help! my dog won't come when i call him!
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Thread: help! my dog won't come when i call him!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008

    Defaulthelp! my dog won't come when i call him!

    poker doesn't respond to the command "come" when i call him, except if i have a dog treat for him. i don't know what to do... please help!

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  3. #2
    Tanya is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009

    DefaultRe: help! my dog won't come when i call him!

    Have you trained your dog to come to you?

    Recall (coming when called) can take a few years with some dogs before it's reliable. But no matter what dog, it takes training.

    this is one of the topics addressed on page 1 of the threads sticky-ed above (Out Best Advice) - but I have copy pasted it just below here for you.

    and here is a second link with more information:,16182.0.html


    Recall Tutorial (courtesy of Lydia)

    The cardinal rule is that you never call your dog to you unless you know they will come to you. That means most of the time you will have to go get him until he has a reliable recall.

    You can still play with him off leash but take him some place he will be safe (like fenced backyard, fenced tennis courts or fenced school grounds). Do not try calling him to you when he is off leash in this scenario. You will need to build up to that point gradually but that doesn't mean he shouldn't get exercise in the meantime. When you are ready to go, tell him "last time" When he brings back the ball, praise him, give him a treat, then clip the leash on him. He will understand what "last time" means eventually. Murray will put his ball back in the training bag when I tell him "last time". Last time can be the 2nd or 3rd time I throw the ball or 25 or 30 times.

    If you do not have a fenced area, then you really need to keep him on a long line for safety.

    When you want to work on recalls, have a long line on him so you can reinforce it.

    Recalls take lots of time to teach. My first instructor gave me some advice that stuck. She told me to practice 1000 times in each of the following scenarios (in order):

    1) on lead in the house, no distractions
    2) on lead in the park, with distractions
    3) off lead in the house, no distractions
    4) off lead in the park, with distractions

    You should also use high value treats for the recall. This needs to be a treat that he doesn't get a any other time. Left over steak or chicken works really well. The only time he gets this treat is when you call him to you.

    Also, no matter how trying it may be, never call your dog to you then scold him. Coming to you has to be the best thing in the world. If he comes to you and you scold him, you've taught him that coming to you is not safe.

    Once I start teaching off leash recalls, I'll call the dog to me numerous times even during play and give him praise and his special treat then let him go back to playing. I don't want him to associate coming to me with "play time is over"
    Charlie (foster) and Rocky

  4. #3
    Dani's Avatar
    Dani is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Mt. Pleasant, MI

    DefaultRe: help! my dog won't come when i call him!

    keep him on a leash until you train him.
    Dani, Rider & Rookie
    SHR Watson's Safari Rider, JH, WC, CL1-R, RA, CGC, TDI
    SHR Endeavor Put Me In Coach, RN, WC, CGC

    Member Since 6/2003

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  6. #4
    bigrodt's Avatar
    bigrodt is offline Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    The Big Easy, New Orleans La

    DefaultRe: help! my dog won't come when i call him!

    In my limited are some tips that work for me.

    1) Figure out what your recall word is.....come, here, return.....etc. I use my Dogs name and a recall word to get him to come. The name to get his attention....come to signal that I want him to return.

    2). Be enthusiastic when you call......coming to you should be associated with something appealing

    3). Use treats.....

    4). In the beginning, we used this excercise: 2-3 of us would stand in different parts of the house and take turns calling the dog. We would says his name and then...come. As he approaches, we would become more animated with a cheerful voice, whistles, etc. Also, keep treats in your pocket with one in a closed hand in front of you. I know require my dog to sit before he is rewarded with a treat.

    I hope these suggestions are helpful.

    One other thing......Not sure if this is important, but my obedience trainer suggested that we work on recall after our dog learned to walk on a leash/heel, heel with automatic sit, sit/stay, down/stay and then recall.


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