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How to Train Your Dog to Come When Called?

How to train your dog to come when called?

Last Updated on November 13, 2023

This article provides a comprehensive guide to training your dog to come when called, covering various aspects such as understanding your dog’s behavior, creating a positive training environment, using effective training techniques, and troubleshooting common challenges. 

A reliable recall is an essential skill for any dog owner, ensuring the safety and control of your furry companion in various situations. In this blog, we will walk you through the step-by-step process to train your dog to come when called, both on and off-leash. Whether you’re struggling with your dog’s responsiveness or simply want to enhance their obedience, our expert tips will help you build a strong foundation for a dependable and obedient pet. So, let’s dive in and discover how to make “come when called” a second nature for your four-legged friend.

Listen to the article below. 



Creating a Positive Training Environment


Dog training is a rewarding journey that begins with the establishment of a positive and conducive learning environment for your furry companion. Recall training, in particular, is of paramount importance as it can prevent accidents, ensure your dog’s safety, and strengthen the bond between you and your pet. In this article, we’ll explore the crucial elements of creating an optimal training atmosphere, which include understanding your dog’s instincts and identifying their triggers.


Understanding Your Dog’s Instincts

To train your dog effectively, it’s crucial to learn their natural instincts. Dogs have a strong pack mentality and often prioritize social interaction. Recognizing this instinct will help you tailor your training methods to keep your dog engaged and motivated. 


Identifying Your Dog’s Triggers

Every dog has unique triggers or distractions that can hamper their ability to come when called. Identifying these triggers, whether it’s a squirrel at the park or other dogs at the dog park, is key to successful recall training. Once you pinpoint these distractions, you can work on desensitizing your dog to them.


To ensure a positive learning experience for your pet, keep your dog motivated with rewards and reinforcement. Make every training session enjoyable, give your dog ample opportunities to succeed, and always reward your dog when they respond correctly to your recall command. By establishing a positive training environment, you’ll set the stage for effective dog training and a stronger, more obedient bond with your furry friend.


Using Effective Training Techniques


When it comes to teaching your dog to come when called, employing effective training techniques is crucial for success. In this section, we will discuss the importance of choosing the right time and place to train, preparing the training area, and utilizing positive reinforcement to achieve reliable recall.


Choosing the Right Time and Place to Train

Timing and location play a significant role in recall training. Select a quiet, familiar space initially to minimize distractions. As you progress, gradually introduce more challenging environments, such as parks or areas with mild distractions. Start your training sessions when both you and your dog are in a calm and focused state of mind, ensuring that you have ample time for uninterrupted practice.


Preparing the Training Area

Before you begin each training session, ensure that the training area is safe and secure. This is particularly important when teaching a puppy to come. Remove any potential hazards, such as sharp objects, toxic substances, or items that might be enticing to your dog. A secure environment not only keeps your dog safe but also allows you to concentrate on the training without interruptions.


Using Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is a cornerstone of recall training. When your dog comes to you upon hearing the recall cue, it’s essential to reward their behavior immediately. Use training treats or a tasty treat that your dog finds irresistible. Praise and petting are also effective ways to reward your dog. By associating the act of coming when called with positive outcomes, you’re more likely to get your dog to come every time you ask.


If you find recall training challenging or encounter persistent issues, consider seeking guidance from a professional dog trainer. They can provide tailored advice and strategies to help you and your dog succeed. Remember that patience and consistency are key when teaching your dog to come when called, and with dedication and the right techniques, you can achieve a reliable recall cue that ensures the safety and enjoyment of both you and your furry companion.


Troubleshooting Common Challenges


Teaching basic commands like the “come command” is a fundamental aspect of dog training. However, every dog is unique, and recall training may present various challenges for dog owners. In this section, we will address common issues and provide solutions, emphasizing the use of positive reinforcement and the incorporation of distractions and challenges.



   – Issue: Your dog isn’t coming when called, even though you’ve been consistent in your training efforts.

   – Solution: Ensure that you’re using high-value treats to reward your dog. Sometimes, the reward needs to be especially enticing to get them to come. Additionally, review your consistency and make sure to reward every instance of successful recall.


Distractions and Challenges:

   – Issue: Your dog’s recall works perfectly in the backyard, but they ignore you in the presence of other dogs or stimulating environments.

   – Solution: Gradually introduce distractions during training sessions. Start in a controlled environment, such as a dog park, with your dog on a long leash. Practice the “come command” when your dog’s attention is divided. Over time, your dog will learn to focus on your command, even in distracting situations.


Inconsistent Responses:

   – Issue: Your dog’s recall is reliable some days but less so on others.

   – Solution: Dogs can have off days, just like humans. Be patient and consistent in your training efforts. If your dog doesn’t respond well one day, don’t scold or punish them. Instead, focus on reinforcing positive behavior.


Safety Concerns:

   – Issue: Your dog doesn’t come when it’s time to go, and you’re worried about their safety.

   – Solution: In situations where your dog’s recall is critical for their safety, use a long leash or a secure enclosure until their recall improves. This ensures that you have control over their movements.


Recall training is an ongoing process, and every dog’s recall abilities may vary. By addressing these common challenges with patience, positive reinforcement, and the gradual introduction of distractions, you can work towards a “reliable recall” that keeps your dog safe and enhances your bond.


Addressing Fear and Anxiety:

Fear and anxiety can hinder your dog’s recall. If your dog exhibits signs of fear or anxiety when called, it’s essential to address the underlying causes. Start by identifying what might be triggering these emotions. It could be a past negative experience or a specific situation. To help your dog overcome fear and anxiety, create positive associations with the recall command. Use high-value treats and soothing praise to show your dog that coming to you is a rewarding and stress-free experience.


Show your dog that coming to you doesn’t always mean the end of fun. Practice the “come command” during play sessions, and occasionally, when your dog obeys, let them return to the fun activity. This way, your dog won’t associate coming to you with something negative.


Handling Noncompliance:

Sometimes, your dog simply doesn’t respond to the recall command, leading to frustration. In such cases, avoid scolding your dog as this can erode trust and make them less likely to come when called. Instead, employ a few techniques to encourage compliance. Offer higher-value treats or rewards, use a cheerful and inviting tone, or incorporate a game or toy as an incentive. Be patient and persistent, repeating the training until your dog consistently responds. If your dog doesn’t come immediately, avoid repeating the command multiple times as this can diminish the significance of the recall cue.


Every dog is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. Tailor your training approach to suit your dog’s individual needs and personality. With patience, consistency, and the right strategies, you can overcome these common challenges and achieve a “reliable recall” that ensures your dog’s safety and enhances your bond.


Reinforcing Recall Training

Recall training is a common and essential aspect of dog ownership. By maintaining consistency, incorporating advanced techniques, and using recall as a bonding experience, you can ensure that your dog is already well-prepared for future training endeavors. 


Maintaining Consistency:

In the realm of teaching recall – it’s imperative to maintain consistency. Each time you call your dog, say “come” followed by your dog’s name. Ensure your dog knows that when you say your dog’s name and “come,” it’s time to come running to you. Consistency in your commands and expectations is the cornerstone of effective recall training. 


Incorporating Advanced Techniques:

As your dog’s recall improves, consider incorporating advanced techniques to reinforce their training. Practice recall over longer distances and gradually reduce the use of treats, transitioning to praise and affection as rewards. You can also add variety to the training process by practicing in different environments and situations. This will make your dog more adaptable and less likely to come only in specific contexts.


Strengthening Your Bond with Your Dog:

Recall training goes beyond mere obedience; it’s an opportunity to strengthen your bond with your dog. When your dog comes to you upon hearing the recall command, shower them with praise, petting, and positive reinforcement. This positive interaction not only reinforces their training but also deepens the emotional connection between you and your furry companion. It’s a chance to create a positive association with “come,” making your dog more eager to respond each time you call.


Remember, the time you invest in teaching recall pays off in a safer and more rewarding relationship with your beloved canine friend.



Throughout this guide on teaching your dog to come when called, we’ve highlighted the importance of positive reinforcement training, using high-value treats, and maintaining verbal recall consistency. Recall training is not merely a matter of obedience; it’s a reflection of the bond you share with your canine companion. A well-trained recall command ensures the safety of your dog and promotes harmonious interactions in various environments.


If your dog responds well one day and less so on another, don’t be discouraged. Keep practicing, even if it means going back to basics with your new puppy or teaching a puppy the ropes of recall for the first time. The effort you invest in recall training will lead to a safer, more enjoyable experience for both you and your dog. So, keep up the good work, and watch your furry friend become a recall expert in no time. Happy training!


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