If you have a German Shepherd puppy, you probably do not need to be told she is incredibly bright, curious to learn, and eager to please. Training her to come when called, also known as “recall,” is something that even a novice trainer can do with some basic training tips.
German Shepherds are a very reliable breed once properly trained to come when called. They are frequently used in police, rescue, and military work where a leash is impractical. With some patience and practice, you can expect to come to trust that your GSD will always come when called.
You can start training your puppy to come as early as 8 weeks old. Progress through the different training methods we have offered in this guide as she grows and gains skills. By the time she has reached adulthood, you will be able to rely on her recall in almost any situation.
There are some basic guidelines to follow for training your German Shepherd puppy to come when called. Here are some tips to keep in mind at all times when working on recall:
Never chase your dog when working on recall. Puppies think chase is a fun game. If you reward him for not coming when you call him with a game of chase, you are literally breaking your recall command.
Make coming to you rewarding. Do not ever call your dog and then punish him, immediately crate him, or take away something he enjoys unless you can give him something better. For example, if you call him in from outside, make sure you have a toy to play a quick game of tug before crating him.
Practice often and everywhere. You will practice recall 10,000 times to make sure it is there that one time when it can save your dog’s life.
Add distractions gradually. As we will discuss in more detail in each method, you always start training a new behavior in a low distraction environment. You will gradually add distraction once he is ready to “proof” a strong recall.
Identify Rewards: What is it that makes your German Shepherd puppy happy? Food, tug, praise or all of the above? You want to use a variety of rewards for recall training. Make sure they are easy to repeat and very exciting for your pup to keep her attention while you train.
Keep Sessions Short: Puppies have a short attention span that will increase over time with regular training. Make sure to keep your training sessions short enough that they are over before he is tired or bored.
Keep Sessions Fun: Your German Shepherd puppy will look forward to a lifetime of training if you keep training fun and rewarding. If you make it a chore, expect a dog that will grow up to be hard-headed about learning new things.
Long Line: The only equipment you will need for training a sturdy recall is a long line. This is a 25’-50’ leash or rope that you can use to give your puppy some distance safely, while not losing the ability to enforce a recall.
When we are in the house her recall is great, when we are outside it is absolutely awful, she does not listen and she runs away, she does not come back to me from in the garden
Hello! I am going to give you information on how to teach recall for running away. Recall: STAGE ONE – 'Catching' or Charging Up the 'Come' Cue Start in a distraction free environment so that your dog can focus only on you. Whenever your puppy or dog is coming to you on his own, wait until he is a couple of feet from you and then say his name and the word 'come.' When he gets to you, make a big fuss. With this exercise, your dog will learn that coming to you is a really good thing. After a while, you can lengthen the distance between you and start using the word when he is coming to you from a greater distance. Coming to you should always be rewarded, whatever the circumstance and no matter how long it took your dog to respond. Motivate your dog to come by being exciting, running away from him, waving a toy, or having delicious food for him when he gets to you. This will show him that coming back to you the best thing he can do. STAGE TWO – Solidifying the Cue Through Play Make sure you play the Back and Forth game with another person that your dog is comfortable with. Start the game in a quiet environment so it is easy for your dog to focus on you. Hold your dog back while the other person calls him excitedly. Try not to use his name or the cue word but talk excitedly to ‘gee’ him up. Do not release him until the person calls his name followed by the cue word “come.” When the cue word is given, release your dog and let him go running to the person calling. As soon as he reaches them they should praise and reward him with a game of tug or a food reward. When your dog has had his reward, have the other person hold him back as you call him and release as you say his name followed by the cue word. When he comes to you reward him with another game of tug or food reward. Repeat this game back and forth but only do a few repetitions so your dog does not get bored or too tired. Keeping it fresh means the game is always fun to play. STAGE THREE – Adding Vocal Cue With Hand Signal Inside Now your dog knows what the word “come” means you can use the cue word to call him to you while adding a hand signal to the word. Hand signals are always good to build with vocal cues so that even if your dog cannot hear you he will understand what the hand signal means. This is good if your dog is a distance away from you. Start in a quiet environment. Walk away from your dog and call his name followed by the cue word and a hand signal. Praise and reward him when he comes to you. Start increasing the distance you call him from and praise for his compliance. If he does not respond, go back to the previous distance and repeat. Only practice this cue for a few minutes so your dog does not get bored. The secret to success is to always keep it fun, exciting and fresh. When your dog recognizes the hand signal, try calling his name and using the hand signal by itself without the vocal cue. You will then be able to use a combination of vocal cue only, hand signal only and the two together. Now your dog knows what the cue word means you can start to call him from different rooms or from areas where he cannot see you. This will encourage him to respond even when you are out of sight. STAGE FOUR – Adding Vocal Cue With Hand Signal Outside Now your dog is consistently coming to you in a distraction free environment you can proof your recall cue by taking it outside. Practice the recall in your yard and then gradually build up to the point where you can use it in the park or similar environment. The ultimate test is to use the recall when your dog is engaged in a different activity. Wait for a lull in that activity and then call your dog to you. Praise his decision to comply.
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I’m having difficulty to make my dog come to me . And also I’m haveing difficulty trying to make him poop outside when I wake up in the morning he poops is already there but when I take him outside he only lays down and dosent poop or do anything what do I do?
Hello Britney, He is only eight weeks and teaching a dog to come takes a lot of practice so it's probably normal for him not to come this soon. He needs a lot of practice. Check out the article linked below to teach Come. Be sure to act fun and inviting and not angry or intimidating to motivate him to want to come to you. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall For the pooping, check out the article that I have linked below. He needs to be crated at night to prevent the accident in the morning. Follow the crate training method to introduce the crate to him. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Once he has already pooped in the morning inside, he will not need to go again until later in the day, so the opportunity is missed. The key is to prevent the morning poop using the crate and take him outside in the morning as soon as he whines in the crate or you get up for the day (whichever comes first). Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Duchess is extremely hyper I can't train her training her has become impossible. She constantly wants to bite and she doesn't listen. Ps. Duchess is in the middle of the two.
Hello Kayla, At nine weeks of age Dutches is acting completely normal for a puppy. Puppies this age mouth due to teething and to learn about the world around them. She has not had enough time and practice to learn what communication is, and is very mentally immature. Check out the link below and download the free pdj e-book, AFTER You Get Your Puppy. That book will cover a number of training areas to help you both. Some puppies have stronger personalities. She might have a more excitable, stronger personality also. https://www.lifedogtraining.com/freedownloads/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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