FE350: Build Your Bond -- Recalls

Instructor: Donna Hill

Course Details

Does your dog come when she feels like it? Or at a casual pace? No more!

Did you know that a recall is a chain of 4 behaviors? Or that classical conditioning is the foundation of a successful recall? Learn how to take the recall behavior apart, teach each piece, then put it back together like the professionals do. In this class, you'll learn the 9 steps in the process of teaching a fast and reliable recall.

Discover how to prepare your dog for new environments and challenging distractions. Explore how to build speed and enthusiasm for the recall. 

We will use many different games to build the pieces, then put them together in a behavior chain, adding distance and distraction in a planned fashion. We'll look at what distractions your dog needs to work on, and what creative reinforcers we can use to have your dog rocketing toward you on the first call!  Explore how you can use Premack's Principle in ways you may have never considered! 
Find out what to you can do to help your dog choose you over the distractions! Over 80 video clips and text explains the process of building a recall step by step in the form of games.

Special discussions about:

  • reinforcers and using Premack
  • desensitizing to distractions
  • adding distance
  • overuse of recalls
  • what to do if your dog fails
  • dogs that have a history of chasing things: bicycles, people, animals 
  • multiple handlers/trainers (different family members)

This class is ideal for puppies, dogs that want to be chased, dogs that come when they feel like it, dogs that chase things, dogs that get distracted easily, independent-minded dogs, dogs that find skunks and porcupines, even dogs with a long history of ignoring recall cues etc. In short, every dog can benefit from this class! It's a fun way to train your dog to have a reliable recall in competition and any other environment and to build a stronger relationship!

I am really excited about this course! Learn how to build value for coming to you in any real life environment. The course materials will last you more than 6 weeks so don't expect to have a perfect recall in just 6 weeks, but you will have a great start and a thorough understanding of what you need to do to build it! Each week, you can choose which games and what part of each game you and your dog need to spend the most time on. 



Registration will begin at 10:30 am PST.

There are no scheduled sessions for this class at this time. We update our schedule frequently, so please subscribe to our mailing list for notifications.

Enrollment limits: 10 gold, 10 silver, unlimited bronze. If you are interested in a bronze level class, you can sign up anytime during the registration period.


Introduction to Build the Bond: Recalls
Step 1 Start Young
Step 2 Acclimation to Environments
Lecture 1 Reinforcers and Distractions & Premack
Step 3A Teach the Pieces in the Form of Games
Step 4 Distractions
Lecture 2 Desensitization to Distractions
Homework 1

Step 3B More Games
Homework 2

Step 3C Still More Games
Homework 3

Step 5 Start Putting the Pieces Together
Lecture 3 Multiple Handlers
Step 3D Even More Games
Homework 4

Step 6 Add Cues for the Whole Behavior (Yes! CueS!)
Lecture 4 Use of the Recall
Lecture 5 What to Do if a Dog Fails?
Lecture 6 Build the Distraction Level Back Up
Step 7 Add Distance
Step 3E Additional Games
Homework 5

Step 8 Building More Distractions with Controlled Games
Lecture 7 Role of Arousal in Recalls
Step 3F Can You Believe it? More Games!
Step 9 Generalization to More new Environments & Recall Summary
Homework 6

Prerequisites and Equipment

a dog that likes food or toys
clicker or other precise marker
a safe fenced area
harness or flat collar
6-foot leash
15 and/or 30-foot long line (biothane or lightweight nylon webbing recommended with gloves)
a variety of medium to very high-value treats (real meat and fat! tripe etc)
a variety of different value toys (tug, ball on a rope, flirt pole, fluffy toy)
squeaky toy
a toy that makes a sound (try second-hand stores and garage sales)
battery operated toy that bounces, jumps or rolls unpredictably on its own
remote control toys (car, truck, or animal that moves)
distractions (human helpers, other friendly dogs, kids, bicycle etc)
X-pen, wire crate, ring gates or link chain fence
unbreakable plate
nylon stocking
paw target 
cone or other similar object
samples of real scent (bird, rabbit, deer etc) such as poop or access game trails or bottled game scent from hunting stores
other commonly available materials as needed



Brand New Course February 2017

Please refer to the instructor bio page for sample testimonials from other courses she has taught.