Having your dog on a long lead will give him a bit of freedom while ensuring he can’t run away (or get away with ignoring you).

Start by holding the loop on one hand and with your other hand hold the lead at the halfway point. Call your dog’s name, say “Let’s go’ and start to walk away from your dog. When you start to move away let the lead (being held at the half way point) slip from your hand. That way, there is no pressure on the lead. The goal is for your dog to move with you without the lead going tight.

Start by using a long lead when on your property.  Either hold the lead or let it drag (just don’t let him get too far away).  Try the “Let’s go” cue and run in the opposite direction.  He should follow you. Give him lots of praise when he does catch up. 

If he ignores you then you can pick up the lead and try the recall again but with a slight bit of pressure on the lead (making sure you are moving away).  Again, praise when he chooses to follow you.   If your dog continues to ignore you, go to him and ‘escort’ him away from the distraction. It is likely that he doesn’t know this cue that well yet. Change the environment to help your dog be successful.

Remember that the recall (or “let’s go”) needs to be fun and you need to move or run away from him while making lots of noise.  This usually works. 

This is the process to test your dog’s behaviour.

  • Start with “let’s go” by holding the long lead in secure area of your property. Did your dog respond?
  • Next try this cue with the long lead being dragged on the ground. If successful, then
  • Try the “let’s go” cue by holding on to the long lead in an unsecure area of your property. All going well?
  • Then try letting the long lead drag on the ground and try your “let’s go” cue.
  • Go to a new area and hold the long lead. Does your dog respond?

Recall on long lead being held in unsecure area of property

Working on a long lead for recall and getting your dog to come in close.