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Teaching Your Dog to Come When Called

What NOT to Do

  • NEVER call your dog and do something she doesn’t enjoy, like bathing her, clipping her nails, scolding her or even ignoring her. When you have to do something your dog doesn’t like, simply go and get her from wherever she is. She should always trust that something wonderful happens whenever you call her.
  • Refrain from repeating your recall cue. If you repeat “Come, come, come,” over and over again and your dog doesn’t respond, you’re just teaching her to ignore your calls.
  • Avoid calling your dog to you when you know she’s unlikely to comply. If she’s playing with another dog, running to greet a friend or chowing down on a discarded pizza crust, she’s not going to come running when called. Most dogs wouldn’t. Every time you call your dog and she doesn’t come, she learns to ignore your call. Instead, set her up to succeed by progressing through your training in baby steps so that she gets in the habit of always coming when you call.


WebMD Veterinary Reference from ASPCA Virtual Pet Behaviorist

The ASPCA Virtual Pet Behaviorist specializes in the resolution and management of pet behavior problems only. Please do not submit questions about medical problems here. Only licensed veterinarians can diagnose medical conditions. If you think that your pet is sick, injured or experiencing any kind of physical distress, please contact his veterinarian immediately. A delay in seeking proper veterinary care may worsen your pet's condition and put his life at risk. If you are concerned about the cost of veterinary care, please read our resources on finding financial help.

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