Teaching your pet to come when called is extremely important. Not only is it a component of basic obedience training, but it could one day save your dog’s life. Imagine you are opening the front door to your house, preparing to leave, and your dog bolts through the door and across the yard. Your dog is racing toward the street, unaware of danger, just excited to be on the run. In this moment, you will probably call your dog’s name in a panic – will he listen?
If you have taught your dog to come when called, you could save him from a potentially fatal accident.
Below you will find a step-by-step guide for teaching your dog to come to you when he is called.
Step-by-Step Training Guide
Teaching your dog to come when called is not difficult, but it does take some time and practice. Follow the steps below to teach your dog to come when you call his name:
- If you are training a new puppy, you will first have to teach him to recognize his name – calling his name will not do any good if he does not realize you are talking to him.
- To teach your puppy to recognize his name, simply say his name in a clear voice several times throughout the day – immediately after saying his name, give him a toy or treat as a reward while petting him. Wait a few minutes before repeating this and do it ten to twenty times per day.
- After a few days, start saying your puppy’s name when he is distracted or not looking at you. If he responds by turning to look at you, praise him by saying “Yes!” and offer him a treat or toy. Play with your pup for a minute or so, then start to ignore him and wait until he loses interest.
- Repeat this sequence, saying your puppy’s name when he is distracted and then rewarding him when he looks, several times a day until your puppy responds consistently to his name. Then you can start teaching him to come when called.
- Begin in a room inside your house where there are few distractions.Stand in front of your puppy and show him that you are holding a treat in your hand. When your puppy notices the treat, take a few quick steps backward away from him.
- If your puppy follows you when you move away from him, praise him by saying “Yes!” and give him the treat. Repeat this sequence several times until your puppy follows you consistently.
- Move on to introducing the “Come” command preceded by your puppy’s name. Say, “[insert dog’s name], Come!” in an excited voice then give him a treat.
- Repeat this sequence several times while standing in front of your dog then start doing it while moving backward away from your dog like you were before.
- If your dog follows you, reward him with the treat and repeat the sequence several times until he starts to come when you give the command before you even start to move. Praise and reward your puppy each time he responds appropriately.
- After a few repetitions you can start standing further away from your dog when you issue the “Come” command – you can even try standing in another room.
To reinforce your dog’s recall, call him to you several times throughout the day from various rooms in the house, especially when he is distracted. If you have trained him properly and taught him that coming when called earns him your praise and reward, he will be eager to respond.
By now it should be clear to you that teaching your dog to come on command is not difficult – you simply have to be patient and consistent with your training methods. Make sure your puppy has mastered one step before moving on to the next and, before you know it, he will be coming to you each time you call his name.