15 Simple Steps To Training Your Dog To Come When Called

One of the most important commands for any dog owner to teach their pet is “come.” This command can save your dog’s life, and it also just makes things easier on both of you. If you want to train your dog to come when called, here are 15 simple steps that will help get you started:

How to Train your Dog to Come When Called
Training your dog to come when called is an important command that can help keep your dog safe and allow them more freedom.
Use positive reinforcement methods, such as treats and praise, to train your dog to come to you on command.
Consistent training in a variety of environments is key to reinforcing the command and ensuring that your dog comes to you every time.
When training your dog, it’s important to avoid common mistakes, like calling your dog’s name repeatedly or punishing them for not coming.
Starting training early, ideally when your dog is still a puppy, will help to establish good habits and make it easier for your dog to learn.

Stop Playing The Guessing Game

You’re not an animal psychic and neither is your dog. So stop trying to guess what he or she will do next, where they are going and how you can get them to listen to you. Instead, focus on training your pup so that they come when called 100% of the time–no exceptions!

Having trouble walking your dog without getting dragged around? Our guide on training your dog to walk on a leash without pulling outlines simple tactics that will help you and your dog enjoy a peaceful walk together.

Be Patient, Positive And Consistent

The most important thing to remember when training your dog to come when called is to be patient, positive and consistent. 

If you get frustrated or angry with your dog it will only make things worse. Just like humans, dogs can only learn what they are taught in a calm environment where they feel safe and secure. 

If you find yourself getting upset because your dog isn’t responding the way that you want him/her too then stop! Take a minute for both of you before continuing with more training sessions so that everyone stays happy during this process!

Your dog needs time (and repetition) in order for him/her to learn anything new so don’t expect immediate results when first starting out with this exercise – especially if it’s something like coming when called which requires them being able to listen on command without any distractions around them such as other animals/people/toys etc..

PatienceRecognize that training takes time, and avoid becoming frustrated or impatient with your dog’s progress.
PositivityUse a positive and encouraging tone during training sessions to create a positive association with learning.
ConsistencyStick to a regular training schedule and avoid making exceptions for bad behavior.
ReinforcementReward good behavior promptly and consistently with treats, praise, or other positive reinforcement techniques.
Training AidsUtilize training aids, such as clickers or target sticks, to help reinforce desired behaviors.

Ignore The Bad Behavior

Don’t reward your dog for coming back to you.

If your dog is doing something wrong, such as barking or running away from you, don’t give him any attention when he does come back. This will teach him that coming back is not worth the praise and affection he desires from you.

Are you struggling to get your dog to stay still? Our guide on the most effective methods for training your dog to stay offers five simple steps that will teach your dog to stay on command.

Create A Plan For Success

The first step to training your dog to come when called is creating a plan for success. You’ll want to find a quiet place where you and your dog can practice, preferably without distractions such as other people or pets. If possible, use a long line (a long leash) so that if your dog gets distracted he won’t run off before returning on his own accord.

If you’re using treats as an incentive for good behavior, make sure they’re something special that he really likes–this will help him associate coming with getting something delicious! And don’t expect too much too soon: training takes time and patience!

Clear GoalsDefine specific training objectives and milestones.
ConsistencyEstablish a regular training schedule and stick to it.
Positive ReinforcementUse rewards and praise to encourage desired behaviors.
Training MethodChoose a training method that aligns with your dog’s temperament and personality.
Progress TrackingMonitor progress regularly and adjust training techniques as needed.

Note: Using a combination of these elements when creating a training plan has been shown to increase the effectiveness of dog training. It is important to tailor your plan to your individual dog and make adjustments as needed to ensure success.

Make Your Recall Cue Super Easy For Your Dog To Understand

If you’re having trouble choosing a recall cue, think of something that will be easy for both of you. You want the word or sound to be something that your dog can hear and respond to quickly–and with enthusiasm! 

To make this process easier, stick with words that are short and simple: “come,” “hurry up” (this is my personal favorite), “here!” or even just “hey!” If none of these work for you, try using a whistle instead–it doesn’t require any additional effort on your part beyond blowing into it!

Make sure not to choose anything too similar to other commands like sit or down; this could confuse him when learning new tricks later down the line because he may mistake one command for another if they sound similar enough in pronunciation/accentuation etcetera…

Every dog owner should know these basic commands! Our guide on the top 10 dog training commands every owner should know outlines the most important commands to help your dog stay safe and well-trained.

Start Training In A Safe Area

The first step to training your dog to come when called is to choose a safe area. The safest place for this type of training is in your backyard or at the park, but if you don’t have access to either, try another quiet area that has little traffic and few people around (like on your street).

Keep yourself and your dog safe by keeping them on-leash during this step–you don’t want them getting distracted by other pets or children who might wander into the area. 

If there are other animals nearby, make sure they’re not aggressive before letting them off-leash; otherwise you’ll risk having an incident that could scare off both humans and dogs alike!

Your HomeFamiliarity, fewer distractionsLimited exposure to new environments
Local ParkExposure to new sights and smells, supervised socializationUncontrolled environment, potential predators
Indoor Training Facility (e.g. PetSmart, Petco)Controlled environment, training resourcesLimited real-world distractions, may require fees or membership
Private Training CenterPersonalized attention, tailored training planPotential for costly sessions, limited socialization opportunities

Note: The advantages and disadvantages of each environment will vary depending on your location, the size and breed of your dog, and your individual training goals.

Practice When There Are No Distractions, At Least At First

You may have heard that it’s best to practice when there are no distractions. This is true for the first few sessions, but you can also get started by practicing in quiet areas with minimal distractions. 

For example, if your dog likes to lay on a blanket in the living room while watching TV with you, try using a long line (or even just tying them up) and asking him/her to come when called while they’re lying down on their favorite spot.

You might also try practicing in areas where they feel comfortable and happy–for example, if they love going outside for walks or playing fetch at the park then maybe try having them come when called there!

Are you making these common mistakes in your dog training sessions? Check out our guide on 15 common mistakes to avoid when training your dog to learn how to avoid these errors and help your dog learn more effectively.

Reward Your Dog Immediately When He Comes Toward You

Once your dog comes to you, reward him immediately. You can do this with a treat, petting, or toy. 

If your dog has learned that coming when called means he gets his favorite treat and then more training happens after that (which is often how people train), then make sure to reward him differently from how he’s been rewarded before. 

For example, if he normally gets peanut butter treats for coming when called but today’s lesson was about coming when called with no promise of a treat afterward–and we want our dogs to learn this new concept–then give him an extra big hug and kiss instead!

When should you start training your new puppy? Our guide on when to start training your puppy: tips and tricks outlines when to begin and how to train your furry friend to become a well-behaved and obedient companion.


The key to training your dog to come when called is patience, consistency and positive reinforcement. 

You can’t expect him to learn something new overnight, so don’t get frustrated if he doesn’t seem to be getting it right away. 

If you follow these steps and keep working on it every day (with a little extra practice every now and then), then soon enough he’ll be running full speed toward you whenever he hears his special cue!

Further Reading

RSPCA’s Guide on Teaching Your Dog to Come When Called: The RSPCA provides a detailed guide on how to teach your dog to come to you on command, including tips on how to train your dog in different environments.

Rover’s Tips on How to Teach Your Dog to Come When Called: Rover’s blog offers tips on teaching your dog to come when called, as well as common mistakes to avoid.

Chewy’s Guide to Basic Dog Training Commands: Come: Chewy’s guide on basic dog training commands covers teaching your dog to come when called, including tips on how to reinforce the command.


How do I train my dog to come to me on command?

Teaching your dog to come when called can be done through basic positive reinforcement training techniques, such as rewarding your dog with treats and praise when they come to you on command. It’s important to train in different environments and work at your dog’s pace.

What are some common mistakes to avoid when teaching my dog to come when called?

Some common mistakes include calling your dog’s name repeatedly until it becomes white noise, punishing the dog for coming to you, and not practicing enough.

When should I start teaching my dog to come when called?

It’s best to start as soon as possible, ideally when the dog is still a puppy. Consistent training and practicing in different environments will help reinforce the command.

How can I make coming to me more appealing to my dog?

Using high-value treats, being enthusiastic and encouraging, and making the experience fun for the dog are good ways to make coming to you more appealing to your dog.

What if my dog doesn’t come to me when I call them?

If your dog doesn’t come to you when called, it’s important to avoid punishment and to start back at the basics of training. This includes practicing in a distraction-free environment and gradually increasing the distractions. It’s also important to ensure that there are no underlying health issues that could be preventing your dog from coming to you.