How to Teach your Dog to come when Called


We firmly believe that one of the most important things a dog can learn is to come whenever it is called (the “recall”, as we call it). After all, if your dog will not come to you when you call it, trying to teach it any other command will prove useless.

If you have been teaching your dog to come to you, then you will already be halfway there. However, it is never too late to teach your dog the “recall.” You will require two lightweight leads, one 12 feet (4 m) and one 45 feet (15 m) long. Use the shorter lead in your backyard, and save the longer one for when you venture out to places where you will have more space. Both leads should have a clip, which can be attached to the dog’s collar, and a comfortable handle. The idea behind having a lightweight lead is that the dog should not feel the weight of the lead at all.

You can easily make your own leads, with items purchased from your local hardware store. You will need a snap clip, one that is strong and snaps shut automatically. This device should be similar to the connecting clips used by mountain climbers, but of a size suited to your dog. The cord of the lead should be a lightweight rope; we use mower or Venetian blind cord. Make a handle out of a leather strap, or pieces of an old handbag. Note that, whatever parts you choose for your leads, they should be both strong and durable.

This exercise should first be tried out in your own backyard using the shorter lead. Then try it in your front yard before venturing out.

Place your dog on the lead, and grip the handle. Walk around the yard with the excess of the lead trailing on the ground. Don’t worry if it becomes tangled under the dog’s legsā€”most dogs will manage to step clear. However, if the dog becomes impossibly caught up, stop and untangle the mess.

Each time your dog strides ahead of you or investigates something, tug and then release the lead, and use your one-word reprimand until it turns to move in your direction. Then, still holding onto the lead, let it go slack, crouch down, and call the dog: “Rex, come.” Pat your leg to encourage it to come to you.

Even though this is a command, it should be delivered in a very pleasant, inviting tone. Once your dog has come to you, pat it as you straighten up to your full height again. Repeat the process several times.

Filed Under: Pets & Animals

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About the Author: Fred Goodson has a passion for pets and animals. He has 4 dogs and is planning to have another one. He is also a blogger who writes about pets and animals. Currently, he is living in New Jersey.

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