Why is it so fun to train a puppy? Because it’s super fun! Puppies are enthusiastic students, ready to learn household manners as soon as they arrive. Learning how to train a puppy is obviously the first step in helping your new best friend become a well-behaved companion, but it’s also a fantastic way to build your relationship.
And there’s no better training exercise to create that strong bond than calling him when you call him, a technique also known as “recalling.” Puppies naturally want to be close to their owners, so teaching your puppy recall during this phase is an easy way to take advantage of this behavior before teenage rebellion sets in.
Ba-ba of dog training
The best time to start training your new puppy is now. Even young puppies as young as 8 weeks old can start learning the basics. However, puppies have a shorter attention span; lessons must therefore be fast and entertaining to keep them interested. Like all dog training, puppy training should be fun. This, therefore, means using only positive and dog-friendly methods.
To get the most out of your lessons, you will need to use a variety of smaller training treats that are tastier than regular treats. Use tasty meat treats that will make your pup want to go to “school”.
How to Recall Puppy Training: Getting Started
While coming when called is a skill that can be vital, training your new puppy to respond to the cue feels like a game. The importance of a good callback cannot be overstated. If your dog runs off without a leash or rushes for the door, you need to be able to call him back quickly and calmly in order to keep him safe. The good news is that the first steps of this essential signal are simple to teach.
There are a few rules to keep in mind when considering teaching your puppy to come when called. To get the most out of your training, keep the following tips in mind:
- Choose a single, consistent recall order. Training a puppy to come when you call it by name isn’t the best option because you’re probably pronouncing it all the time and it becomes “verbal wallpaper.” A command like “here” is perfect, because you can create a positive association with this word.
- Use your recall command in a cheerful tone. Each time you say the reminder word, say it in a playful tone so your pup is excited to come back to you. Never call your puppy as if it were a punishment and always use a positive tone, even if your puppy does something stupid!
- Do not repeat the order. You need to generate a reaction to your reminder word, so don’t accidentally turn the signal “here” into “here-here-here-here!” “. Say the word once, then whistle, clap, or make kissing noises to encourage your pup to come running back to you.
- Prioritize simplicity. It takes time to transition from a basic reminder in your living room to one outside when surrounded by distractions. Keep this in mind and don’t “test” your recall (i.e., don’t try it when your pup is in a new environment or distracted) until you have long hours of dressage behind you.
To begin recall training your puppy, grab a handful of treats and ask a friend or family member to help you. Pick a room your pup is already familiar with, while both participants sit on the floor a few feet apart (your pup will be more likely to run towards you if you’re on their level). State your recall command in a cheerful tone, then clap or whistle to encourage your pup to run towards you. When he arrives, give him a treat and shower him with praise so he knows he just did something truly amazing.
Take turns calling your puppy until he is back and forth between the two teachers. As your puppy responds better to the recall, have more family members join in the game. When the puppy masters the recall, hide around the house to turn the training exercise into a game of hide and seek.
Recall Training Tips: If your pup predicts someone is going to call him and rushes at them before he has had a chance to say “here”, let another player call him instead. Remember that it will take your pup longer to find you when you are hiding, so remember to clap or whistle to help your pup discover your hiding place.
How to train your puppy to recall: intermediate steps
Once your pup runs through the whole house every time you call him, you can move the play outside. Outdoor training introduces new distractions, so make it easy for your pup to “win” by going back to the very first training steps you used in the house.
Stay close to your partner and take turns calling your puppy, then gradually put more distance between you. Once your dog responds quickly and cheerfully to your outside recall command, move the game to a new location, such as a playground (dog-friendly) or a friend’s yard.
Before you head outdoors, make sure your furry friend is up to date on his vaccinations and protection against parasites. Then he will be ready to roam outdoors! A dewormer in the form of a chewable tablet is effective against several types of worms. Don’t overlook the dangers of external parasites like ticks and fleas, either. Ask your veterinarian for advice on protection against ticks and fleas.
The secret to teaching your puppy to recall is to take the time to develop the basic skills and then gradually introduce them to new environments. Another important, and often overlooked, aspect is the need to keep rewarding the behavior with food for longer than you think. It’s even a good idea to occasionally surprise your dog with treats when he responds to a lifetime recall.
Keep in mind that no dog responds to recall 100%. Even the best-trained dogs will sometimes get distracted or find something more rewarding to do and ignore the command. Remember to stay positive and never scold your dog or he will associate coming when called with something he did wrong. It’s very important to remember that even if your dog is perfectly trained to recall, he should never be left off-leash in areas where he can run off and get lost, hit a car, or hurt himself.
The reminder: a bond for life
Teaching your puppy to run back to you when called is one of the most rewarding training exercises. Not only is this an important order for security reasons, but it’s also super impressive! There’s nothing more magical than watching your dog come to you when you call him. That’s why practicing this technique while still young and continuing to reward your dog when he responds to recall guarantees you will have recall effectiveness throughout your life together.