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Whippet Training: the Recall

Practicing the recall is essential for whippet training and can save your pet’s life.

Sighthounds are well known for being free thinkers and taking their sweet time when called.

In their eagerness to please, whippets are easier to train than the average sighthound, nevertheless you’ll need to practice the recall with your dog, until he can be let off leash.

Recalling your whippet in any kind of environment is essential to safeguard his safety and your sanity. Certainly you don’t want to put your whippet at risk in the traffic or spend hours trying to catch him after a walk in the park.

Here are some basic whippet training tips to keep in mind while practicing the recall.

- It is never too early or too late to start teaching the recall.

- The best time of the day is when your whippet is hungry and alert.

- Never call your dog to reprimand him.

Even if he tries your patience and drives you mad, once he comes, praise him.

The last thing you want is your dog associate returning to you with an unpleasant experience.

- Always use a cheerful, inviting tone of voice when calling your dog

- Train only for few minutes at the time

Whippets don’t like repetitive play and bore quickly. Stop training when your dog is still willing and hungry for more.

- Never chase a whippet, it’s a game you can’t win.

Whippets love to be chased because they always win!

If he doesn’t come to you, run the opposite way and make him chase you.

- Don’t recall your whippet only at the end of a walk

If you call him only when he is enjoying himself, he will associate the recall with the end of a good time.

Call him during your walks for a quick pat and reward.

These are three easy steps to a perfect recall

Step 1

In a hallway, have a helper restrain your whippet, while you at the other end attract the dog's attention.

Do whatever it takes to entice your puppy, show a favorite toy, a food treat and use body language by bending your knees and opening your arms. Your whippet will be tempted to chase you if you start running away.

Once the dog starts moving toward you, call his name and give the command “come”.

As soon as the whippet starts struggling to reach you, your helper will release him.

Reward your dog with verbal praise and food any time he comes to you.

Once your pet starts to understand what is asked of him, you can play in the house, calling his name and rewarding him whenever he finds you.

Step 2

During your daily walks keep your whippet on a long line and occasionally call him to you, warmly praising him when he comes.

Shortly, you should be able to work on the recall in the presence of distractions like other dogs.

If the puppy doesn’t respond you can always call his attention with a gentle tug on the lead.

Step 3

Once your whippet comes reliably on command, try the recall off leash in a safe area.

If you have a chance go out with another trained dog, recall both dogs and reward whichever arrives first.

The key to whippet training and learning the recall is to make it a fun game and make your whippet think you are the most interesting thing around.

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