Dog Training Tip: Formal and Informal Recall

June 30, 2014 in Aerowood Animal Hospital

In dog training class, a formal recall is taught. This involves giving a command, usually “here,” and expecting your dog to hurry to a spot directly in front of you, sit down, make eye contact, and wait for your next command without moving an inch.

There are huge advantages to having your dog know a solid, formal recall. But sometimes it’s cumbersome to use the formal recall where you should be standing and your dog should come to a complete stop. Sometimes you only want your dog come within your general vicinity and then go back about his or her business – an informal recall. This is why it’s nice to have two recall commands, a formal and informal.

Using one command word as both a formal and informal recall will erode the quality of your formal recall. Using your dog’s name as an informal recall can be helpful in some situations but problematic in others. Imagine the situation where you are stressed and call out your dog’s name to get his or her attention, but you want your dog to sit, stay, or down – anything but come.

If you are using “here” as your formal recall, “come” makes a good informal recall. If you have already trained your dog to an informal recall, when you start formal training, pick a new word for your formal recall. That way, you won’t have to retrain the informal recall later.

Formal informal recall

Print Friendly