How to Teach a Dog to Come?

How to Teach a Dog to Come

Here’s a breakdown of how to teach your dog the “come” command, why it’s important, and key takeaways:

What is the “Come” Command (a.k.a. Recall)?

  • A command that means your dog should immediately run towards you, regardless of distractions.
  • It’s a crucial skill for your dog’s safety and well-being.

How to Teach Your Dog to Come

  1. Start Simple: Train indoors with minimal distractions at first.
  2. Positive Reinforcement: Use enthusiastic praise, treats, and play as rewards.
  3. Short Sessions: Keep it fun with brief training sessions, gradually increasing the time.
  4. The “Stay” Position: Begin by having your dog stay before calling them to you.
  5. Gradual Distance: Start close together, then slowly increase the distance.
  6. Introduce Distractions: Add toys or other distractions to test your dog’s focus.
  7. Cue Words: Use a clear “come” or “here” command consistently.
  8. Fade the Treats: Slowly reduce the frequency of treats, relying more on praise.

Why Your Dog Might Not Respond

  • Not Enough Practice: This skill takes consistent training.
  • Lack of Rewards: Ensure rewards are motivating to your dog.

Importance of the “Come” Command

  • Safety: Protects your dog from hazards like running into traffic or encountering dangerous animals.
  • Good Behavior: A well-trained dog is a joy to have in public.
  • Stronger Bond: Training builds trust and understanding between you and your dog.
  • Reduced Stress: A reliable recall gives your dog freedom and you peace of mind.

Key Takeaways

  • Patience and Consistency: The key to successful dog training.
  • Positive Approach Focus on rewards and praise, never punishment.
  • Start Early: Puppies can begin learning basic recall.
  • Make it Fun! Keep training sessions upbeat and engaging for your dog.
  • Safety First: A reliable “come” command could save your dog’s life.

What Does the Term Come/Recall Mean?

Have you ever watched dog trainers throwing words like come or recall or reliable call? A dedicated call means you want your dog to respond correctly and enthusiastically when you call them.

Just like humans, dogs are also conscious. You cannot expect dogs to listen to your order like they are robots. But with the skill of recall/come, dogs are going to listen to you as much as possible.

Make your dogs come/recall training fun, lively and enthusiastic

  • Start training your dog in the house instead of going out for training. Your dog already knows your home, so that the training will be less distracting for him. And so, the dog will be able to focus more on training.
  • Give your dog rewards and treats when they come to you. Every dog loves treats. Your dog will listen to you more when you give him rewards and treats.
  • When your dog finally starts responding to you when you call them, you can start with a verbal command like come, come here, go, etc.
  • After some time, you can increase the distance between your dog. But make sure to treat them when they come to you on your command.

How to Teach a Dog to Come?

There are many ways to teach your dog to come when called. Just remember your dog is not going to learn the skill of coming in one or two days,

so you have to be patient and enthusiastic with your dog. And remember not to scold or yell at your dog and make this process fun for your dog.

Tips for teaching your dog how to come when called:

Start Training with Short Training Sessions

Start training your dog for short sessions at the start because dogs might get bored if the sessions will be too long. Gradually increase session time.

Have Your Dog in the Stay Position

First, have your dog in a stay position to start the training. You can also take the help of another person who can hold your dog in a stay position. Then you take a few steps away from your dog when your dog’s hand is on the leash.

Cue Implementation

Clap your hand or do anything and ask your dog to come very politely. If your dog doesn’t listen to you, repeat it many times till your dog finally starts listening to you.

Give Your Dog Some High-Value Reward

When your dog has done the positive enforcement, please treat them with a high-value reward. You can give your dog hot dog bites, cooked chicken, or anything your dog likes.

Start Practicing and Increase the Distance Gradually

Your dog is not going to learn the skill in one day. So, keep practicing. Ulbrich, a professional dog trainer, said, “levels of obedience are like grade levels,” and you cannot expect your dog to start from 10th grade. Only practice will be going to help your dog in learning this skill.

When your dog starts listening to your command, you can increase the distance between them by keeping them at least six-seven feet away. And gradually keep growing the distance, from six feet to ten feet and from 10 feet to 20 feet.

Start Introducing Distractions in the Dog’s Way

Once your dog starts to listen to your command, start introducing distractions. Keep your dog at a distance of some feet from yourself and put some of your dog’s toys in the path to create a distraction for your dog.

Now call them to come, are they following your instructions like before or not. Suppose the dog is not following your instructions because of distraction at first, nothing to worry about. Just keep practicing, and the dog will eventually learn.

Throw Distractions in Another Way

Throw the dog’s toys in the other direction and then call them to come and see what they are doing. Do not be angry with your dog even if they went to the toys first instead of listening to your command to come. Just keep practicing.

Start Using Cue Words like ‘Here’ and ‘Come’

Start commanding them with cue words instead of calling your dogs by name once they have started responding to your command, even when the distractions are present.

A professional dog trainer has explained the reason for using cue words. He said that when you call them by their name, they respond to it but do not tell you what they have to do, so it’s not a good way of training your dog.

Stop Giving a Treat to Your Dog

First, decrease the number of treats you give to your dog over time and eventually stop giving treats. Don’t stop practicing until they respond to your command, even when no treats are waiting for your dog when they come to you.

These are tips you can do to teach your dog the skill of come/recall. Remember, it will take time for your dog to learn this skill. So, take time to train your dog right. Be positive and consistent with practice.

Why is Your Dog Not Responding to Your Command ‘Come’?

Some dogs don’t respond to your commands at all. There can be a few reasons why the dog is behaving like this.

Not Given Enough Treats or Rewards from the Start

Dogs are not going to practice with you daily if you do not give them enough rewards and treats.

They don’t feel happy and motivated to do the practice at all. So, giving your dogs rewards treats, and a lot of praise is significant to keep your dog motivated for the training.

So, make sure you don’t keep your dog deprived of all their deserved rewards.

Your Dog Still Needs Practice

Teaching how to come takes time. Make sure you dedicate enough time for your dog to teach them how to respond to the ‘come’ command. When you tell your dog to ‘come,’ use it with a verbal cue (signal with hand), it will help your dog learn the command fast.

Why are Dogs Needed to Learn the Command ‘Come’?

For the Safety of Your Dog

The utmost reason to learn the command ‘come’ is to protect your dog from danger. If some unexpected incident like the dog running into the street or he is about to get attacked by a wild animal like a raccoon happens, you can protect your dog with your voice commands.

Will Behave Properly in Public

When your dog learns to respond to your command, they will behave nicely in public too. Also, when your dog behaves appropriately in public, other dogs and people will come around your dog. And hence, your dog will experience more interactions.

Will Strengthen the Bond between You and Your Dog

When you start training with your dog daily, you will begin to understand your dog and his needs better than before, ultimately making your bond more potent with the dog.

Trained Dogs Experience Less Stress

It has been studied that a trained dog behaves nicely, interacts in a good way with others, experiences less stress, and forms a much stronger bond with you than before.

Giving proper training to your dog to learn the ‘come’ command is essential. And as an owner, it is your responsibility to know how to teach a dog to come.

The training will be successful only when you and your dog work together. So, teach your dog all the commands and build a stronger bond with them.

Now, it is pretty evident that humans are happier, excited, and relaxed when they are around fur babies.

When you are training your dog, you must keep your energy and excitement high. So, make sure to keep the learning fun and lively. And this writing about how to teach a dog to come will be your best friend while training.

Aapt Dubey
Aapt Dubey

Aapt Dubey, a devoted canine enthusiast and experienced dog Owner, brings boundless passion to our team. With a heart full of love for our four-legged friends, Aapt is dedicated to sharing insights on dog care, behavior, and training to make every pup's life happier and healthier at

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