How to Teach Your Dog To Come When Called

5 Tips to Get Your Dog To Come When Called

Recall,  or come when called, is a life saving command.  Arguably, it is the most important command we can teach our dogs.

Consider that gut-wrenching feeling when your dog is bolting away from you and you simply can’t catch him?

He may also think having you chasing him is part of the fun.   Maybe chasing the squirrel is way more exciting that hanging out with you.

You can prevent this.  By:

Teaching a Reliable Recall Command

  1. Never punish the dog for coming back to you or when you catch up with him. You might really be frustrated and angry, but do not let it show! Not one little bit. Celebrate with everything you can that he’s with you. Coming to you should be the best thing ever.

  2. Don’t call him to “Come” for bath time, nail trims, medication, or anything he finds unpleasant. If you have given your existing recall word a bad name – change it. “Here” is a good alternative

  3. Reward! During the teaching phase, praise, play and reward every time he comes to you.

  4. Don’t let him fail! During your teaching phase, have him on a leash for your recall practice. If you don’t have on a leash and are not sure he’s going to perform the command, or you have no way to reinforce it – use other words to achieve your end goal. With him on a leash and he fails to comply, reel him into you with enthusiasm , praise and reward!

  5. Recall Doesn’t End Your Fun – when your dog is outside playing it’s going to be very hard for him to recall away from fun (we’ll get there with proofing), but for now, don’t let recall be the end of your activities. Recall and let him go play again and again. Do a few different commands or activities before you head inside.

  6. Lots of repetitions – many each day. And then lots more repetitions.

Once you have the foundation in place for several days – then you can start proofing this skill under distractions.

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Recall Command

Come Command

Dana Brigman