Teaching Your Dog to Come When Called | Barky Supplies Expert Tips

Teaching Your Dog to Come When Called

By Joan Hunter Mayer

Earth Day festivities, flowers in bloom, and birds singing – Spring has sprung! And we’re ready to head out and about with our inquisitive canines. Fortunately, simple and fun exercises you and your pup can practice can help teach your dog a reliable recall (coming when called).

Gradually, you can take these skills into real-world situations, starting in a secure outdoor area and eventually unleashing adventures together in a variety of different locations. We’ll walk you through it.

Step-by-Step Recall Training: 

  • Gather your supplies and arrange the environment so there are few (or zero) distractions — indoors is ideal. If outdoors, begin away from the commotion of people or animals and start in a fenced yard or other secure outdoor area, keeping your dog on leash, for safety reasons, if necessary. 
  • Begin by facing your dog and calling his name (and/or your favorite verbal recall cue) then backing away. 
  • Prompt him with a happy, cheerful voice and if necessary, use a treat to lure him towards you. 
  • As he approaches you, continue to use your happy voice and praise lavishly.  
  • After moving a few feet, stop moving backwards. 
  • When pup stops in front of you, reach in and grab his collar with one hand, then give him a tasty treat from the other. 
  • For extra credit, when you stop backing up, ask your dog to sit before you reach for the collar and present the reward. 
  • Also note, if you have a dog who likes to jump up to greet you, it can be easy to unintentionally reinforce jumping on you, instead of coming when called! By asking your pup to sit as part of these recall games, you can keep your communication clear and consistent, avoiding frustration for both you and your inquisitive canine. 
  • Repeat these steps several times, until your dog is almost chasing you around the house or yard in order to come when called. 
  • Once your dog has mastered coming on cue at this stage, you can begin manipulating the 3-Ds: distance, duration, and distractions, moving from one room to two rooms, then three, etc. You can even practice recall by playing hide and seek around the house!
  • The goal is for your inquisitive canine to consistently associate your call and you reaching out toward him, with the most wonderful things – yummy treats and lavish praise! 
  • When your buddy is coming to his name, reliably and enthusiastically, each and every time, you can then move on to the next steps, described below.

Generalizing the Skills

To help your pup generalize this training to various locations and situations, begin to mix it up a bit. If you’ve been practicing indoors only until now, you can move your recall training exercises to the great outdoors. For example, practice the backing-away recall while out walking your dog on leash. Give the cue (your pup’s name in your cheeriest voice) when your dog is facing forward, not looking up at you. As he turns towards you and begins to approach, follow the steps outlined above.

If you want, you can get a longer leash or long-line (see safety notes below) and practice the same exercises, gradually increasing distance. At first, back up just a few feet, progressing to a farther, but safe, distance over time. As with any training exercises, remember to keep it simple by increasing distance and distractions slowly and using your happy voice at all times. 

Stay positive and keep at it. Take your time and only move on to more difficult challenges when the one you’re working on is super easy for your dog. The ultimate goal is that coming when called, regardless of the situation, becomes a conditioned response, meaning your dog responds without even really thinking. 

A reminder, if your dog doesn’t come when called, “save your recall” by going to him and putting a treat or toy in front of his nose (luring) and walking him back to where you called him from. Praise and reward generously in that location. 

Management Tips for the Great Outdoors

So often in dog training, management is the key to success, as well as keeping everyone safe. That goes double when training outdoors. As you practice bringing your recall skills out into the real world, keep the following tips in mind:

  • A safety note about using a long-line – be cautious not to get your dog tangled up in the leash.
  • Know the local laws in the areas you take your dog, including leash and vaccination requirements, as well as any breed-specific policies. 
  • Always supervise your dog; inquisitive canines can be quick and sometimes unpredictable. Maybe Fido ignored the squirrels last time you went to the park but today he feels a little friskier and is distracted by anything and everything that moves! 
  • Provide feedback to help communicate what you want. This coaching includes capturing and reinforcing behaviors you want to encourage, such as “check-ins” when off leash.
  • Learn to read your dog’s body language; this is their main form of communication. 
  • Help your dog make good choices by providing proper and “legal” outlets for normal canine behaviors. A physically and mentally enriched dog is often a happy dog! Keeping Fido physically and mentally active can help prevent boredom related problems indoors as well as outdoors. 

A Word on Motivation

Successful positive reinforcement training begins with discovering what motivates your dog. Whether it be food, toys, or ‘real-life’ rewards such as sniffing a favorite tree, or romping with canine pals, all have one thing in common: They encourage learning and participation through things your dog enjoys. Providing anything that your dog finds rewarding helps to establish a more enjoyable learning environment. It also assists in building and maintaining a mutually trusting relationship. 

In Summary

When refining your recall skills, first ask yourself, what are your goals? Then, based on your answer, consider what you are asking of your dog. How does the difficulty level of the goal you’ve set relate to his baseline skills, and the setting or environment? Recalling your pup from all the incredible sights and scents of an outdoor adventure is a lot to ask. Remember to make it easy in the beginning to help build a solid foundation, using high-value motivators, including a happy and cheerful voice. The sound of your voice should be music to your dog’s ears, predicting fantastic rewards, so be their cheerleader! 

Here’s to building a solid, reliable recall so you and your best fur friend (BFF) can enjoy unleashing adventure and harnessing fun together!

The Inquisitive Canine was founded by Santa Barbara certified canine behavior consultant and certified professional dog trainer Joan Hunter Mayer. Joan and her team are devoted to offering humane, pawsitive, practical solutions that work for the challenges dogs and their humans face in everyday life. As a specialty trained Family Paws Parent Educator (FPPE), Joan offers services both in-person and online for growing families. If you are feeling inquisitive and have dog training questions, we invite you to contact The Inquisitive Canine for A Pawsitive Approach for Positive Results ™.

Source link

Show full profile


Unleash happiness with Barky Supplies Pro's expertise! 🐾❤️🎉 At Barky Supplies Pro, we believe that your pet deserves nothing but the best. As a passionate pet retail expert, we are committed to offering top-notch dog supplies and accessories that go beyond the ordinary. Join us in spoiling your furry friend with our carefully curated selection of products, because your pup's happiness is our priority! 🛍️🐶 #PetLover #RetailExpert #DogSupplies

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Barky Supplies Expert Tips
Enable registration in settings - general
Shopping cart