How To Get Your Dog To Come When You Call

It’s the most important thing they learn. Don’t make these 3 mistakes.

Lisa Daum
4 min readMar 5, 2020


My good girl. Photo by Lisa Daum

I was having a relaxing walk in the off leash park with my dog. It was a beautiful sunny summer day. I heard him before I saw him.

“Plywood!! Plywood!!! PLYWOOD!!!! Goddammit!!! Get back here!!!!”

He had his hands cupped around his mouth, yelling at the top of his lungs.

It made me wonder. First of all, what kind of person names their dog Plywood. Secondly, what was going to happen to poor Plywood once he showed up?

I see it in the dog park and I see it with some of my neighbours — Dogs that don’t come when they’re called. People blame the dogs, but it’s not actually the dogs’ fault. The owners are making mistakes that pretty much guarantee their dogs will not show up when they call their name.

Mistake #1
When you first get your dog, not doing anything to teach them their name.If you want your dog to come when you call them make sure they know who they are. Talk to them. Like children, that’s how they learn. For example, when you go to feed them say, “Jake, here’s your food,” (or whatever your dog’s name happens to be.) When it’s time for a walk say, “Jake, let’s go for a walk.” Whenever you pay attention to them call them by their name. Some dogs learn faster than others, but it won’t be long and they’ll know their name refers to them. You’ll know they know it when you say their name and they look at you.

Mistake #2
Calling your dog and then punishing them for something. This is a HUGE mistake. I’ve seen this so many times in the dog park. No wonder the dog doesn’t want to come when he/she is called. Who would? They’re not stupid. If someone called you over so they could yell at you or hit you, would you go? If you’ve been doing this, stop immediately or your dog will never, ever come when they’re called. Your dog can still learn to, but it’s going to take longer and you’re going to have be very, very patient.

Mistake #3
Not making it worth their while. Why should your dog interrupt what she’s doing just so she can go over and see what you want? You may not have thought of it that way, but guaranteed your…



Lisa Daum

I love animals, reading, and writing. Also a student of human nature. People are weird, but it makes us interesting. Email me: