little brown down playing fetch the ball game

Training Your Dog to Come When Called

Getting a new puppy is extremely exciting. You’ll have a million cute photos to take, the perfect cuddly name to consider and with all of that going on, lots of people have a tendency to forget the really important stuff – dog training!

Why Train Your Dog to Come When Called?

Alongside ‘sit’ and ‘stay’, ‘come’ should actually be near the top of your list of learned commands. It helps you to control your dog when you’re out and about and ensures that they don’t get into any trouble.

  • You can get them to come to you and stay away from busy roads.
  • You can get them to come to you and stay away from busy roads.
  • You won’t lose your dog as they know not to run too far away.
  • There’s less danger of them getting into an altercation with other, less friendly dogs.
  • You can keep them away from dangerous areas or stop them from eating things they shouldn’t..

But training your dog to come when called is sometimes easier said than done.

How to Train Your Dog to Come When Called

Start with the baby steps.

1.  Never begin by calling them from a distance. You need to start from a few feet away and work up to longer distances. While your dog is occupied, walk a few feet away then call them.

2.  As soon as they get to you after you’ve called, you should praise them with a treat, toy or just a lot of love. They need to feel that they’ve done the right thing.

3.  Remember to call their name clearly and praise them when they respond. If they walk with you or follow you as you walk away, this doesn’t count as coming when called.

4.  Once you’ve mastered a short distance, gradually move further away from them before calling. This process means that you should get further and further away over a period of a few weeks.

5.  As soon as you’re confident enough that you’ve mastered shorter distances, you should ask another person to occupy your dog at one corner of a field whilst you walk to the other. The final test is whether they’ll walk away from that person when they recognise your voice. Remember to praise them as soon as they do. It’s a big step when you know your dog will pick you over anyone else in the world.

Tips to Remember

  • Treats and toys are your bargaining tools. Never leave home without them.
  • Never call your dog back to you to punish them. If you do, there’s no incentive for them to come back next time.
  • Always praise them when they return, no matter how old they are or how long ago they learnt this behaviour. The more praise they get, the faster they’ll come.
  • Be patient – Dog training doesn’t just happen overnight and you need to be prepared to be repetitive in your behaviour if you’re expecting them to repeat the training too.
  • Always practice in safe outside spaces such as your garden or an enclosed field. Don’t start training your dog next to a busy road.
  • Always start off on a long lunge lead. Never let your dog off right from the beginning. The very reason that you’re doing the training is that you’re not confident yet that they’ll come back to you, so don’t risk it!