If you find yourself calling your puppy’s name over and over again but they still don’t come to you, then please don’t despair! Training a dog to come to you when you call them takes time and patience, but it can be taught. Being able to recall your pet is an important skill for you both to build.
If your dog ever breaks loose from your yard, or escapes while out on a walk; it is very helpful and vital to their safety to have them listen and come to you when called.
Start teaching them early
By beginning to teach your puppy recall skills from the very start of their life, it will become a part of their nature which will continue throughout their lives. Make sure you practice every single day, several times a day to embed the practice. Select a few words which you intend to keep using to call your pet and stick to these. You could also use a whistle, but make sure you intend to keep using the same sound throughout the training period and thereafter.
Make it fun!
When practicing, ensure you always have treats on hand. Use these treats to reward your pup every time they listen to your call or whistle and come to you. Only use treats that you know your dog loves, and that you can carry around easily no matter where you are.
Some dogs respond even better to praise and love than edible treats. Make sure you always shower your dog with lots of praise and physical contact when they listen to your call.
Avoid calling them to certain activities
Avoid calling your dog just before giving them a bath or clipping their nails. This can build up negative associations in your dog’s mind with being called. These can take a long time to reverse, so simply lead them to activities you know they don’t enjoy.
Don’t scold them
Always praise your dog for coming to you. We all feel annoyed when our dogs don’t come immediately, but it’s imperative that you control any anger, annoyance, or irritation you feel towards your dog when they don’t listen. Do not let your emotions affect your reaction and keep your temperament consistent during their training.
Your dog will only return to you if you have trained them to realize that going to you is better than being away from you. If you shout or scold, or otherwise scare or intimidate your dog, they’ll be much more likely to run away instead of coming towards you.
How long will it take?
It can take months for your dog to develop good habits and come to you when called, even with distractions all around them. Remain resilient and your patience will pay off! With lots of rewards and praise, you can prove to your dog that you are more interesting than their environment, and it’s always worthwhile they come back to you.