Purchase required to use this site. In using this training site, you agree to the privacy policy: This is for member use only. Please do not share, copy, post, forward or otherwise distribute the link, URL address, or any of the material from this site without written consent from Limitless Pawsibilities. This includes the descriptions, infographics, photos, videos, video links, and all written material.

© 2020 Limitless Pawsibilities

All Rights Reserved

L2-Topics      L2-Social       L2-FCC1      L2-FCC2      L2-A&C      L2-RP2      L2-WWM      L2-BG     L2-Week8


Level 2

Training the Family Dog


Come Part 2

Games and Cues for Recalls



Tips for a Reliable Recalls

Review from Level 1:

Pick Me! Game

Confidence, Optimism, Focus, Arousal Up/Down, Disengagement, Engagement, Proximity (Recall, Walking With Manners, Relationship)

Orientation Games

Confidence, Optimism, Focus, Arousal Up, Disengagement, Engagement, Proximity (Recall, Walking With Manners, Relationship)


Come Part 2

Confidence, Optimism, Focus, Engagement, Disengagement, Proximity, Impulse Control, Thinking in Arousal

(Recall, Relationship)

Come with Auto-Sit

Confidence, Focus, Disengagement, Engagement, Proximity, Impulse Control, Thinking in Arousal (Recall, Relationship)

Recall (Come) Games

Confidence, Optimism, Focus, Disengagement, Engagement, Proximity, Impulse Control, Thinking in Arousal, Reliability

(Recall, Relationship)


Puppy Ping Pong

Confidence, Optimism, Focus, Proximity,  Engagement, Disengagement, Arousal Up, Thinking in Arousal (Recall, Relationship)

Restrained Recalls

Confidence, Optimism, Focus, Proximity, Engagement, Arousal Up, Thinking in Arousal

(Recall, Relationship)

Running Orientation

Confidence, Optimism, Focus, Arousal Up, Disengagement, Engagement, Proximity, Thinking in Arousal (Recall, Relationship)


Tips for Reliable Recalls

Teaching your puppy to come when called is an essential cue. It could even save your dog's life one day, or at least keep her out of trouble. In the beginning, puppies come willingly. Your puppy wants to be with you all the time. Your puppy enjoys playing with you and thrives on your attention. But, teaching reliable recall is easier said than done, and as your puppy grows, she will want to leave your side more and more to explore the evermore expanding world.

Come is not the only way to get your dog to return to you. Have several ways to get your dog to return to you. That includes formal cues like Come and Middle, where you can gain control of your dog. And informal cues that only require some proximity like your dog's name, Puppy Puppy, This Way, Let's Go, and Touch. Give yourself options! That way, if one is starting to fall apart, you others at your disposal. Although you will be spending more time proofing Come more than any of the other recall cues, and its reliability may fall apart from time to time or take longer to progress, it is well worth the time and effort.

Before you begin, there are a few basic guidelines to remember about teaching "Come."

Recall Fundamentals

  • Be the Cookie - Make sure to establish that coming to you is the "best thing ever!" Any time your puppy comes to you, whether you called him or not, always acknowledge that you appreciate it. You can do this with petting, smiles, praise, affection, play, or treats. Consistently reinforcing your puppy coming to you ensures that she will want to continue to "check-in" with you. When practicing the recall, make coming to you fun and exciting and rewarding. "Be the cookie." That will ensure that the cue does not deteriorate over time.
  • Recall for Good Reasons - Never use Come when you are going to do something your dog doesn't like or sees as an undesirable outcome, like a bath, going into the crate, coming inside, or anything else that your puppy will perceive as a negative. That is a guaranteed way to create a negative association with the cue and have your puppy stop listening to you and choose something else more rewarding. The best way to practice any recall is to make it feel like a game, and in the end, allow your puppy to do something super fun - like play.
  • No Recall for Punishment - No matter what happened moments ago, coming toyou must always be rewarded and followed by good things. If you catch yourself calling your puppy because you are angry for some reason, you must still praise and reward your dog for coming to you. So be ready to "switch gears" and save any consequences or punishment for next time.
  • When in Doubt, Don't Cue - If you need your puppy to come to you, but you are not sureif she will listen, use alternative methods and phrases: "pup, pup, pup" or "this way" or "here" or some other obedience cue like a sit-stay. Attention-getting sounds like kissing sounds, whistles, clapping or patting your legs, etc. are good choices, too. Inviting gestures such as backing up or running away from your puppy and encouraging her to chase you is a helpful tactic to use. Puppies find it hard to resist chasing after a running person, especially if it is mom or dad.
  • Use High-Value Rewards - Always reward the recall with your puppy's highest valued rewards. Use special treats like chicken, steak, peanut butter, or other tasty treats. But, you can also use a squeaky ball or toy if it is one that your puppy treasures above all others. Stack your rewards with praise, affection, love, and excitement. Additionally, real-life rewards, like calling your puppy for mealtime, is a great way to practice and reinforce the cue.
  • One Mistake Means Back to Kindergarten - Always remember to go back to basics for a single mistake with the Come cue. You don't want your puppy to think that responding to Come is optional. Come is a cue that benefits well from reviewing the basics from time to time.
  • Reliability is Never Guaranteed - Until your dog has settled into adulthood (about 2-3 years of age for Aussies), you can't expect the recall to be very reliable. When out in open areas where you can't control the distractions, or your puppy can wander to areas that may not be safe, always keep your pup on lead for safety. It is better to be safe than sorry. Practicing Come with a long line is a critical step towards more reliability with the cue. Until you have been able to proof Come under each particular situation, you cannot assume your puppy responds correctly. Dogsare dogs, and you must always remember that thereis no such thing as a 100% reliable recall. Freedom is earned, and your dog earns that freedom outside because his response to Come is consistent. To be off-leash, your dog must have the impulse-control and obedience to come and go, automatically and on cue.

Practice Often, Use It Sparingly - You should practice Come with your dog every time you go outside. Practicing allows you to make sure that all outcomes after the Come cue are wonderful outcomes for your dog. It is how your dog perceives it, not you. Whenyou have to use the cue in a real-life situation, your dog will miss out on something. So in a sense,your dog can perceive that aspunishment. Be aware of what you do!


Come Part 2


Using the Come cue outside is a whole different ball game!! You are now competing with distractions and the element of unpredictability. You never know what might just pop into the picture that can divert your puppy's attention away from you.

At this point you've been using come inside, and other cues for outside - this way there are no bad habits of blowing off the cue. At this point too, you've been playing a lot of orientation games that are boosting your value with your dog and teaching important concepts that are relevant to a good recall - focus, proximity, eye-contact, and a little impulse control. Now it's time to begin putting all of this together and teach your puppy how to begin to handle distractions.

Recall is a relationship dependent cue. So make sure to be depositing into that relationship bank account often and build value and teamwork.

Some of the games mentioned in this video are in separate videos with the finer details. They are shown below.

A long line (between 10 and 30 feet long) is very useful in teaching a reliable recall. You can purchase them at pet stores that are made of a nylon material, or you can go with a biothane long line . The choice is yours.

Come with Auto-Sit


There comes a time when the expectations with the Come cue can increase, to give you more formal behavior to make control easier. This also distinguishes Come from other loose recalls so that you have a number of options at your disposal for ways of getting your dog to return to you - loose recalls like This Way, Pup Pup Recall, and Touch... and formal recalls that give you control like Come and Middle.


Recall (Come) Games


It is important to make sure that recall, or the come cue, remains a positive and fun game. This cue can easily fall apart because it is so easy to punish - and we don't even realize it until our dog no longer responds to the cue.

PLAY "Come" everyday when playing with your pup. Practice it more than you actually use it.

Don't use it (unless you have to).

Use alternative cues and games for when it is time to go home, put the leash back on, come inside, etc.

Ditchthe routine and break the chain of predictability. How often do you call your dog to you, clip on the leash, and then release your dog back out to play again? It is important to practice scenarios like this so that the Come cue does not begin to predict the end of fun, freedom, play, etc.

There are multiple games in this video - Come and Go, Play Cue Play, Out of Sight, and also play Hide and Seek (not shown).

To keep reliability with recall, it must be fun with good outcomes in the perspective of your dog. So practice it way more than you use it. Practicing it means you "play recall" every time you go outside with you dog, that way you can be sure to set things up so your dog thinks it is wonderful and leads to more wonderful things.

Running Orientation Outside


A stepping stone that supports your efforts in a good reliable recall. Build focus for outside distractions. Increase value in you and your relationship. Improve impulse control and good decisions. Take the game you played inside, and play it outside, generalizing the behavior and taking strides towards reliability.

Puppy Ping Pong/Round Robin Outside


Another fun recall game for 2 or more people. This game is great for couples, families, and for anyone who is going to have a relationship with the puppy/dog - grandparents, close friends, etc.

This is also a fun game to play when your puppy has some energy that needs to be used up. It helps to build focus with wiggly puppies, yet gets them moving. The targeting (like with Touch) helps with focus and mouthing due to energy. The auto-sit behavior can also help with mouthiness, putting the closeness to you with an appropriate behavior - sitting!

Recalls should be fun, and that is why making it into a game is crucial. Practice formal and unfornmal recalls for vaiety and to maintain momentum.

Restrained Recall


Take “Come” and supercharge it! This version is a super fun game you can play to build drive in the recall. It also shows you how you can use toys instead of food for a fun reward. Sometimes toys and play, and the reinforcing energy they provide, are a better reward in certain circumstances than food. You can use food with this game, too. Build a flexible learner with your training and work through a variety of different rewards.

This is a big-energy recall game that involves chasing. Sometimes the exciting thrill of YOUR chase game has to be more fun than your dog's chase the deer or rabbit game. Make modifications when needed and choose play times wisely to set your puppy up for success. Use a long or large toy with plenty of space foryour puppy to grab. Hold that toy out so your pup targets the toy and does not end up jumping on you.

NOTE: Some dogs can have difficulty with being restrained. Watch your puppy for any cues that show the restraint is making your dog uncomfortable. Always adapt to suit your dog best.