Recall (Come)

When going through the following stages make sure you are motivating and exciting so that coming back to you is always a good experience for the dog. Set your dog up for success by making it easy for him to respond and make sure you go at your dog’s pace, only moving to the next stage if your dog is proficient.


The recall cue is most important for safety and management. Building a good foundation is key to getting reliable response.


Step 1, Naming behavior


  • Start in a distraction free environment so that your dog can focus only on you.


  • Whenever the dog is coming to you on his own, wait until he is a couple of feet from you and then say his name and the word ‘come.’


  • When he gets to you, mark and treat.


  • After a while, you can lengthen the distance between you and start using the word when he is coming to you from a greater distance.


  • Coming to you should always be rewarded, whatever the circumstance and no matter how long it took your dog to respond.


  • Motivate your dog to come by being exciting, running away from him, waving a toy, or having delicious food for him when he gets to you. This will show him that coming back to you the best thing he can do.

Step 2, Practice while playing with another person or 2


  • Start the game in a quiet environment so it is easy for your dog to focus on you.


  • Hold your dog back on leash while the other person calls him excitedly. Do not release him until the person calls his name followed by the cue word “come.”


  • As soon as he reaches them they should praise and reward him with a toy or food reward.


  • After the dog has had his reward, have the other person hold him back as you call him and release as you say his name followed by the cue word.


  • When he comes to you reward him with another toy or food reward.


  • Repeat this game back and forth increasing distance, but only do a few repetitions so your dog does not get bored or too tired


Step 3, Add hand signal and vary environment


  • As dog is reliably coming when called, add hand signal as you are giving cue


  • When your dog recognizes the hand signal, try calling his name and using the hand signal by itself without the vocal cue. You will then be able to use a combination of vocal cue only, hand signal only and the two together.


• Now that the dog is consistently coming to you in a distraction free environment you can proof your recall cue by taking it outside and varying environment.


Another technique involves having two identical squeaky toys. Throw one toy about 6 feet away and wait for your dog to pick it up. Then squeak the other toy in your hand and say “drop it” at the same time. Wait for your dog to drop the toy in his mouth and say “yes!” while throwing the toy in your hand 6 feet in the opposite direction. Wait for your dog to pick up the second toy and say “drop it” again while squeaking the first toy that you just picked up. Once your dog drops the second toy, say “yes!” and throw the toy in your hand in the opposite direction. Rinse and repeat on a regular basis, about 10 minutes a day for a couple of weeks and your dog will be a “drop it” superstar.


Of course, like all commands, you should practice semi-weekly for 5 or 10 minutes to ensure your dog stays sharp.

Instructing your canine to hold an extended stay can prove to be useful in an entire scope of circumstances. Compliance instruction like this additionally makes showing him different orders simpler as well. Also, it will bear the cost of you harmony and calm when your number one TV show is on.


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