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Why Every German Shepherd Should Learn to Come When Called

german shepherd coming when called
Teaching your dog to come when called can literally save their life.

Out of all the obedience behaviors you will ever teach your dog coming when called, also known as the recall, is by far the most important.

Developing a solid recall can literally save your dogs life. If they were to bolt out the door and started towards the street you could be able to call them back. If their collar was to slip off and they suddenly saw an animal that crossed the road, you could call them back. There are many reasons why teaching your dog to come when called is critical.

Not to mention that a dog with a reliable recall can also have a bit more freedom than a dog that will not come when you call them.

Teaching Your German Shepherd to Come When Called

Teaching your dog to come to you when you call them should start the moment you bring them home. If you purchased an adolscent or adult dog the following tips still apply. There are many ways to teach the recall using various methods. One of the most popular is called the "restrained recall."

Restrained recalls are fun, easy, and they work. Have a friend hold your dog back as you jog away from them. Your friend should amp your dog up by letting them move forward a bit but not allowing them to go. They can also talk to the dog. They might say, "where's she going, she's leaving you buddy!" When your dog is really jazzed up turn and have your friend let them go.

The moment that you know for a fact they are coming to you say, "Come!" and reward heavily when they get to you. You can throw some treats on the ground, give several treats from your hand, or play their favorite game with them. Break off from the praise game and repeat the recall a few times.

Professional Dog Trainer Tip: "You can spend 5 minutes per day working restrained recalls and your dog will learn how to come to you every time. The key is to follow the principles of reinforcement and not to over do the training. 5 minutes per day is all you need." - Jason Mann TopDogK9.com.

Another way to teach your German Shepherd to come when called is to wait until they are coming to you for something and say, "come" and reward them when they get to you. This is called, "capturing" a behavior and it works extremely well.

Big Time Mistakes German Shepherd Owners Make Calling Their Dogs

Never, under any circumstances call your dog and take them somewhere they hate. You should never call them and take them away from fun either. Instead go get them and then go home, to the vet, etc...

Never punish your dog for coming to you. Many owners call their dogs 2,3,4,5 times and when they finally come to their owner they are punished. This teaches the dog not to come to you. Why would they want to come to you and get in trouble? If they don't come after one or two tries go collect them.

If they play the "you can't get me game" simply stop, say their name, and start walking the other way. You can also just plop down right where you are standing and act as if you are looking in the grass for something (seriously, this works.)

Let's recap:

1. Never call your dog and punish them.
2. Never call your dog and take them to a place they hate.
3. Only use the cue when you know for a fact your dog is coming to you.
4. If are you in doubt your dog is coming to you, go get them.
5. Spend 5 minutes a day working restrained recalls for a solid recall.

Related Information:
Training The companion Dog with Dr. Ian Dunbar - Recalls and Stays

Really Reliable Recall with Leslie Nelson

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