Improve dog recall?

Question:

My dog’s recall is pretty good, but when he sees a squirrel, I could have a steak in my hands and he’d ignore me. Any recommendations?

Answer:

Sure. First off, make sure you are setting your dog up for success and preventing squirrel chasing when possible, otherwise you’re making your job a lot harder.

Secondly, I’d recommend that you begin to work on some foundation behaviors, like name recognition or “name game.” Name game is simply rewarding your dog when they look at you after you say their name. This is the first step in developing a great recall.

Then I’d recommend practicing this around things that move (but not squirrels just yet). Can you roll a ball across the floor or toss an object and still get your dog to look at you? These are the “muscles” that need to be developed to eventually ensure your dog pays attention to you (and your steak) when there is a squirrel in view!