Teaching your dog to come back to your when it is called is an essential part of dog ownership. This will help you control your dog when out walking and keep it and others safe. We decided to publish this article on how to get your dog to come back when called in an attempt to help our readers.
These tips and tricks have been successful for many dog owners all over the world. That said, you have to realize that this is a process and you have to work at your dog’s pace for the best results.
How To Get Your Dog To Come Back When Called
If you are searching for how to train your dog to come back when off the lead every time then you have come to the right place. These dog recall training tips have proven to quickly get your dog to come when called with our any protests or complains.
Its All In The Treats
Although we will be covering how to get your dog to come when called without treats later in the article. We will initially be taking a look at using high-quality dog treats as a training aid as it makes the process much easier.
During the training period, positive reinforcement is a must. in addition to treats be sure to offer plenty of positive verbal and physical encouragement.
It is usually better to start the training process with a higher quality or tastier treat that your dog would not usually be given. This helps encourage your dog to display positive behavior and make it feel like it is getting a good deal in return for its effort.
There is no need to buy expensive dog treats though. We have found that taking regular dog treats and then dipping them in either gravy or bone broth (our post on how to make bone broth for dogs) helps increase their taste levels. Dog owners have also reported having success with meat-based table scraps or chopped up hot dogs.
Assigning A Signal
Now that you have chosen your treats, its time to choose a signal to use for your dog to associate with needing to come to you. Some people use a simple verbal command such as “heel” others choose to use a dog clicker or a dog whistle. Either option is fine, your main goal is to be able to use it quickly and clearly project the command over a long distance.
Next up, its time to start your dog recall exercises. Initially, it’s better to do this in an area your dog is already comfortable with such as your house or garden. Try to also choose somewhere with minimal distractions to try and increase your dog’s concentration onto you.
Once in your training area start by walking away from your dog until it does its own thing rather than follow you. Next up, use your recall signal that you wish your dog to associate with coming to you and show your dog a treat. Chances are, your initial training sessions will be based on your dog coming to you for the treat rather than a command.
This is totally normal but research has shown that the brains of both humans and animals begin to release positive chemicals before actually been given a treat during training. This works to your advantage by your dog hearing your signal, its brain releasing “feel good chemicals” and then getting the treat.
It is essential that you stay consistent with your dog, especially if it is a puppy. This is a process and it takes time for your dog to learn what you want. Sticking with your recall training plan takes time but its worth it.
As this is a training exercise, always try to end your training sessions on a good note with your dog getting a treat. This may add an extra five minutes to your training session before your dog earns its treat but it is worth it.
Taking It Outside
Once you are confident that your dog will come when called in your controlled space, it is time to take training outside. You have to keep in mind that this is adding a number of new dimensions to the process.
There will be a number of distractions added to the mix now to content with your return signal. It may feel like you have gone back to day one of training initially but that groundwork you put in will soon show.
Start by keeping your on a high-quality extendable dog leash initially. This will help you keep your dog safe during the training process while also letting it walk some distance away from you. At random times on your walk give you return signal and ensure you have a treat visible for when your dog looks at you.
Depending what your dog is doing it may or may not come the first few times. Stay persistent and your dog will begin to come to you.
Removing The Leash
Many dog owners will let their dogs off their leash when going for walks. During the training process, it is important to find a closable location to start off leash training. Many public parks will have places like tennis courts that have a fence around them. Outside of tennis season, these courts are rarely used and perfect for some off leash training.
Take your dog into the courts, close the door and begin training. Let your dog off its leash to play and randomly give your return signal. Ensure you always have a visible treat to help encourage your dog to return to you quickly.
Once you are confident your dog will come when called it is time to move to open spaces. Try to find places such as open fields or a beach where there is no traffic. This helps increase your dog’s safety until you are confident that your dog will come to you each time its called.
How To Teach A Dog To Come Without Treats
Some dog owners choose to use dog training methods without treats to recall their dogs. Although harder to achieve your goal, these can be useful if you are patient enough with your dog.
Using A Dog Recall Training Collar
In our opinion, the easiest way to recall train your dog without treats is to use a dog recall training collar. Many dog owners don’t agree with using static shocks as a training aid but high-quality collars also come with a vibrate or alarm function to assist with training.
They work by using negative reinforcement to discourage negative behavior. When you give your recall signal you do nothing if your dog comes to you. If your dog keeps doing its own thing you activate the collar to punish it.
Remember, these collars can be set to vibrate or alarm with a high pitched sound that dogs hate rather than releasing a static shock to your dog.
Toy-Based Reward Dog Recall Games
Another less successful method is to substitute the dog treat reward out for your dog’s favorite toy. The toy is essentially the reward for your dog displaying positive behavior. The main problem with this technique is that you are betting on your dog finding the same toy it has played with hundreds of times more rewarding and interesting than whatever it has found for the first time while out walking.
In our opinion, it’s not worth the risk, especially if you are letting your dog off its leash while walking.