How To Train Dog To Come


Train dog to come:


Two dogs come running when
called. This is how it is supposed to work!

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Training a dog the "come" command is the single most important thing you can do. Train dog to come thoroughly and you'll have control. Whatever you do, you must teach a dog to come and be sure s/he learns it well.

If your dog should run out the door and into the street, or be in the yard and suddenly chase a squirrel into the street, “COME” is your only lifeline to him. Dogs get killed by autos every day.

Unfortunately, the “come” dog command is one of the most difficult dog commands to teach. This is because when you call your dog, he is usually doing something he likes, like taking a nap or chewing a favorite bone. What you have to offer him when you call had better be pretty awfully good! So, keep the clicker handy along with a pocket full of praise.

One reason “Come” is difficult for your dog is because he doesn’t know if it is going to mean something unpleasant like a bath, trip to the vet, indoor confinement while you go to the store or simply the end of his play time with the other dogs. If you use “Come” for negative purposes, he won't come because you are indeed using it for these negative reasons.

Train a dog to come:

When you train dog to come, it’s best to start out when your dog is already heading toward you. Start saying “COME” or “COME HERE” every time you see him coming straight to you. As soon as he reaches you, CLICK! And praise, praise, praise.

NEVER call him when there is a chance he might not come to you. This will give him the idea that he has a choice… to come or not to come; that either is okay, which it is not.

  • One secret to a reliable recall is a very strong bond with your dog.

  • Be sure before you say the command “come,” that you are FOR SURE going to get him to come to you. (Have him on leash or a rope)

  • Use an upbeat, happy voice. Sound excited.

  • NEVER scold or lecture him or call him when you are angry. This is a sure way of telling him NOT to come when called. The only time you call is when you are happy and upbeat. No negatives.

  • In the beginning, keep a leash on him. Call him by name. “Charlie, come.” Tug on the leash or rope if necessary, but one way or another, he MUST come to you once you start calling him.

  • Remember to praise, praise, praise when he does reach you, no matter what you had to do to get him to you. His reward must justify the fact that he stopped doing whatever and came over to you when he heard the command. Also, the CLICKER should by now be telling him he has done something very great!


This Husky is running in circles and will
not come to his owner. He needs to train to come on command.

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When attempting to train dog to come, treats and the clicker will be used because you are going to repeat the command over and over, ten minutes at a stretch, at least twice a day and for weeks to come. ALWAYS KEEP A LEASH or rope ON HIM because this is a controlled exercise and you must stay in control. Keep the basic dog training sessions short and fun.

  • As Charlie begins to catch on and comes most of the time without being guided in by the leash, put a longer leash or rope on him.

  • Put him in a “sit-stay” and walk away to the length of the rope.

  • You still control the rope so he can’t ruin off. Start calling him from a distance. Give him a little tug on the rope to get his attention if need be.

  • As he improves, take him to places with distractions, especially where there might be other dogs. When you train dog come, get him to come to you when he’s distracted by birds, dogs, cats and people. That’s a challenge for any dog!

  • Don’t forget the clicker.

  • Once the dog has learned to “come” and does it well, do not use the command except for an emergency.

  • It’s okay to practice it now and then as routine to train the "come" command, but the command should be reserved for emergencies.


Several tips when you train dog to come. Never ask your dog to “come” when play time is over or when he’s done something wrong. He’ll get a negative idea about the commands. He will think, ‘Oh, “come” means I can’t play anymore.” Never ask your dog to come if you don’t have a genuinely great reward to give him when he does come to you unless it’s a real emergency, and then make up for it with physical and verbal praise.

Don’t be surprised if you find a dog that will not come no matter what you do. Train dog come will not help. I once had a male Jack Russell Mix, alpha dog that lived his entire life on leash when outdoors. I trained and trained and he just would not come to me. He proved he could never be trusted.

I do this EVERYDAY. I put a few freshly baked chicken chunks in my pocket and go far away from my dogs. I then call them, one at a time. As soon as one shows up, I shove some fresh chicken at him, praise him, and send him back to play. I rotate the chicken with steak, lamb or whatever my wife has on hand.

Thus, my dogs know when I call them, it's for something GOOD and they come to me every time I call. It’s easy and effective.

Keep working at it. Practice, practice. To train dog to come, remember it takes time and patience. As I said, “come” is one command that can be tough to pull off.




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