Another great way to train a brilliant recall is to use a whistle. This works great when your dog is at a distance from you or distracted by his environment. Be associating the sound of the whistle with “super-yummy treats” your dog should come running to you. Bear in mind the level of distractions will influence your dog’s choices. You can purchase an inexpensive gym whistle at sport shops or discount stores.
First, you need to condition your dog that the sound of the whistle means “come to me for the treat”. Have your dog close by and have the treats handy. Whistle (but do not scare him) and quickly give him the treat. Increase the distance between you and your dog (but make sure he is highly likely to succeed) then whistle and treat. Whistle only once per treat!
After a sufficient time, the whistle can be replaced with a new verbal cue. With G Force, I used the whistle and treats for a solid two months before I started adding a verbal cue. The new word, “NOW!” was said just before I blew the whistle.
Gradually, he began to anticipate the sound of the whistle after hearing “NOW!” and would start running towards me for his reward. The whistle was then faded out, so only the verbal cue was needed.
Teaching the whistle recall.