A reliable recall is one of the most important behaviours you need to teach your dog. A poor response to recall is very common, too often dogs are allowed off their lead without recall training. Every time you recall your dog & they ignore you & run off, they are learning that recall is optional & by having fun they are being rewarded for not coming back.
The first step on recall is to choose your cue – this simply means what word you are going to use to call your dog back. Carefully choose your word & make sure you have not chosen one you have taught your dog to ignore.
When starting to teach your recall find a location with few distractions which is away from the place where they normally walk & run off. Put your dog on their lead & armed with some high value favourite food treats (the smellier & tastier the better) start to move backwards & call them in a fun excited way – try using a higher pitched tone to your voice. When they start to follow you reward them with treats & praise continually. Practice this lots & if you are progressing well, you can also introduce some distractions. Only when your dog is consistently coming to you on the lead then you can introduce your cue word to recall. Use this cue word every time & reward for their return. When teaching a new behaviour it is very important to ONLY introduce the cue word when your dog is doing what you want them to.
Now you can replace your lead with a 10 metre long training line which provides your dog with more freedom & distance to recall without running off. Recall your dog on the long line with your cue word & always reward when they return. Your dog will begin to learn that recall is not optional & when they do return to you that great things will happen. When you have got to this stage consistently then you can advance further by letting go of the training line & recalling in from greater distance. But if your recall starts to fail drop back to holding the line again, its important you do not set up the dog to fail. This will take several sessions to achieve but when you have reliable recall the pleasure it gives make the hours of teaching so worthwhile to you both.
Some other tips to use, never punish or shout at your dog for not coming back to you. On your walk practice the recall several times & not just when you want to head home with them. Remember toys can also be a great reward so try using their favourite toy or a ball if you need to as a treat. And always make it fun whilst training with lots of fuss & love at the end of the session & finish on a high.