Dog Training: How to Teach Your Dog to Come


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Lying a good foundation when your dog is young will help out in the long run.

Dog Training 101: How to Train ANY DOG the Basics

It builds a stronger bond between you and your puppy, and it helps build up their focus and impulse control. Training your dogs recall is one of the first behaviors you should work on. When it comes to your dogs recall remember to give them some choices, but not too many to avoid setting them up for failure. Success comes in small steps and your dog needs to be trained in many different situations before you can expect them to come to you in a highly stimulating environment.

Only use your recall command once, maybe twice. Getting other people involved is a great way to enforce positive behaviors. Have everyone in the family practice the recall command. Everyone should use the same positive training methods to maintain consistency. Everyone in your family should give a few minutes of their day to actively work on training the dog.

As long as it remains positive and consistent you should begin to notice your dog will start to reliably listen to every family member. Use your friends and family as distractions. Training near distractions is often quite challenging — use a friend to your advantage by keeping the situation under control while they create distractions.

They can help teach your dog to stay focused around distractions. Dogs that are trained with negative consequences or punishment get stressed out which can lead to other behavioral issues such as fearfulness or aggression. The extra stress can interfere with their further training and ability to learn new behaviors. Some dogs love training, but even the most enthusiastic learners do best with breaks.

What works for you and your dog? How did you teach your dog to come when called? Do you have any proud moments of your dog coming back unexpectedly? It really is the best feeling in the world when you see the success of your hard work paying off right in front of you — running and wagging her tail enthusiastically the whole way back to you. Training myself to stop using the term for everything was my biggest challenge. Such great tips! It really is a wonderful feeling when you can call off a dog from chasing a squirrel or something they really go after. Occasionally I give Haley a good treat for just coming in from outside when I call her and she still LOVES playing hide and seek in the house where I hide and call her, then she gets a treat when she finds me.

Keeping it fun and interesting helps a lot. I love step by step instructions. Thanks for the encouragement and clarity.

How To Teach Your Dog To Come When Called

Great list of tips! Consistency is my downfall. Need to start again with a new word. A gal at the dog beach we used to go to had great recall with her dogs using the word zucchini! I love it. This was a great post. I have done several posts on recall, due to the fact that huskies are notorious escape artists. I am not sure some people just how good a recall will come in handy at a time of need!! When I was writing the part about not all doings being so eager to please and a bit tougher to train I had you in mind.

Now I have a Border Collie. No easier to train than Kanook was. Sometimes the only way I can draw her to me is by leaving the park, going to a grocery store and buying some Buddigs corned beef. He got out the door the other day and started running around the driveway, but actually came to me when I called. I was just so happy and it was a big relief too! Good tips, but our hunting dogs will not break off chasing a flushed bird for a treat. Just not gonna happen. We use e-collar to reinforce and we train it all the time. All the time. When we were at the Hillmann seminar in May one of the tips he gave was not to reward a dog with praise while they were returning with a retrieve because over the years he observed that the dogs tended to slow down on their return.

They wanted the praise and made it last. He suggested waiting until the dog was right in front of you, and then turn on the praise. We tried it and that does work. Of course the dogs already have a somewhat reliable recall. That is very interesting about the differences when calling them back.

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Thanks for posting all this great advice, I know my Mum wants to work on this, I can see lots of treats in my future! GREAT tips! I just wrote about training the recall today on my blog after witnessing a man trying to get his dogs back after they broke out of their fenced-in area. My own dog is very easy to train because he is so toy, treat and praise motivated. Plus, he naturally sticks close. I fostered an American Eskimo a few years ago who I would never trust off leash because he just totally ignored me outside.

He was perfect during our indoor obedience classes however and got his CGC. Makes me grateful that like your dog mine is pretty eager to please and easily motivated. Love these tips! We often forget that instinct over-rides training, so we have to work to reverse this by making training more fun and interesting than instinctual attractions. A trainer suggested something else.

Thanks for this article! Very helpful! I just finished an article for my new blog on training a reliable recall, and I linked to your article for further reading. Thanks again! One of the reasons Delilah is rarely off leash is her unreliability. Some things are just more thrilling than me. This is such a terrific explanation of how to get a reliable recall!! Great Job!!

The workshop was excellent and taught me a lot! We have pretty big forest on our property. The forest backs on to at 4 neighbours who all have dogs. Mikko likes to take off through the trees and visit. When he comes back he is so happy and so proud of himself. We usually do not let him out of the fenced in yard. Before working on the recall we would have to drive around looking for him and bring him back home. After working on the recall for about 2 years he would come back about minutes after being called. The last time he took off was about a week ago and he came back minutes after being called.

He came back happy and excited and we gave him lots of praise, lots of treats and played with him in the fenced yard. We will keep him on leash in the unfenced yard before giving him more freedom again. You may ask, why not just always keep him on a leash. Also, I cannot guarantee that we will never let go of the leash bringing him to and from the car. I would rather know that I can call him and he will come back then have him go off and possibly make it out to a road. Fortunately, he is more interested in being with people than with other dogs so after the initial excitement wears off of greeting another dog wears off he wants to be with us.

Our instincts are still to scold him for taking off but instead we praise him and reward him for coming back. I agree with Sue that working on the recall is the most important skill for us to work on with Mikko. Recall is ongoing and never ending. We can never just sit back and say, Mikko has that skill and move on. So, we constantly train and play games that reinforce the recall. Still working on the instant.

Sounds like he has an impressive recall. And I know what you mean about having those instincts to scold when they do eventually come back that was the norm when I was growing up. He had a pretty lousy recall, no wonder he never wanted to come back to me if he knew it was just going to lead to me being angry and immediately taking him inside away from his fun adventures. Or should I call him, offer treat and praise, then get down to the task at hand? I have a King Charles Cavelier called Louie. I started calling him in from the garden at 8 weeks and giving him a treat immediately, from his treat tin.

He will come in every time knowing he will get a treat. I had begun puppy obedience training with Maggie Mae Bostie , though had become quite ill for several months and was not able to continue.

“Go to Bed” the Formal Way

I never started up with her again. Think about the types of play and activity your dog finds most engaging. Does your dog enjoy playing with other dogs? Chasing Frisbees? Tug games? Sniffing the ground in search of gophers? Dinner time? Incorporate off-leash training into each of these activities. For a dog that loves playing with other dogs, you can use dog play as a reward for a fabulous recall or a great down. If your dog loves sniffing the ground and exploring, you can teach him searching games described below. If your dog loves to eat more than anything, have him work for his dinner.

Turning your recall practice into fun and games helps both you and your dog enjoy the training.

10 Best Training Tips

Back and forth recall game. For this game, you will need another person. Call your dog between the two of you. Each time your dog comes, give a great big happy reward silly play, jumping up and down, great food treat, play ball, etc. Hide and seek. Have your dog stay in one spot. Go into another room and hide. When your dog finds you, give a great big happy reward. Repeat 3 to 10 times, and stop while your dog is really engaged. Once your dog knows this game, you can initiate a game of it unexpectedly.


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Dinner time recalls. Have your dog sit or down and stay while you prepare his dinner. Continue to have your dog stay while you take the dinner into another room. Call your dog to you; dinner is his reward. Call your dog to you. When your dog comes, get down on the ground and play, play, play for at least three solid minutes. Ball between the legs. A dog who is appropriately rewarded for his efforts will quickly learn to listen and respond off leash. Make his rewards match the difficulty of the exercise.

In other words, make his response worthwhile! Dog biscuit? Or squirrel chase? Squirrel chase? Instead, always make the rewards for off-leash behaviors interesting, exciting, and most importantly, unpredictable. I find it helpful to list all of the things my dog likes — from favorite food and toys, to freedom and doggy play — and rank them in order with his favorites at the top of the list.

How to Train a Dog to Come (with Pictures) - wikiHow

For one of my dogs, a tennis ball easily tops all other rewards. For the other, chicken chunks and chasing small animals not a reward I choose to use compete for the number one spot. Freedom, or the chance to run and romp like wild dogs, is probably next on both of their lists. Mix up his favorites, varying which one you give him for which behavior.

When you keep your dog guessing, he will stay engaged, giving you an edge in a stimulating environment like a dog park or beach.


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For example, when I call my dog to me, she may get a romping game of ball, a chunk of fresh chicken, or a dog treat followed by a release to go off and play again. For an especially difficult recall, she may even get them all. Instead, go get your dog or wait until he is ready to come to you on his own. Then release your dog to play again. Work on your timing. At these times, you can increase your chances of success by calling him at the moment he can most easily disengage from his other activity.

For example, if your dog is greeting another dog, wait for the moment when you can see they are about to turn away from each other, then call your dog. Go get him instead. Always and this is a golden rule act or behave as if your dog is the most wonderful being in the world when he comes to you — no matter what he was doing before he came.

Some people might think coming when called should top the list for building off-leash reliability. Coming when called, or the recall, is indeed the backbone of off-leash skills. A dog that will come immediately in almost any situation is safest off leash. When your dog gets to you, Click! Instead of feeding the treat from your hand, toss it a short distance away. Tossing the treat moves your dog away from you, so he will have to move toward you again for the next Click!

Wait for your dog to come back to you after eating the treat. When he gets to you, Click! When he is consistently coming to you for the Click! The secret to building a reliable recall is to teach your dog to come when called in a low distraction environment like your living room and then very gradually train him to respond in the face of increasing distractions.

Increase the distractions slowly enough so that your dog can handle it. Consistently and repeatedly reward successful recalls while avoiding situations where your dog may not come when called. The biggest mistake most of us make when training a recall is expecting our dogs to automatically be able to come in difficult situations from the get-go. When teaching the recall, plan frequent practice times.


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Practice your recalls with the following in mind:. This is another time when it may be helpful to make a list. Write down what your dog finds distracting and rank those distractions from easiest to overcome to those that are the most difficult. For example, a young puppy may find everything in his environment distracting — from a leaf on the ground, to a new person coming into the room, to a dog across the street.

An older dog may be able to ignore the leaf, but a new person or dog may still pose a challenge. To really build a successful recall, plan on practicing with at least 30 different distractions. Practice at the easiest level until your dog will come happily each time he is called in spite of the distraction. This could take one or two practice sessions for some distractions, but may take up to a week or more for others.

For example, for a puppy who is distracted by a leaf on the ground, practice with a leaf as a distraction in your living room. Then practice with a leaf as a distraction in a bedroom, the kitchen, and the garage. Next, take the leaf outside in the backyard and front yard. Then graduate to a local park during a quiet time of day like 7 am , where you can practice around lots of leaves. The more difficult the distraction or training situation, the better the reward.

This sounds like a lot of work, and it is. But the work will pay off big time when your dog responds to your recall with great enthusiasm under even the most difficult circumstances. The ability for dogs to herd or run agility requires communication at a distance.

The idea is to shift his concept of off-leash time from one of a vacation away from you to one of a vacation with you. You want your dog to understand that staying connected with you while running, romping, and playing will ultimately make play time even more rewarding. Some that I find fun include:. Begin by shaping your dog to touch the target while it is near you. When your dog is happily touching the target next to you, gradually move it farther away. Build up to sending your dog 20 or 30 feet to the target. At that point, you can send your dog out and then ask for another behavior, like a distance down, before tossing the ball.

Stand on one side and motion your dog around the chair with your hand or a treat. Once he gets the idea, you can use just a hand motion, giving your dog a Click! Use your reward marker the moment your dog turns back to you; if you Click! After he will happily circle the chair, you can gradually move away until you can send him around the chair from a distance. Later, you can have him circle trees or other natural features.

Begin with your dog sitting on your left side — facing the same direction as you — and a ball in your left hand. Soon your dog will begin anticipating the toss and turning to the left when he hears the word.

Dog Training: How to Teach Your Dog to Come Dog Training: How to Teach Your Dog to Come
Dog Training: How to Teach Your Dog to Come Dog Training: How to Teach Your Dog to Come
Dog Training: How to Teach Your Dog to Come Dog Training: How to Teach Your Dog to Come
Dog Training: How to Teach Your Dog to Come Dog Training: How to Teach Your Dog to Come
Dog Training: How to Teach Your Dog to Come Dog Training: How to Teach Your Dog to Come
Dog Training: How to Teach Your Dog to Come Dog Training: How to Teach Your Dog to Come
Dog Training: How to Teach Your Dog to Come Dog Training: How to Teach Your Dog to Come

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