Teaching your dog to come when called is one of the most important things you can train your dog to do, for their safety and for the safety of others.
A dog’s response to the come command (commonly called a “recall”) is an essential tool for every dog parent.
Whether you are having fun at a dog park, or at a friend’s home or even in your own home, having your dog understand and respond to recall is something you will want your dog to know and listen to.
One thing to remember when beginning to teach your dog recall is to never call your dog to “come” and then do something unpleasant (e.g. give them an unwanted bath, clean their ears etc.). That’s the quickest way to make them not want to come.
Instead, find something that will motivate them and reward them for listening. Maybe it’s their favorite toy, or a treat, or a cuddle.
In the video series below, Victoria Stilwell demonstrates her technique for teaching a dog to come when called.
Stilwell begins in Part 1 of her recall series on teaching a puppy recall.
Part 2 demonstrates “back and forth” training to help your dog advance in recall.
Part 3 shows how to do a recall with a hand signal paired with a voice command, as your voice may not always be an option in a loud environment or if your dog has trouble hearing.
As Stilwell points out, many dogs have a great recall at home, but are much less reliable in a distracting environment. In Part 4, she demonstrates the best technique for practicing recall outside.
Finally, she answers questions and gives some advice in how to train recall in a distracted environment – an important step to test if your training has been effective.
We hope you’ve found these lessons helpful in teaching your dog to never fail to come when called.