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Recall Training for Doodle Breeds: Cavoodle, Labradoodle, Groodle, and More

Updated: Jul 7

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Recall training, or teaching your dog to come when called, is a crucial skill for all dogs, including Doodle breeds like Cavoodles, Labradoodles, and Groodles. These intelligent and sociable dogs benefit greatly from effective recall training, as it ensures their safety, allows for off-leash freedom in appropriate environments, and strengthens the bond between dog and owner. This article explores the importance of recall training, effective training methods, practical examples, and tips tailored to Doodle breeds.

Importance of Recall Training

Recall training is essential for several reasons:

  • Safety: A reliable recall allows you to call your dog away from potentially dangerous situations, such as approaching traffic or unfamiliar dogs.

  • Freedom: It enables your dog to enjoy off-leash activities safely in designated areas.

  • Bonding: Successful recall training strengthens the bond between you and your dog, enhancing trust and communication.

Understanding Doodle Breeds

Doodle breeds are known for their intelligence, trainability, and friendly demeanor. They often inherit these traits from Poodles and other parent breeds, making them well-suited for learning recall commands effectively. However, individual dogs may vary in their response to training based on personality, past experiences, and environmental factors.

Effective Recall Training Methods

  1. Start Indoors: Begin recall training in a quiet, distraction-free environment indoors, such as your home or a fenced yard. This allows your dog to focus on learning the command without external distractions.

  2. Use Positive Reinforcement:

  • Rewards: Use high-value treats, toys, or praise to reward your dog immediately when they come to you after being called.

  • Consistency: Be consistent in rewarding your dog every time they respond to the recall command, reinforcing the desired behavior.

  1. Choose a Recall Cue: Select a specific recall cue, such as “Come,” “Here,” or your dog’s name followed by “Come.” Use this cue consistently during training to associate it with coming to you.

  2. Practice in Gradual Steps:

  • Short Distances: Start with short distances and gradually increase the distance as your dog becomes more reliable.

  • Increase Difficulty: Gradually introduce distractions, such as other people, dogs, or toys, to simulate real-world scenarios.

  1. Avoid Negative Reinforcement: Never punish your dog when they come to you, even if they took longer than expected. Punishment can create negative associations with recall and undermine training progress.

  2. Use a Long Line or Leash:

  • Safety Measure: During early stages of training or in unsecured areas, use a long line or leash to prevent your dog from running off if they do not respond immediately.

Practical Examples and Tips

  1. Basic Recall Training Exercise:

  • Step 1: Begin indoors or in a fenced area. Call your dog using their name followed by the recall cue (“Bella, come!”).

  • Step 2: When your dog comes to you, immediately reward them with a treat and enthusiastic praise.

  • Step 3: Gradually increase the distance between you and your dog. Repeat the exercise in different locations and with increasing distractions.

  1. Adding Distractions:

  • Step 1: Practice recall in environments with mild distractions, such as a quiet park or backyard with other people at a distance.

  • Step 2: Gradually increase the level of distraction by introducing other dogs, toys, or food distractions. Reward your dog generously for coming to you despite distractions.

  1. Emergency Recall:

  • Purpose: Teach a separate emergency recall cue, such as “Come now!” or a unique whistle, for urgent situations requiring immediate response.

  • Training: Practice emergency recall in safe environments and reward your dog with exceptionally high-value treats or playtime to reinforce swift response.

  1. Consistency and Patience:

  • Daily Practice: Incorporate short recall training sessions into your daily routine to reinforce the behavior consistently.

  • Be Patient: Every dog learns at their own pace. Celebrate small successes and avoid becoming frustrated if progress is slow.

Case Study: Recall Training for a Labradoodle

Background: Max, a 1-year-old Labradoodle, enjoyed exploring outdoors but had difficulty coming when called, especially in busy environments.

Steps Taken:

  1. Foundation Training: Started recall training in a quiet park using treats and praise.

  2. Increasing Distance: Gradually increased the distance between Max and his owner while practicing recall in different locations.

  3. Adding Distractions: Intentionally introduced distractions such as other dogs and toys, rewarding Max generously for coming when called despite distractions.

  4. Consistency: Maintained regular training sessions and continued reinforcing the recall command in varied environments.

Outcome: Max improved his response to recall commands significantly, allowing him to enjoy off-leash activities safely with his owner.


Recall training is a vital skill for Doodle breeds like Cavoodles, Labradoodles, and Groodles, enhancing safety, freedom, and the bond between dog and owner. By using positive reinforcement, consistency, and gradual exposure to distractions, you can effectively teach your dog to come when called in various situations. Remember to start training in low-distraction environments, practice regularly, and celebrate each success along the way. With patience and dedication, your Doodle breed can become a reliable companion both on and off leash.

For further reading and resources on recall training, consult reputable sources such as the American Kennel Club (AKC) and the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT).

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