Least effective method to retrieve a dog that has got off leash?

If you are reading this article today it is because you are having a serious problem, a frustration that is surely preventing you from fully living your relationship with your dog.

Don’t worry, this problem exists with many owners – your dog doesn’t come back often, even when you call It.

You don’t dare let go of your dog because you are afraid that It will follow a car, a jogger, a bicycle, or even another dog. You always hesitate to let it run and exert itself as it should because you are not 100% sure that it will come back when you are indicated. You are partly right because mastering the recall is above all a safety asset for your dog who will not always be able to anticipate the dangers around It.

So rest assured, this problem is not an end in itself. It’s possible to get a good recall with a few simple tips and exercises, whatever the age and breed of your dog. Of course, the older your dog the longer it will take for It to fully obey as It will have been used to not doing so for much longer than a young dog.

But remember that there is always a solution, but before finding it you must, first of all, determine the cause of your dog’s lack of obedience on this point.

The Least effective method to retrieve a dog

Least effective method to retrieve a dog that has got off leash

Running after your dog while shouting its name. This approach is the least effective because shouting the dog’s name tends to make the dog run away faster as they think they will be punished or running after them could let them think it’s a game.

The causes that keep your dog from not coming back

Let’s take a look at some of the causes that make your pooch not listen to you when you call It:

  • Your dog may not be walked enough or released enough. If the leash is constantly stretched, it will cause frustration in your dog. This then explains why It takes advantage of being let go to do whatever It wants. Do not hesitate to use a large lanyard if you do not have the possibility to let it go completely, it will then be in, what I call, day parole and it will therefore be able to relax as it should. In addition, it is important to work on walking at the foot, or at least the good natural tracking on a leash so that the attached walks are still pleasant for your dog.
  • If your dog does not come back when there is stimulation like another dog, a bicycle, or a car, for example, when It crosses, It only has one desire: to run! .It’s, therefore, necessary to offer your dog a progressive work of socialization with a lanyard, to begin with in order to be sure to have control of the situation and especially to work on a regular basis.
Least effective method to retrieve a dog that has got off leash
  •  instinct! For example, if you have a hunting dog, Its instinct and sometimes even Its mission is to follow leads. If this is the case, apart from a specific tracking activity, it’s indeed very difficult to go against Its natural instinct. However, you can offer them an activity that meets their needs. Always keep in mind that having a hunting dog or working dog requires more attention and work than a toy dog. It is therefore essential to be well informed about the characteristics of the breed when you adopt a dog, do not choose It only because It’s “beautiful”.
  • Maybe your dog likened your recall to something negative as well? Either because It’s systematically attached when It’s called back to your feet or because It’s scolded when It returns. Well, it’s up to you to change that! During your walks, call It a few times “for nothing” without reattaching It, just rewarding It when It comes back, and then letting It go play.
  • Finally, maybe, quite simply, your master/dog relationship is not sufficiently complicit. This causes a lack of interest on the part of your dog. I advise you to resume and strengthen your play sessions with It and above all meet Its social needs.

Here are two simple step exercises to work on your dog’s recall: natural tracking and foot recall.

Natural monitoring

The goal here is to teach your dog to pay attention to you and your changes of direction in a natural way, i.e. without talking to It.

With a lanyard and on low stimulation terrain like your garden, for example, walk without really paying attention to your dog and when It’s too far from you: change direction, turn around, go in the opposite direction to It, without warning It. Do this several times and you will see that after a while (a few minutes is enough) your dog will anticipate your changes of direction and will therefore be much more vigilant of you.

Remember: the more you talk to your dog, the less It will look at you, and the more you pay attention to It, the less It will pay attention to you.  Your dog has to pay attention to you during the walks and the opposite.

You can play hide and seek when you walk with It: hide behind a tree or turn around without warning It! You will see: eventually, when It’s in front of you, It will look at you a lot more often and really pay attention to you.

Least effective method to retrieve a dog that has got off leash

The foot recall

First and foremost, your dog must recognize Itself when you call It. So make sure It knows what Its name is. If this is not the case, condition it: “Its name” = reward.

Then, an element to never forget: you must always follow a hint after its name. If you only say Its name, your dog won’t know what to expect from It. So don’t forget: “Its name” + “come” or “at the foot” for example.

A few tips to make sure you have the right attitude:

  • Avoid choosing cues like “come here” or “here” which end in the same way as “sit” and may in fact confuse your dog.
  • Recall your dog in a very positive way, by crouching down and patting Its legs.
  • Always reward your dog when It returns. What is rewarding my dog? It’s stroking it, giving it a treat, or playing with it. It’s up to you to observe your pooch and therefore to know what reward will be really positive in Its eyes.
  • If It doesn’t come back when you call It: don’t go to It, go! Create a distance between you and your dog and it will make your dog wanting to follow you in order to reconnect with you.

You now have all the keys in hand to successfully get a good recall of your pooch. But I recommend that you work on this indication at a young age of your puppy, since its adoption if possible.

Do’s and Dont’s when your dog gets off its leash


Don’ts when your dog gets off its leash:

  • Don’t shout. Your dog will tend to run away faster because they think that they will get punished.
  • Don’t run after them. your dog will think of it as a game so It will run much faster.
  • Don’t punish your dog. Don’t do this because your dog might think that you punished It because It returned back. Give your dog a treat to let It know that It did a good job.

Do’s when your dog gets off its leash:

  • Stop and lie down. Instead of running after your dog which could put more risk if you are near the street, do this. The dog will get curious why did you do that but it will make It come back to you to check what is wrong.
  • Stay calm. Panic will only worsen the situation. Staying calm is very important to think of ways on how to let your dog go back.
  • Call the dog by Its known name. Calling the dog’s name in a calm and cheerful voice will let the dog feel that It’s not in trouble.
  • Notify the public. Dogs tend to run fast to explore. If It’s been out for some time, notify the public right away before It goes far away from your area. In this way, your neighbors will be able to help you locate your dog.
  • Open your door. Most dogs find their way home on their own. The best thing to do is open your gate or your backyard door so that when It comes back .

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