Some Free Tips to Train any Dog to Come When Called

By: David Codr

Published Date: May 27, 2021

For this Omaha dog training session we worked with Buddy, a Jack Russell Terrier rescue who doesn’t always come when called.

Buddy had a really tough life early on. He was rescued out of a home in pretty bad shape. His eyes were so crusted over they weren’t sure if he was gonna be able to see and he had a bad case of mange really.

Fortunately, Buddy’s new guardians are amazing. They had rescued JRT‘s before and are some of the nicest, most considerate and caring people you could meet. The perfect guardians for a dog who didn’t have the quality of life that he should have when he was younger.

I shared a number of tips to help with exercise (feeding out of a snuffle matt, treat dispensing toys, lick matts, scent games like cookie in the corner, etc) and other tips to help him feel a little bit more secure. At times he was a little bit twitchy and jumpy, most likely result of cortisol in his blood. Sometimes when we have dogs that come out of a bad situation we think removing all rules and structure is the best thing to do. But in many cases, this lack of structure can cause the dog to feel anxious and a little bit insecure.

Next we went over marker words as well as the importance of rewarding desired behaviors and what I like to call petting with a purpose. These are small things that happen often. If the guardians get into a habit of using them, Buddy will better understand what his guardians want which can lead to relaxation and better dynamic between human and dog.

Towards the end of the session we addressed one of Buddy’s dog behavior problems; not coming when called.

Many people or are unaware of the fact that usually when they call the dog to come to them, it represents the end of fun. The dog is having a great time barking out a squirrel in the backyard in the guardians ask it to come so that they don’t disturb the neighbors and the dog is like, coming resulted in the end of my good time.

Training a dog to come is actually pretty easy. It’s all about providing motivation, having good timing and lots and lots of positive reinforcement.

One of the easiest way is to develop a strong recall in dogs is to mark and pet the dog each time it comes to you on its own. We like to call this celebrate and it’s a very effective way to reinforce desired behaviors.

But there are a number of other ways to teach a dog to come when called. I handed my camera to one of the guardian so that we could head outside to practice conditioning the dog to come when called.

It was great to see how quickly Buddy responded to these positive dog training exercises. It’s possible Buddy’s eyesight is not all that great due to his checkered past, but his ears certainly works well. The more that the guardians practice these tips to get a dog to come when called, the stronger his recall will become.

These aren’t exactly secrets to get a dog to come when called. Most of these recall training methods are fairly well known, but since the guardians were so nice and Buddy deserves the best, I decided to incorporate several techniques to get a dog to come when called in the training a dog to come video. As you can see, anyone can do this, even if they are not a professional Jack Russell Terrier dog trainer.

I’d like to see the guardians practicing these tips to get a dog to come three or more times a day in short 1 to 3 minute practice sessions. Combined with celebrating when Buddy comes on his own in the home, it shouldn’t take long before the dog runs to whoever is calling him.

To help the guardians remember the other dog behavior tips I shared in this in-home Omaha dog training session, we recorded a roadmap to success video that you can watch below.

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This post was written by: David Codr

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