Why are recall games important? Why can’t you just give your dog a cookie every time he comes? Don’t the laws of applied animal behaviour tell us that the equation “recall cue = cookie” should be sufficient to getting a strong and reliable recall?
Well, yes, and no.
What the equation omits is that there is an emotion attached to every behaviour you train. It’s something I say at least twice a week in my classes: You are always training an emotion into a behaviour. What recall games do is help ensure the emotion that is attached to the behaviour of coming when called is a fun and happy one.