How To Train Your English Shepherd Dog to Recall

Dog Situation

A young puppy is playing off-leash in a fenced backyard or a designated training area. The goal is to teach the puppy to come when called, also known as recall training. This is an essential skill for every dog to ensure their safety and strengthen the bond between the dog and the owner.

Dog Behaviors

Puppies are naturally curious and may be easily distracted by their surroundings. They might be exploring the area, sniffing, playing with toys, or interacting with other dogs or people.

Trainer Recommendation

How To Train Your Dog to Recall

  1. Start with a high-value treat

    Start with a high-value treat, a toy, or any other item that your puppy finds particularly rewarding.

  2. Choose a recall cue

    Choose a clear, consistent recall cue such as “Come” or “Here” and use it every time you practice recall.

  3. Begin training in a low-distraction environment

    Begin training in a low-distraction environment. Call the puppy using the chosen cue while showing them the reward.

  4. Praise and reword

    When the puppy comes to you, immediately praise them and provide the reward. This will reinforce the positive association between the recall cue and the reward.

  5. Gradually increase the distance

    Gradually increase the distance between you and your puppy and practice recall in various environments with different levels of distractions. Always remember to use the chosen cue and provide a reward when the puppy comes to you.

  6. Fade the reward

    As your puppy becomes more reliable with recall, you can gradually decrease the frequency of rewards and transition to using verbal praise and physical affection as reinforcement.


By consistently practicing recall training, your puppy will learn to associate the recall cue with positive reinforcement and will be more likely to respond when called. This skill is crucial for your dog’s safety, as it can prevent them from wandering off or getting into dangerous situations. Additionally, successful recall training will strengthen the bond between you and your puppy, as it demonstrates trust and effective communication.

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Tony Bierman, "How To Train Your English Shepherd Dog to Recall," OBTESA, Accessed June 18, 2024,