The PAWS Blog

Proper Recall Training – How to Teach Your Dog to Come When Called

Before you can train your dog with some cool tricks like rolling over or playing dead, you first need to teach them the basics and guide them toward the advanced stuff. These basic dog training techniques are more than just cool skills that make them more adorable: they essentially teach your dog discipline and focus.

One basic command that your dog should first learn is called recall; your dog should respond and come to you when you call. While recall is a relatively easy command for your dog to learn, there are some steps that you can follow to effectively teach them proper response when called:

1. Set a fixed time for your dog’s short training sessions

Making a schedule and planning your dog’s training is not only beneficial to you, but it will also let your dog get familiar with the training. Later on, it will be relatively easier to teach them new skills. By setting a fixed time for dog training, they become more at ease with the process and won’t always be confused about what’s happening.

You also want to keep the duration of the training short as some dogs have an attention span that doesn’t last for more than a few minutes before they get distracted.

2. Keep them away from distractions

Having mentioned attention span, you want to do the training somewhere that has minimal distractions. You want your dog to be as focused as they can be, and if there are distractions around them, expect to have a hard time teaching them the recall command.

You want them to absorb the stimulus of calling them as fast as they can. It also helps to know what things distract your dog so that you can decide the perfect learning environment for them.

In general, Golden Retrievers are easily distracted, and they can be really hard to teach sometimes!Even so, dogs—Golden Retrievers or not—will eventually learn tricks in a controlled environment like the backyard or inside the living room.

3. Use treats that your dog likes

Treats are your primary tools when teaching your dog new tricks. However, positive reinforcement is essentially useless if it’s not positive enough for your dog.

Some dogs can be picky when it comes to food and treats. Before you begin training your dog, you must first identify what kind of treats your dog loves to eat. Visit your local pet store and look for some training treats that they have on stock. Alternatively, you can use food like fresh meat or cheese if you’re not too comfortable with giving your dog some treats.

As the training progresses, slowly lessen the use of treats and start rewarding them with praise. Over time, your dog will slowly learn to come whenever you call them without expecting any reward at all.


When training your dog, it’s important to keep in mind that you should never imply anger or frustration, or the dog will think negatively. Only rely on positive reinforcement, and if your dog doesn’t come to you, take a few breaks. You can always teach them at another time.

Also, training sessions are a time to spend and bond with your dog. So, remember to keep it fun and enjoyable for both of you.

Looking to train your dog but can’t find the time? We can help! If you’re from Massachusetts and need assistance with dog training, boarding, and doggie daycare, get in touch with us today!

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