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Teaching Your Dog to Come When Called

Teaching Your Dog to Come When Called

Ah, the age-old struggle of getting our furry friends to come when we call them. It’s a dance we’ve all been a part of – the frantic waving, the desperate pleading, the final resignation as our pup trots off to chase a squirrel. But fear not, my fellow dog owners! Today, I’m here to share some tried and true methods that have helped me teach my own pup the art of the perfect recall.

The Importance of a Reliable Recall

Before we dive into the training techniques, let’s take a moment to appreciate just how crucial a reliable “come” command is for our canine companions. It’s not just about obedience – it’s about keeping our pups safe. Imagine this: you’re at the park, your dog is happily romping around, and suddenly, they catch sight of a squirrel and take off. If they don’t come when you call, they could end up in a dangerous situation, like running into the street or getting lost. That’s why mastering the “come” command is an absolute must for any responsible dog owner.

Building the Foundation

Okay, let’s get started! The first step in teaching your dog to come when called is to establish a strong foundation. This means starting with simple commands and gradually building up the difficulty. Begin by teaching your pup the basic “sit” and “stay” commands. Once they have those down, you can start incorporating the “come” command.

As this video from YouTube suggests, the key is to make coming to you more rewarding than anything else your pup could be doing. Start by calling your dog’s name and immediately rewarding them with a treat or praise when they come to you. Repeat this process in different locations and situations, gradually increasing the distance and distractions.

Harnessing the Power of Positive Reinforcement

One of the most effective training methods is positive reinforcement. Instead of scolding or punishing your dog for not coming when called, focus on rewarding them when they do. This could be in the form of high-value treats, enthusiastic praise, or even a fun game of tug or fetch. The goal is to make coming to you the most rewarding thing your pup can do.

As the RSPCA website notes, “You must learn to be more exciting than the rest of the world!” This means finding ways to make yourself irresistible to your pup, whether it’s by using their favorite toy or breaking out the smelliest, tastiest treats.

Overcoming Distractions

One of the biggest challenges in teaching a reliable recall is dealing with distractions. Whether it’s a squirrel, another dog, or a delicious-looking pile of leaves, our pups can be easily sidetracked. That’s why it’s important to practice your “come” command in a variety of settings, gradually increasing the level of distraction.

As demonstrated in this video, you can start in a quiet, controlled environment and then move to more stimulating locations, like the dog park or a busy street. Remember to always reward your pup when they come to you, even if it’s not as quickly as you’d like.

Consistency and Patience

Mastering the “come” command is a journey, not a destination. It’s going to take time, consistency, and a whole lot of patience. But trust me, it’s worth it. Not only will it keep your pup safe, but it will also strengthen the bond between you and your furry friend.

As this Reddit post highlights, it’s important to never punish your dog for not coming when called. Instead, focus on rewarding the behavior you want to see. With time and dedication, your pup will learn that coming to you is the most exciting thing they can do.

Putting it All Together

Now that you’ve got the basic training techniques down, it’s time to put them into practice. Incorporate the “come” command into your daily routine, whether it’s during playtime, mealtimes, or walks around the neighborhood. And remember, every successful recall is a victory, so celebrate those wins with your pup!

And if you ever find yourself struggling, don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional dog trainer or check out the wealth of resources available on We’re all in this together, and with a little bit of effort and a whole lot of love, your pup will be a pro at coming when called in no time.

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