Breed Matters! We know about breed specific behaviour. But it’s not the only thing that matters. All dogs are individuals, and their preferences should be allowed for, if you want to skyrocket your training.

Is “good boy” enough? 

Let’s use recall as an example. Often when a dog returns, we pat them on the head and say “good boy” to reward them. Now, for some dogs that maybe enough, they will willingly recall again. For others, that might not be enough, and you will have to up your reward game.

Every dog has different preferences and those may change day to day.

Work out what your dog prefers to increase your chances of achieving a reliable recall.

How should you reward your dog?

Ask yourself this, what would your dog choose to do instead, if he was allowed?

Is he a snack fiend? Or a toy shredder?

In our example of recall, it’s usually what they’re doing when they’re not recalling. 

Maybe when you call they continue sniffing, shredding toys, playing or saying hi to everyone at the park but you!

Sniffing or chasing instead?

Once you’ve worked out what your dogs wants, use it as a reward.

Here are some simple alternatives to reward a recall for 2 common preferences…


  • Call your dog, when they look at you, run in the opposite direction. They get to chase you!
  • When they come, have a furry toy on a rope and let them chase it. 
  • When they come, have treats you can roll along the ground to chase


  • When they come, scatter food so they can sniff for it.
  • Teach them scent work so they get their fix of sniffing and you become a valuable part of their sniffing team.
  • Take ‘rucksack’ walks. Where you walk together and offer up exciting things to sniff from your bag.

If we wish to build a long-lasting bond then breed certainly matters, but respecting their individual personality is equally as important. 


Carly Clarke| Super Woofers Dog Training.⁠

Puppies, Recall, Therapy & Assistance Dog expert.⁠

Specialising in training for real life with Reward Based Training. 



Tags: Training