Recall/Come when called

The recall/come command is the most important behaviour to teach your dog.

Start by getting the puppy’s attention by using their name and holding the food as a lure between their eyes and yours. Next, say the word “Come” and begin moving backwards – as quickly as you can without the pup’s nose being any more than a few centimetres away from the treat. Start moving, perhaps only a metre, and gradually progress.

Only ask once (NO REPEATING THIS CUE) and use everything you have to make your dog want to come towards you. i.e. get down low, use a high-pitched, happy voice and keep those yummy treats close to their nose.

When practicing this at home, always set up for success 100% of the time. Choose moments when you know the puppy will succeed, or have them on lead so you can direct them to you. Once they start making their way towards you, you can start the praise and let them know coming is not an optional command, but it is ALWAYS lots of FUN!

As they get better at this exercise, begin increasing the difficulty. But remember, always set it up for 100% success. This is important so you know there is something you can do to make your dog come to you if it does not immediately decide to do so. In that regard, you may want to consider a long lead for this exercise. Make it fun by setting up obstacles for the pup or hiding in another room.