Knowing how to get your dog to come when called is one of the most important things to figure out as a pet owner. “Come”, “here”, “get the heck over here”,  whatever the command you use to to recall your canine companion; you’re goal is that they will obey and comply with your request. A solid and reliable recall is not only key to success  in hunting, agility and assistance work, but is also key to your sanity and the safety of your canine companion.

Having a recall that is reliable and happy is our focus when training. The good news is it’s not as hard as you might think. It just takes a commitment, regular practice, and keeping it fun and happy.

As with all training; to start, you need to pick a word for the command you are teaching. Stick with it, use it, and only use it for that command that you wish to issue. All do often you see people trying to recall their companion, using multiple different commands, most often simultaneously, some of which are not even related to the desired result. The classic “Max! Come here! Heel! Get over here! Stay! Sit! Now!” command. These frustrated blurts can be not only quite confusing, but are also totally ineffective.

The steps I like to use with training recall are:

  1. Exercise, a tired companion is much more attentive and easy to handle.
  2. Keep it fun! Dogs can smell frustration. I swear it!
  3. Use different tones of voice.
  4. Never, ever, give chase.
  5. Don’t overdo training sessions, nobody likes being run into the ground.
  6. ALWAYS end on a positive. One more time is not always the right answer.