One of the most crucial commands every dog owner should teach their furry friend is the "come" or "recall" command. A reliable recall can keep your dog safe and allow them to enjoy off-leash adventures while strengthening your bond. In this blog post, we'll provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to train your dog to come when called.
- Start Indoors
Begin your recall training in a quiet and familiar indoor environment where your dog is less likely to be distracted.
- Choose the Right Reward
Select high-value treats or rewards that your dog loves. These treats should be extra special and different from their everyday snacks.
- Introduce the Recall Word
Decide on a specific word or phrase, such as "come" or "here," to use as your recall command. Be consistent and always use the same word.
- Use a Long Leash
Attach a long training leash (10-30 feet) to your dog's collar or harness. This allows you to maintain control while giving your dog more freedom to move.
- Make It Fun
Get down to your dog's level and make the training sessions fun and exciting. Use an enthusiastic and cheerful tone when calling your dog.
- Start Close
Begin with your dog close to you and the leash slack. Say the recall word and gently guide them toward you using the leash.
- Reward and Praise
As soon as your dog reaches you, reward them with a treat and lavish praise. Make this a positive and rewarding experience for them.
- Increase Distance Gradually
With each successful recall, gradually increase the distance between you and your dog. Keep the training sessions short and enjoyable, so your dog stays engaged.
- Practice in Different Locations
Once your dog reliably responds indoors, take the training outdoors to more distracting environments. Start in a fenced area to ensure safety.
- Proofing the Command
To ensure a strong recall in all situations, practice the command in various locations and with different levels of distraction. Gradually reduce the use of treats but continue to praise and reward your dog intermittently.
- Never Punish for Coming
Never scold or punish your dog when they come to you, even if they took longer than expected. Coming when called should always be a positive experience.
- Use Play as a Reward
For some dogs, playtime with their favorite toy can be a powerful reward. Incorporate play as a reinforcement during training.
- Recall in Emergency Situations
Teaching your dog a reliable recall can be a lifesaver in emergency situations. Practice it regularly to ensure your dog responds quickly, even when it's crucial.
- Be Patient and Consistent
Recall training takes time and patience. Be consistent with your commands and rewards, and keep training sessions upbeat and enjoyable for your dog.
Teaching your dog to come when called is a fundamental command that can enhance their safety and your relationship. It requires patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement. With practice and dedication, you can ensure that your furry friend reliably returns to you, allowing for more freedom and enjoyable experiences together.