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Dog recall words made easy!

dog running towards the camera with the caption dog recall words made easy

Dogs are amazing companions and loyal friends. They love spending time with their families and enjoy going on walks. However, it is important to remember that dogs are also animals with instincts that can sometimes lead them astray.

That’s why it’s crucial for all dog owners to understand how to properly recall their dog, regardless of the situation or surroundings. With these tips, you’ll be able to have your furry friend safely back at your side in no time!

All your questions about dog recall words will be answered here, so make sure you read this before starting recall training.

Contents of this article:

  1. What is the command for come?
  2. How do I say “come here” in dog?
  3. Should you use a dog’s name for recall?
  4. What is a good recall word for a dog?
  5. Teaching your dog what the recall word means.
    1. Make it easy.
    2. Start small.
    3. Reward the recall first.
  6. Summary

What is the command for come?

When I’m working with a new client on recall, I am often asked what words they should use and this question comes up a lot. This may come as a shock to some, but dogs are not pre-programmed to understand our words.

How do I say “come here” in dog?

Dogs do not comprehend any human words, so there is no special signal. Our verbal noises mean nothing to the dog until we attach a meaning to them. We teach dogs what words mean by saying the word before something happens, so that the sound of the word becomes a predictor of the action that follows.

The best way to do this is to use a reward-based system. This means that you give your dog something they want (usually a treat) when they do what you ask.

Over time, they learn that performing the desired behavior leads to getting a reinforcer, and so they’re more likely to do it when you ask.

Should you use a dog’s name for recall?

No, we use our dogs’ names so much that they can become background noise.

Your dog may already have particular associations with their name which may not always be positive, so when teaching a recall word we want it to be something magic that the dog always gets excited to respond to.

Try using a word like ‘here’, ‘come’ or ‘puppy’ instead.

When teaching your dog to come, it’s important to make sure they associate the behavior with something positive. This means that every time they hear that word, they should receive a reward.

What is a good recall word for a dog?

Some popular recall words for dogs include “come,” “here,” and “close.” Choose a word that is simple and easy for you to remember, so that you can consistently use it when calling your dog.

The specific command for “come” can vary depending on what you and your dog are comfortable with, but some common ones include “here,” “to me,” and “with me.” It really doesn’t matter which word you choose, unless the dog has already learnt to ignore it, in which case, decide on a new one.

Whichever word you choose, be consistent with it so that your dog can learn it more easily.

Teaching your dog what the recall word means.

Once you have chosen the command you want to use, you need to start teaching your dog what it means. The best way to do this is with a lot of positive reinforcement.

Every time your dog hears their recall cue, give them lots of praise and a treat. This will help them associate the word as a predictor of positive things to follow and they will be keen to get to you to receive the reward whenever you say that word.

If you find your dog is not responding at all to the verbal command, you might need to increase the value of the reinforcer you’re using. This means giving them a bigger or more desirable treat than usual. Make sure when you’re teaching recall that you’re using high value dog treats.

Make it easy.

If you’re having trouble getting your dog to come when you ask, there are a few other things you can try.

First, make sure that you are not asking them to come when they are doing something they enjoy, like playing with another dog or chasing a squirrel.

They are unlikely to want to leave that activity to come to you, especially in the early days of learning recall. Instead, try asking them to come when they are doing something mundane like lying down or sitting.

Start small.

Another thing you can do is start with a very short distance between you and your dog. Ask them to come, and as soon as they take a step towards you, give them the reinforcer.

Once they are consistently doing this at a short distance, you can start increasing the distance between you until they are coming to you from across the room or even from outside.

Reward the recall first.

Finally, make sure that you are not calling your dog to come to you and then immediately asking them to do something else, like sit or lie down.

Always reward the recall first, as getting consistency with the recall behavior is way more important than anything else.

Once your dog is consistently coming to you when you ask, then you can start adding in other behaviors after the recall.


Recall is one of the most important commands you can teach your dog. It can keep them safe in a variety of situations, so it’s worth taking the time to make sure they are really solid on it.

With a little patience and lots of positive reinforcement, you should be able to teach your dog recall quickly and easily, whatever recall word you choose.

Check out this post for more in depth info about teaching your dog recall.

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