5 rules of recall (come when called)


  1. when you begin teaching recall/come when called, always start in a quiet, closed in, safe place, with little to no distractions. if outside, always start on leash. if inside, start in a quiet room of the house (kitchens are usually great). slowly build up to more and more distraction/stimulation, in larger spaces.
  2. never call a dog to you in anger or frustration. always make it happy, so they always WANT to come to you.
  3. use awesome treats, so they know coming to you is the best thing ever! don’t be shy with rewarding them when they get to you. make it great!
  4. be sure your cue is simple and consistent. try not to say “buddy, come over here,” “buddy, come on, let’s go.” a simple “buddy, come,” is best. when we garble the words together too much, and different people use different phrases, it can be confusing to the pup. keep it simple, so they know what you are asking of them.
  5. don’t teach your dog to come from the sit position. often people will have their dog sit, walk away, then call their dog to them. this is a nice skill to have, however, it’s not what is really needed for their safety. usually, if you need your dog to come to you, they are distracted ~ sniffing, playing with other dogs, running towards a human or canine friend, dashing out the door towards danger. they are not in a nice sit. teach them to come out of distractions first. coming out of a sit should be a secondary skill.



keep it fun and engaging. recall is the most important thing you’ll ever teach your dog. it could save their life.