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Teaching Your Dog to Come When Called Every Time

Teaching Your Dog to Come When Called Every Time

As a dog parent, there’s nothing quite as frustrating as a pup that ignores your “come” command. You’re standing there, arms outstretched, treats in hand, and your fur baby is happily sniffing a bush or chasing a squirrel, completely oblivious to your desperate pleas. Sound familiar? Well, my friend, you’re not alone. But fear not, I’m here to share my tried-and-true methods for teaching your canine companion to come when called, every single time.

Laying the Foundation

The key to a reliable “come” command starts with building a solid foundation of trust and positive associations. You see, dogs are inherently curious creatures, and their natural inclination is to explore the world around them. But when that exploration leads them too far away from you, it can quickly become a recipe for disaster.

That’s why it’s crucial to start training your pup from an early age, using a combination of treats, praise, and patience. I remember when I first brought my rescue pup, Buddy, home. He was a rambunctious little guy, always eager to chase after the squirrels in the backyard. But I knew I had to get that “come” command down pat, for both his safety and my sanity.

Mastering the Recall

I began by teaching Buddy the “come” command in a controlled, low-distraction environment, like our living room or backyard. I’d call his name, say “come,” and then reward him with a tasty treat and lots of affection when he scurried over to me. Repetition was key, and we practiced this exercise multiple times a day, gradually increasing the distance and adding in distractions as Buddy became more proficient.

One of the most important things I learned is that you should never punish your dog for coming to you, even if they took their sweet time. This can create a negative association with the command, making them less likely to respond in the future. Instead, keep the training positive and upbeat, and be sure to reward your pup’s good behavior with something they truly enjoy, like a juicy piece of chicken or a favorite toy.

Putting it to the Test

As Buddy’s recall skills improved, I started taking him to the park, where he could explore and play off-leash. At first, I’d only let him roam a short distance before calling him back, rewarding him with a treat and some enthusiastic praise. Over time, I gradually increased the distance, always keeping a close eye on him and ready to call him back at a moment’s notice.

It was during these park outings that I really saw the fruits of our training labor. Buddy would be happily sniffing around or chasing after a butterfly, but the moment I called his name and said “come,” he would turn on a dime and sprint back to me, tail wagging furiously. I’d shower him with affection and rewards, reinforcing that coming when called is the best thing ever.

Troubleshooting Common Challenges

Of course, it wasn’t always smooth sailing. There were times when Buddy would get distracted by a squirrel or another dog, and he’d stubbornly refuse to come, no matter how many treats I waved in his face. When this happened, I’d remain calm and patient, and try a different approach.

Sometimes, I’d try using a high-value reward, like a piece of cooked chicken or a favorite toy. Other times, I’d get down on his level, make eye contact, and use a more excited, playful tone to lure him back. And if all else failed, I’d resort to the dreaded leash, gently guiding him back to me and rewarding him when he complied.

Maintaining the Training

Of course, teaching your dog to come when called is an ongoing process, not a one-time event. That’s why it’s crucial to keep up the training, even after your pup has mastered the command. Regularly practice the “come” exercise in different environments, with various levels of distraction, to keep those recall skills sharp.

And remember, consistency is key. Everyone in the household needs to be on the same page, using the same command and rewarding the same behavior. That way, your dog will quickly learn that coming when called is the best thing ever, no matter who’s doing the calling.


Teaching your dog to come when called may seem like a daunting task, but with patience, perseverance, and a whole lot of positive reinforcement, it’s a skill your pup can absolutely master. And trust me, the peace of mind you’ll feel knowing your furry friend will come running back to you, no matter what, is worth every second of the effort.

So, what are you waiting for? Head on over to and start your journey to a perfectly obedient, always-recall-ready pup today!

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