Round Robin Recall: Build a Solid Recall

You need two to four people to play this game. You can play this at home with no distractions to start, then gradually begin playing it in an outdoor area with distractions.


Each person should spread out: with two people playing the game you will call the pup back and forth, with three or more you will form a triangle or a square. Keep the distance between each person realistic for the pup to be successful.


Simply take turns calling the pup. Each time the pup comes to the person calling, gently take hold of his collar as you offer him a treat.


Taking hold of the collar is for two reasons; first it ensures that the pup will not take off before you want him to, secondly the pup will associate having you hold his collar with something positive: getting a treat!

Variations of This Game
Round Robin: Puppy Learns Your Name!

Sending the pup off to someone specific by name. If you want to teach the pup to go to Billy, instead of the regular release you would point to Billy as you say “go to Billy.” Billy should call the pup right after you tell the pup who he should go to.

Round Robin with Hide and Go Seek (and other games)

Another variation of this game that is loads of fun for you and your puppy is Round Robin with Hide and Go Seek games.

Johnny calls Spot. When Spot gets to Johnny, he is rewarded with a wonderful game of find it! Then Susie calls Spot. When Spot gets to Susie he is rewarded with a fabulous game of retrieve! Then Johnny calls Spot and when Spot goes to Johnny, he has to search for him because Johnny is hiding behind the chair. When the puppy finds him they roll on the floor in celebration plus he gets a tasty treat! Your puppy will be very proud of himself for being such a strong and stealthy hunter!

The Benefits

The variations on this game are limited only by your imagination. The beautiful thing about this sort of game, as well as it being an important training session, is that “come” starts to take on a very positive meaning for your puppy! These games teach one of the principal obedience cues to your pup, a word that may mean the difference between his life and death someday.

TIP: Round Robin Recall
  1. If the puppy is reluctant to leave someone after the next person has called him, the person who he is still with should stand up and turn their back to the pup.
  2. If the puppy is having trouble at the beginning of the game, people should stay relatively close together and sit on the ground or squat low, open your arms wide to look warm and inviting. A high silly animated voice is a good bet or, if you really need to, a squeaky toy may do the trick.
  3. Your intonation should be relaxed, warm, and inviting. It is not necessary to screech the cue to the dog. Use a silly animated voice if you need to get the puppy into the game.
  4. Before the pup is called away from someone, the person they are currently with should release them.
  5. Remember to vary the order in which people call the puppy, otherwise the puppy will get bored and anticipate.

Puppy Out of the Gate: Build a Solid Recall

Picture horses as they come out of a gate at the racetrack. Again you will need two people for this game, one person to call the pup and one to hold him.


The person holding the pup should be squatting down with the pup in front of them and they should hold the pup gently with their arms around the pup’s chest (not by the collar).


The person calling the pup will be running in a straight line away from the puppy.
Start slowly and taunt the pup. Say something like “hey there cutie! Are you a great puppy…what cha doin?….” As you are saying this you should be shuffling away from the pup and then back towards him and you should be sort of low to the ground like a runner as they take of to run a race.


After a few seconds of taunting and once the pup is good and charged, call your puppy by his name and “Come”. e.g., Egghead, Come! Then take off.
As you say come the person holding the puppy should let go and if you have done your enticing of the pup properly, you should have the little critter charging after you.


Once he catches up, gently take his collar and offer that tasty treat, then release him.

The Benefit

This Game conditions a super fast response from your puppy when being called to ‘Come!’