How to teach a dog to come when called

You’ll want to begin training a recall (come when called) in a quiet area and indoors.

  1. Sit with your puppy and say their name or the word “come.”
  2. Each time you say “come/name,” give your puppy a treat. They don’t have to do anything yet! Just repeat the word and give a treat. Easy!
  3. Next, drop a treat on the floor near you. As soon as your puppy finishes the treat on the ground, say their name again. When they look up, give them another treat.
  4. Repeat this a couple of times until you can begin tossing the treat a little further away, and they can turn around to face you when you say their name. Note: Avoid repeating your puppy’s name; saying it too often when they don’t respond makes it easier for them to ignore it. Instead, move closer to your puppy and go back to a step where they can be successful at responding to their name the first time.
  5. Once your puppy can turn around to face you, begin adding movement and making the game more fun! Toss a treat on the ground and take a few quick steps away while calling your puppy’s name. They should run after you because chase is fun!
  6. When they catch you, give them a lot of praise, treats, or play with a tug toy. Coming to you should be fun! Continue building on these games with longer distances and in other locations. When training outside (always in a safe, enclosed area), it may be helpful to keep your puppy on a long leash at first.

train a puppy

When your puppy comes to you, don’t reach out and grab them. This can be confusing or frightening for some dogs. If your puppy is timid, kneel and face them sideways and offer treats as you reach for the collar.

Never call your dog to punish! This will only teach them that you are unpredictable and that it is a good idea to avoid you. Always reward your dog heavily for responding to their name, even if they have been up to mischief!

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