Recall Training – The Ultimate Resource To Training Your Dog An Excellent Recall

Struggling with training your dog to recall? Feel like you aren’t getting anywhere regardless of the approach you are taking? read on and gain access to a 5 Day video Training Guide!

Are you struggling to train your dog in the recall exercise?

Trying to modify his or her behaviour in any respect but aren’t achieving the results that you are looking for?

Whilst this guide is specifically aimed at owners struggling with recall, the concepts within will apply to anything you are trying to achieve with your dog. There are a number of reasons that your training attempts aren’t producing the results you are looking for and we plan to share them with you.

If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always got!
It always amazes me how many owners and even professional trainers continue to use the same approach even though it isn’t giving results. Dogs are very intelligent and respond very quickly to good training – if you are struggling with the recall it will be because your dog is struggling to understand what you require – this is easy to sort.

It is not the approach to training but the ability and skills of the owner that creates results.

Many Dog owners and lots of professional trainers will give up on a particular approach because they believe that it isn’t working for them and their dog. They immediately look for a new approach to training. I have seen all manner of different training techniques come and go over the years and regardless of the approach one thing remains constant;

A skilled trainer on the other hand possess all of the traits required to take on board a new approach, apply it to an individual dog and produce a result very similar, if not exactly the same as the last dog they trained using a completely different approach. If the trainer does not possess the required skills to help their dog understand then they will struggle.

You can take the proven best approach to training and put it in the hands of a person who has bad timing or an emotional reaction to their dogs bad behaviour and the training will fail. There are a number of essential training skills which are imperative to your dogs understanding.

How to become skilled at training your Dog

Unfortunately, using a conventional approach of reading books, researching online or visiting a trainer can only help you so much because usually the whole approach to training dogs and their owners is flawed.

It is scientifically proven that it takes around 10,000 hours of correct practice to acquire proficiency in a complex skill such as a new sport. But this is just dog training I hear you say? – Be assured, dog training is a very complex skill, its actually more complex than most others because not only do you need to learn the handling skills but you also need to learn how to read and react to an animal which learns and responds to its environment at least 7 times faster than a human and whose hard wired canine traits, in the main, run in direct contrast to what you are trying to achieve.

Over the years it has become apparent that there are certain habits that most owners of troublesome dogs all share in common. The habits are in the main completely subconscious. Because the owner doesn’t realise they are doing it, it doesn’t matter how often a professional trainer tries to stop the particular habit for an hour each week because as soon as the owner is alone again they will unknowingly recommence in their bad habit thus halting or reversing any progress made during the lesson.

The answer?

After studying and analysing the habits of over 1000 pet dog owners who are having issues with their dogs we have found the common differences between their approach and the approach of a skilled trainer.

We have taken the anomalies between you and the skilled trainer and applied the pareto principle to them (read more on the pareto principle here) to discover which ones we should focus on to get the biggest results with the smallest investment of time on your part. The result is a short list of easy to understand and apply principles which work in harmony with your natural tendencies whilst allowing you to really start communicating with your dog.

The anomalies and areas that you should begin working on right away to achieve success with training your dog and improve your skill set are (in order of importance)

  • Timing of consequence – Timing is critical, dogs react to their environment and the people in it at least 7 times faster than humans. In order for communication and proper reinforcement of behaviour you need to respond within a maximum of 1/2 a second to your dog regardless of if the dog is displaying a behaviour you want it to or a behaviour you want to stop.
  • Anticipation – Skilled trainers are aware that a dog will respond and react much faster than they will and they also know that dogs are creatures of habit. These two pieces of information combined lead to the trainer having to anticipate the dogs next move. If the trainer anticipates what the dog will do next then their timing will be exceptional thus leading to quick learning and understanding on the dogs part.
  • Talking too much – I’m not saying you can’t talk to your dog (I have conversations with mine all of the time) but the habit of talking to your dog at the wrong times causes so many issues it is unreal. Talking or repeating yourself to your dog when trying to modify behaviour however causes a knock on in four other areas which are very detrimental to your desired result.
  • Lack of praise – In direct contrast with the above anomaly is a consistent lack of praise both in terms of speed of praise (see timing of consequence above) and a general lack of positive input when your dog is doing what you like. It is human nature to notice misdemeanours often but miss small improvements in behaviour. You wouldn’t go to work if all you ever got was told when you were wrong and it is very common for dogs to feel like all the are getting is bad feedback. In a human world this tendency can be seen often between staff and manager or husband and wife.
  • Expecting it to go wrong – Human nature dictates that we want our loved ones to be successful. Our dogs are members of our families and we want them to be successful too but pet owners expect their dogs to get it right when good trainers expect them to get it wrong. The reason this works is because the trainer expects the dog to not respond correctly to a command or to perform an unwanted behaviour such as jumping up their timing of input will be excellent. Novice owners who expect it to go well will first have to process that it has not gone to plan, then decide on the appropriate action and then do it – by which time the timing window will have passed.

Is that all there is to it?

Well thats not quite all of the differences between you and a skilled trainer but these are the main ones and certainly the ones that if mastered will have the biggest impact on the success of your training regardless of the exercise or the behaviour you are trying to change. One thing is for certain though, without the above skills, it doesn’t matter which approach to training you choose because the approach will not work unless it is applied with excellent timing, clear communication of what is approved of, anticipation of the dogs next move and the expectation of habitual behaviour from the dog.

We have produced detailed explanations of these above anomalies along with suggestions as to how you can begin implementing solutions to them right away. We are committed to helping you and your dog achieve success together, to access these never before seen articles completely free of charge enter your email address below now.

Once you’ve learnt about these concepts we will give you free access to our Five Day Reliable Recall VIDEO Training Guide.

How to keep your dog mentally and physically stimulated

While you might think your dog loves lounging all day, dogs need to be kept stimulated, both mentally and physically.

If your dog isn’t getting enough stimulation, this is when you are likely to start seeing unwanted behaviour, which can make living with your dog very hard and can impact your life more than you might imagine.

Here are a few tips with give our clients for keeping your dog mentally and physically stimulated.

It’s as easy as throwing a ball (do be careful throwing sticks as they can damage your dog’s mouth) or a toy, and making your dog fetch it and bring it back. You could also play tug of war, but be aware dogs are cheats, and will tug from just below your hand!

If you want to make things harder, you can hide treats around the garden and get your dog to sniff them out and find them. Don’t do this in the house under any circumstances; your house should be a quiet place for your dog at all times.

Make your dog work for treats – puzzle toys
Something that’s really fun for your dog is to make them work for treats using puzzle toys.

Puzzle toys have holes and openings in them which you can stuff with treats and food. To get the reward, your dog has to shake the toy, push it around, rattle it, and lick it.

To vary the difficulty, you can get puzzle toys with adjustable holes to allow you to change the size. To start off with, keep the hole completely open to make it easy for your dog, and then the more they do it, the smaller you can make the hole to make your dog work hard.

We use and recommend Kong toys, fill with treats or even peanut butter.

Give your dog something to chew on
It’s natural for dogs to chew; it’s something they enjoy doing. To prevent any unwanted chewing and to keep your dog busy, give your dog some toys they are allowed to chew on and encourage them to do it.

It’s best to only allow your dog to have a chew toy inside its crate. There needs to be a clear distinction for your dog regarding where they can and cannot chew. Allowing your dog to chew when loose in the house may blur the lines as to what is an acceptable chew toy and what is not.

If you catch your dog chewing something they shouldn’t be, tell them no, and if the dog persists you may need to correct the dog in some way.


Exercising with your dog doesn’t stop at taking them for a walk. There are plenty of activities you and your dog can do together, to keep you both stimulated, and fit and healthy.

Some of the most popular exercises to do with your dog are: walking, running, playing, cycling with your dog, hiking, and agility training.

To find out more about how to keep fit with your dog, read our recent blog post, how to keep fit with your dog.

Training is a great way to ensure your dog is obedient, and keep any unwanted behaviours at bay.

If your dog is already obedient, it’s important to make sure you continue training to make sure your dog behaves the way you want him or her to, and doesn’t develop any bad habits.

If your dog isn’t trained or you’re seeing specific behavioural problems, our residential training can literally be life-changing. We understand the frustrations many dog owners face each day living with a disobedient dog.

The four-week course will teach your dog obedience, and take care of any specific problems you’re having. When the course is complete, we will teach you all the commands you need to know to continue training your dog at home.

Dog sitters / dog walkers
If you’re at work during the day and are unable to take your dog to work or pop back during the day, consider hiring a dog sitter or using a dog walking service.

Borrow My Doggy, a partner of DogsTrust, is a service that’s well worth looking into. Borrow My Doggy matches you and your dog to people in your area who want to spend time with a dog.

It’s a win-win situation because your dog gets exercise and spends time with someone, while someone who can’t have a dog (perhaps due to their job or home) gets to spend time with a dog.

What do you do to keep your dog stimulated?

Do you really need to rehome your dog?

There are many reasons why you may feel you need to rehome your dog, but it doesn’t always have to end in rehoming.

At WKD Trained Dogs we put out ‘wanted’ adverts for the popular breeds that our clients desire and if a dog is suitable, we will train them and match them up to a new loving family.

In doing that, we’ve discovered a few common reasons why people feel they have to rehome their dog.

If you are planning to buy a dog, we encourage you to think about the future, and any reasons why you feel you may have to rehome the dog.

Here are the five most common reasons we see for people rehoming their dogs, and steps you can take to prevent it.

Behavioural problems in the dog
This is probably the most common reason for rehoming a dog. Living with a dog with behavioural problems can be frustrating and upsetting.

There are a multiple reasons why a dog might have behavioural problems, and the most likely reason is that you and your dog didn’t receive adequate training in the first place.

We offer a four week residential training course, where your dog will come and stay with WKD Trained Dogs. We will teach your dog general obedience to ensure they behave correctly in your home and out on the lead, and we can target any specific issues your dog has, such as chewing, or aggression.

Once training is over, we will hand your dog back to you and teach you all the commands, and give you all the information you need to know to ensure your dog’s behaviour doesn’t lapse.

Family demands
When people come to us for a family dog, we encourage them to think about the future and anticipate any changes that may result in them feeling they have to rehome the dog. Most commonly this is a new baby, or a new job.

If your job is preventing you from spending as much time as you want to with your dog, consider doggy daycare, hiring a dog walker, using Borrow My Doggy, or ask if you can take your dog to work. More and more offices allow their employees to take their dog to work now, if they are well behaved of course.

When you have a baby, you may be concerned about how your dog will behave around the baby, and adapt to a huge change in your household.

There are some basic ground rules you can set to make yourself feel more comfortable and relaxed about your dog and your baby:
• If your baby is on the floor, the dog must be in its bed
• Do not allow your dog to jump up when you are carrying the baby
• Always supervise your dog and baby – never leave them alone in the same room
• Make sure your dog has a den / safe place (such as a crate) before the baby is born, where you can put them when you inevitably have lots of visitors in the first few weeks
• If your dog’s routine will change, establish this before the baby arrives so that the dog is used to it. For example, your dog’s meal or walk times might change, and get your dog used to walking next to a pushchair.

All of our dogs are sociable animals, who are great with children as most of them go on to become trained family dogs, and will meet children that visit our site.

If we are aware that client is expecting a baby, or planning to have one in the near future, we can do number of things, such as:
• Train the dog to walk alongside a pushchair
• Ensure the dog only plays with their toys; they won’t pick up dummies and the like
• Play soundtracks of a baby crying so that they are not alarmed by the noise

Relationship breakdown
The breakdown of a relationship can be incredibly stressful, and can result in people rehoming their dogs. The most common reasons for this are the dog’s energy levels being too high and the owner feels they cannot manage it, or the owner doesn’t feel they can give the dog the time he or she needs.

If it’s a case of your dog’s behaviour being too much to handle, our four-week residential training course can vastly improve their behaviour and correct any specific issues your dog has.

If you feel you can’t give your dog the time and attention he or she deserves, consider using a dog walking service, or doggy daycare. If you still feel that it isn’t enough, it’s probably in the dog’s best interests that he or she goes to a new home.

Moving abroad, or to a pet-free property
If you are renting, you may find that a lot of properties say they do not allow pets. The DogsTrust run a scheme called Lets With Pets which can help you find a pet friendly landlord, and gives you tips on finding accommodation for your dog.

It can also be useful to make up a ‘CV’ for your pet to give to potential landlords, explaining their behaviour and personality, and listing any training courses your dog has done. If you can prove that your dog is well behaved, a landlord is much more likely to look favourably upon allowing your dog to live in the property.

Taking your dog to live abroad with you is not as hard as you might think. We regularly train dogs in the UK, and send them to live with families all over the world.

When we send dogs to their new loving family by airplane, we have to:
• Get a fit-to-fly letter, which will be issued by our vets no more than 10 days before travel
• Ensure the dog has had a rabies vaccination, and has proof of it in their pet passport (a pet passport is usually around £100)
• The airline will send us documents to complete, along with a travel crate with water trays, and stickers that we have to apply

You will be able to get further information about travelling abroad with your pet from your vets.

Owner’s ill-health
Unfortunately there may be a time in yours, or a family member’s life, where you feel you can’t look after your dog anymore.

If it’s a temporary issue, consider finding a dog sitter, or using Borrow My Doggy.

If it’s likely to be a permanent issue, then it is probably in the dog’s best interest that he or she finds a new family.

If you want to find out more about our residential training course, or have a popular breed of dog that you are looking to rehome, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.

New dog laws: make sure your dog is obedient

Dog owners could face fines of up to £20,000 under new laws which came into force last month to prevent dog attacks.

Since 2005 eight adults and 15 children have died as a result of dog attacks. In addition to that 6,740 people needed hospital treatment due to dog attacks in 2013, a 6% increase from 2012.

The focus of the new laws is to force owners to take action to prevent a dog attack. If someone complains about the dog to the council or the police, owners could be forced to:

  • Attend dog training classes
  • Muzzle the dog / ensure it’s on a lead in public parks
  • Have the dog microchipped and / or neutered
  • Repair fencing to stop the dog being able to leave the property

Complaints can be made against things like excessive barking, intimidating people or attacking other animals.

New laws also include:

  • Up to 14 years imprisonment for owners of a dog that kills someone
  • Up to five years imprisonment for owners of a dog that injures someone
  • Up to three years imprisonment and / or a fine for owners that allow their dog to attack a guide dog
  • Up to a £20,000 fine and / or six months imprisonment for owners of a dog deemed to be dangerously out of control. These people may also be banned from owning dogs and may have their dogs destroyed.

At WKD Trained Dogs we have seen a lot of unpredictable dogs come to us for residential training and it’s certainly not the case that all of those dogs are bad dogs. Their owners have raised them in a loving way and tried hard but the owners and the dogs just hadn’t received the correct training.

The last thing any dog owner wants is for their dog to attack someone or another animal and the correct training can help to prevent that.

As an owner it’s your responsibility to ensure your dog is under control and obedient. Obedience is much more than making your dog sit, it’s about ensuring your dog will come back when recalled, walks properly on a lead, is calm around other people and dogs and will listen to you.

Our residential training has been life-changing for many of our clients. For more information on how it can help you and what’s covered in our residential dog training, please call us on 01785 761 441 or fill in our contact form.

Why do so many people have difficult dogs?

We see a lot of dogs that have been raised by their owners in a caring and loving way but are still considered ‘difficult’.

In many cases the dogs have been to training groups, visited behaviourists and the owners have been offered advice by many but they still end up bringing their dog to us for our sought after residential training to finally achieve real and lasting results.

Why are so many dogs and owners finding themselves in a mess? These are some possibilities:

1) The incorrect dog for their lifestyle.

We see time and time again complete mismatches of character between dogs and their owners. This is often neither parties fault. When selecting a puppy it is extremely hard to pick your new dog based on temperament if you are not sure what to look for.

Most information available on the internet is very misleading. A puppy is like a sponge and will very quickly learn bad habits if allowed to do so. The key here is to really consider what behaviours you find acceptable and which you don’t and to think long-term.

Whilst it may be funny watching your 8 week old puppy charging around the house, bear in mind that at 12 months and nearly fully grown the same behaviour will be disruptive and potentially dangerous for both the dog and your family. Start as you mean to go on and think outside the box.

2) Lack of direction and support from trainers.

We often meet dog owners who have been asked to leave their training group as their dog has been disruptive. Other clients have been seeing the same or multiple trainers for months (and sometimes years on end) with little or no success. Dog training is simple when you really know how and have the correct guidance from somebody who can explain things to you as adequately as they can to your dog.

A good trainer should show you immediate results and help you achieve the same. If you are still doing the same techniques with no results weeks down the line it’s time to speak with your trainer. If your current approach isn’t working, find a new one!

3) Blaming the dog.

Dogs are creatures of habit and in order to change a behaviour you must change the habit.

If your dog is doing something which you find unacceptable it is because you have struggled to guide the dog towards correct behaviours. It doesn’t really matter how or why you are in the situation, concentrate on finding a way to improve.

For more information on our residential training courses please call us on 01785 761 441. You can also view our testimonials to find out how our courses have helped our customers.

Why should I train my dog?

Dogs become part of the family and we’re all guilty of spoiling them a little bit. As an owner though it’s your responsibility to make sure your dog is well trained.

It’s more than them knowing how to sit or stay, you need to make sure they come back when called and behave correctly while out in public and in your home.

Your responsibility

If you are going to own a dog it’s your responsibility to make sure he or she is well behaved in public.

Some dogs may show aggression towards people or other animals so it’s important to make sure that issue is dealt with quickly.

As well as the safety of people you need to consider the safety of your dog. If your dog will not come back when called, he or she could get injured.

For the happiness of your family

A badly behaved dog can wreak havoc on family life.

Whether you’re living in fear that your dog may bite you, your dog is aggressive towards other animals, won’t come back when called, suffers separation anxiety or something else, it isn’t fair on you, your family or your dog to live with that.

Many of our clients who’ve brought their dog in for residential training tell us that their lives have literally been transformed.

For example; they can take their dogs for a walk knowing that their dog will come back when recalled or they can invite guests round knowing that their dog will be well behaved.

A trained dog is a happy dog

If your dog is well behaved he or she will be happier than if they were badly behaved and were constantly being shouted at.

Imagine how confusing and scary it must be to be shouted at all the time when you don’t what you’ve done wrong or how to behave instead.

If your dog is badly behaved our residential courses can work wonders and change your life. Our courses generally last between four and six weeks, depending on the issue, and we will accept any dog, of any age with any issue.

If you are thinking about buying a dog but are worried about training them correctly get in touch with us to find out about our trained dogs. We offer trained puppies and trained adult dogs and list some of our dogs for sale on our website.

To find out more about residential training or our trained dogs for sale, fill in our contact form or call us on 01785 761 441.

WKD Trained Dogs trained and supplied for a guide dog charity

We recently waved goodbye to four lovely Labradors who boarded a plane to work overseas with a guide dog charity.

A few months ago we were approached by a guide dog charity when a few of their young adult dogs, who they had raised from puppies, failed their final assessment due to hips and elbow scores or their temperament.

After finding our website and chatting to us they booked a flight and came to visit us. On the day of their visit they placed an order for four dogs, one of which was our very own Wally.

We sourced the remaining three dogs and carried out the same temperament test we use for all dogs we source, to make sure they have the correct temperament.

The dogs were trained to our obedient family dog level, were socialised more often than usual and encountered public transport on a regular basis.

After months of hard work, the four dogs went overseas at the end of April and have begun specialist training with the charity.

The charity have since ordered another two dogs from us, which will join them later this year.

The cost of training a guide dog is around £80,000 per dog and the charity believe that with our input they can half the training time from 12 months to 6 months.

We’re so happy to be able to help a charity and wish our dogs the best of luck abroad!

WKD Trained Dogs – no matter what kind of dog you want, we can train them

If you visit our website often or follow us on social media, you may have noticed our name has changed from WKD Working Dogs to WKD Trained Dogs.

We feel that WKD Trained Dogs gives our customers a better idea about what we do and helps them to understand that we don’t just train working dogs; we also train puppies, juveniles and adult dogs to be your perfect family pet.

Whether you want a family pet, a personal protection dog or a security dog, we can train them.

If you have specific requirements for your dog and their training let us know as we have experience in training dogs for specific purposes or to meet owners requirements. At the moment we’re currently training dogs for the blind and last year we trained a Labrador for a family with an autistic son.

As our name is changing we have changed our Twitter and Facebook usernames to avoid confusing you! If you are already following us on Twitter or have liked us on Facebook you don’t need to do anything as we have not created new Twitter or Facebook pages.

If you are not following us on Twitter you can find us @WKDtraineddogs and you can like us on Facebook at

Whether you’re looking for a business protection, a security dog or a trained family dog, call us on 01785 761 441 or fill in our online contact form to find out more.

Want a trained family dog? Three breeds WKD Trained Dogs recommends

Trying to choose the right breed of your dog for your family can be difficult but there are three breeds were often recommend to our clients: Labrador Retriever, Hungarian Vizsla and the German Shorthaired Pointer.

We find all three breeds are intelligent, fun and perhaps most importantly, gentle around children. Read on to find out more about the three breeds we love and recommend at WKD Trained Dogs.

Labrador Retriever

Labradors are the most popular breed of dog in the world because of their lovable, fun, energetic but gentle nature which makes them the perfect choice for families with children and other pets.

Their gentle and intelligent nature also means they’re an excellent choice for people with disabilities, whether that’s as a companion dog or an assistance dog.

Last year a family with an autistic son came to us after reading research about the potential benefits dogs, especially Labradors, can give people with disabilities.

We trained a Black Labrador Retriever for them, who they named Hector. During the first few months of having Hector at home with them they didn’t notice much difference but then their son began talking to Hector and started to seek him out. (You can read a testimonial from the family on our testimonials page)

Interested in a trained Labrador? Visit our Trained Puppies and Trained Family Dogs page to take a look at the Labradors we currently have for sale.

Hungarian Vizsla

The Hungarian Vizsla (sometimes called the Magyar Vizsla) is a gundog that has been around since the 10th century where they were used as hunting dogs by Hungarian tribes.

Their loyal and affectionate nature has earned the Hungarian Vizsla the nickname ‘velcro dogs’.

Vizslas are gentle around children which makes them a great option for active families who have the time to exercise them daily.

Watch the video below to see Dylan, a Hungarian Vizsla, we recently trained and sold as a trained puppy.

There are currently no Hungarian Vizslas listed for sale on our website, but please contact us to find out if we have any in our kennels.

German Shorthaired Pointer

The German Shorthaired Pointer was developed in Germany in the 19th century for hunting.

They are intelligent, affectionate and energetic and are suitable for active families who can exercise and let them run daily.

German Shorthaired Pointers usually get along with other animals and make good watchdogs.

There are no German Shorthaired Pointers listed as for sale on our website, but please get in touch with us to find out if we have any.

If you want a fun, energetic but gentle family dog we believe all three breeds are an excellent choice.

Not all of the dogs we have for sale are listed on our website so if you cannot see a Labrador, Hungarian Vizsla or German Shorthaired Pointer for sale please get in touch with us to find out if we have one available.

If we haven’t got the breed you’re interested in or you have specific requirements, we can source and train a dog to meet your exact requirements.

Call us on 01785 761 441 or fill in our contact form to begin the search for your perfect trained family dog.

Tips for training and keeping your dog well trained

He never used to be naughty’

‘He does it perfectly when he’s at home’

‘We did puppy classes and he did really well but since then it has all gone wrong’

‘He never usually behaves like this’

Dog training is just like any other hobby/pastime. On average, a puppy training class will be six or maybe eight one hour lessons and very few people continue to more advanced classes. Nobody would expect to become proficient in speaking a foreign language or playing a new sport within six or eight hours and the same goes for dog training.

There is an added difficulty with dog training, especially if you are training your first dog.

Both you and your dog will be learning at the same time and this will take lots of practice to get right. Remember that practice doesn’t make perfect. PERFECT PRACTICE makes PERFECT.

To begin with you need to be training your dog in very low distraction situations, once you and your dog are getting the hang of things you can gradually build up the distractions and still insist on the desired behaviour from your dog.

Just like any other skill, the more you do, the better you will get.

On a final note, one of the biggest keys to dog training is that if the dog receives positive reinforcement at exactly the same time as a behaviour it is more likely to repeat that behaviour in the future.

For example; if you give your dog a treat once it is lay down quietly with the family in the living room he/she will be more likely to lay down quietly in that place again. If you continue to reward the dog for doing so you will build a strong behaviour pattern for the desirable behaviour.

Bear in mind that what we see as positive for the dog may not be positive in the dogs eyes.

In order to find your dogs motivation you should arrange a variety of toys and treats and see which your dog prefers. Just because you like hotdog sausage doesn’t mean that your dog will.

Finding his or her motivator is key to effective dog training; find it and a whole new dog training experience awaits you and your pet.