Tips for getting your dog to come to you


“Come” is the most important word that you will teach your dog,  and if it is trained using positive reinforcement and play, you are  more likely to have a successful, reliable recall. Maintaining a solid  recall is a lifelong training effort that includes enthusiasm,  consistency, and most importantly, rewards – lots and lots of rewards!

Before You Begin: 

Never use your recall cue to call your dog to you for something  negative, such as a reprimand, isolation, to get their nails clipped, or  anything else your dog finds to be negative. Always make sure it is fun  and positive every time they run to you.

If you have inadvertently already been calling your dog for things  that he or she considers unpleasant, then just change your command and  start training all over so your dog learns that coming to you is the  best thing in the world!  So, if you need to get your dog for something  he considers unpleasant (such as a bath or nail trim), do not use your  “come” command – just go get the puppy without associating a word with  it.


Teaching the Recall: 

Start slowly by practicing at home with minimal distractions and plenty of fun or yummy rewards,  like toys and treats.  First, show your dog a high-value treat as you  move backwards and say the dog’s name in a bright, happy tone. If the  puppy runs straight to you, reward with several small treats.

Be very exciting and make the puppy understand what great fun it is  to run to you. As he comes to you, give him several treats AND praise  AND petting AND play.  Once your dog is running consistently straight to  you, you can name the behavior (come, here, etc.).

When going outside to practice, there will be more distractions, so  always keep your dog on a leash or safety long line until he has been  trained more thoroughly, and don’t forget to use high value treats!

Collar Grabs:

Practice grabbing your dog’s collar when he comes to you, just before  you give him the treat.  This will avoid your dog taking the treat and  run away to play the game again. It will also make your dog associate a  “collar grab” with a good thing and not something to run away from and  avoid.


Reinforcing the Recall: 

The key to success is building a great relationship with your dog.   You must try to be “Be the Very Best, Most Interesting Human Ever in  the History of the Entire World” each and every time you call your dog  to come.

Also remember to never, ever reprimand your dog after you ask them to  come to you!  This rule applies to every recall and means that no  matter how many times you call or how long it takes for your dog to get  to you, he gets huge rewards once he gets to you.

Have your dog randomly check in with you many times while at play,  especially with other dogs. Just call them to you, give them a treat and  then release them back to play. That way, “come!” is not associated  with leaving or being leashed.