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How to train a dog to come when called

Updated on April 21, 2013

Training the dog basic obedience commands is a good bonding time for owner and pet. It is a good chance for the owner to interact with the pet apart from being able to control the dog when it is very necessary. Teaching the dog the recall command is very crucial for the protection and safety of the pet as well as for the convenience of the owner. The come command is a basic obedience command that every dog must know.

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Teaching the dog NOT to come when called

Recall is one of the basic commands that should be easily learned by the dog. However, some owners find it very difficult to train the dog. Dogs learn by association. When you call your dog to punish him, to attach the leash or to give him medicine, the recall command is associated by the dog to something unpleasant. The same thing would be true if you call the dog to stop it from playing or to confine the pet to his crate. These negative reasons for calling will make the dog refuse to come the next time it is called.

Name recognition

Give the puppy a name as soon as it is brought home. When you play, feed or interact with the dog, always call its name. Name recognition is very necessary to train a dog as you will always need to call the dog’s name to gain its attention.

The location

The location where the training will be conducted must be free from distractions. Dogs are easily distracted and for sure you would not want to compete with other people, animals and sounds to get the attention of your dog. The location must be fenced in as well to ensure that the dog will not run away while being trained.

The lure

To entice the dog to respond well to training you can use the dog’s favorite toy or favorite treat. Remember, it will only be a treat if it is liked by the dog.

Training the dog

If you are going to use the dog’s favorite treat as a lure it would be better to have the training session before the dog has its meal. Put a bite sized treat on the ground and then move away from the dog. After the dog has eaten the treat call the dog to come. When it comes to you give it another treat. Repeat this process several times making sure to increase the distance between you and the dog. The idea is for the dog to associate the command “come” to receiving a treat. After a while, the dog will come even if no treat is offered. You can also use the dog’s favorite toy to make the dog respond to the training.

Teach your dog to come to you!

Dog Training : How to Train Your Dog to Come When Called

Train a Dog the Come Command (Recall) : Why Train a Dog to Come


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      corasmith45 6 years ago

      I adopted a 2yr old Chiahuahua mix from the shelter. He does not know how to walk with a leash. He pulls backward fighting the lead. How do I help him learn?

    • knell63 profile image

      knell63 8 years ago from Umbria, Italy

      Hi Jackinabox, good advice, my own dog responds perfectly to "ignore me", "bark loud and annoy people" and "whine for food".  I did read a great book about dog communication call the Dog Listener by Jan Fennell I found that really usefull too.