Training your dog to come when called, reliability:


Use Positive reinforcement

Capture your dog doing the right thing (coming to you).

Set your dog up for success and reward the good acceptable behaviors.

Build a relationship with your dog, one that is built on trust, respect, and cooperation.

Play games that help strengthen the relationship

Name game

Start in an area without distractions

Say the dogs name (once), click/treat when the dog looks at you.

The goal is for the dog to respond to his name every time, to the point that it becomes muscle memory.

Slowly add distractions (if at any time your dog does not come, decrease the distractions a little.)

Watch-me Game

Go Play Game

Recall Game

Start from about 6 feet from the dog and then call him to you click/treat when he does. (Repeat all steps many times)

Increase distance

Call dog between two people back and forth

Call the dog from another room

Hide and call the dog so he has to find you and come to you.

Toy Recalls

Recall Races

Call your dog away from playing with another dog

Start all recall training on leash when your dog is a puppy, unless you are in a safe environment that your dog will not fail in.

Progress to long lines

Progress to off leash completely.



Calling your dog multiple times if they do not respond the first time.

Calling your dog to you for things that he may not like.

(Baths, to give medications, to clip nails) Just go and get the dog when if comes to things they may not like.

Calling the dog if you know they will not come. Just go get them or wait until they come to you and reward them for coming to you no matter how long it took.


Reward all check ins. (Every time the dog looks at you)

Reward anytime your dog comes back to you, even if you did not call him. Reinforce that being with you and coming to you is important. Reinforce a lot!

Reinforcement drives behavior!

Add an emergency recall

You could use a whistle for an emergency recall. –

Once your dog does know how to come when called, keep proofing it and keep practicing it. Do not expect that you dog will always know it; practice the recall for the entire life of your dog. If you learn Spanish and then never use it, you would forget it. The same goes for your dog!

Be Consistent!

Train, Train, Train

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