to use a dog training whistle as a tool for communication.

It is entirely possible that you can train recall using your voice, but there are proven benefits to using a whistle for dog training instead. Firstly, dog whistles are perfectly pitched to get your dog’s attention, even in less than perfect conditions. They cut through the background noise to give you a clear line of communication with your pooch making them perfect for working outdoors over long distances.

Secondly, a dog that is learning recall isn’t always going to get things right and frustration can creep into your vocal commands which can stress your dog. Using a whistle instead means that every command will sound exactly the same, whatever you are feeling at the time. As such, using a whistle is a good way to make sure training is more fun and more effective for both of you.

Training the recall command with a dog whistle

You can start training recall with very young puppies and adult dogs of any age, just keep your sessions short at first to prevent boredom. First things first, you will need to find something that really motivates your dog, such as a favourite toy or treat. Start by calling their name to get their attention. Show them you have their treat or toy and reward them with it if they come to you. Once they start coming to get their treat reliably, you can start pairing their name with a specific whistle sound.

Use the same sound every time, and start by calling your pet’s name then making the whistle sound. Reward them every time they come to you after you have made your vocal command and sounded the whistle. To keep things simple, use the dog training whistle to teach recall somewhere that is free from distractions at first, such as inside the house. As the dog’s skills grow, move your whistle command training to progressively more distracting locations such as your garden.

With time you should be able to completely replace your vocal command with the call of the dog training whistle, and you’ll be able to progress from whistle recall training in the calm of your back garden to having your dog successfully recall at exciting and distracting locations like the local dog park. To avoid confusing your dog, we would suggest that you choose one of our dog whistle models and try to stick with it. This way your whistle calls will always sound the same and your dog will know that when they hear that specific sound, they need to return to you. Browse our range of beautifully crafted whistles for dogs online and start your recall training today.