==> "Come here! Come here now! Come here right NOW!!" - Sounds somewhat familiar?

How to make your dog come when YOU want


This is what a Top dog expert says:
Find out more: Click to save vet cost, training cost, and your nerves!

For many dog owners in general (not just German Shepherd owners), the Recall is a challenging training objective. And that's mainly because they didn't first hone dog Leash Training.

Key point #1 for a successful Recall:

First hone your GSD Leash Training

And if you have a GSD puppy, also implement the puppy-specific points of leash training

Of course it's only natural not to think of leash training when we get a dog: The first thing we do when we get a dog or puppy is to CALL it to us, isn't it?!

In fact, with a new puppy (where it would matter most to start the right way), we typically call it all the time, and give it affection all the time: "Ohh, look my darling, here." - "Ahh, my sweety, what do we have there?" - "Now, this is SPECIALLY for you!" - "Mmmh, isn't this yummy, yummy?!" etc etc. All our attention revolves around our new baby (ahem, puppy).

All this is natural, yes. - But is it helping the long-term relationship with our dog?

No. Clearly not. So much not, that Dan, the impressive online video dog trainer, even established one of his five "Golden Rules" just for this! - His Rule No 4: Everything on your terms.

To be frank, my own first thought when I studied his comprehensive dog training approach was: Huuh, that's a bit harsh, isn't it? Almost inhumane, not to allow your dog to start the attention, the affection, to decide where to go, etc. Never! Really? Yes, Dan recommends to stick to all 5 rules. Everyone in the family. All the time.

The reason why I was a bit skeptic at first: Because, a) GSDs in general are more attentive, sophisticated, and autonomous than most other dog breeds, and b) specifically, our own GSDs always got a lot of "freedom to decide" and they are treated rather like "partners" than "pets" or "servants", because that's imperative when you have GSDs as Protection Dogs (will feature in a future MYGERMANSHEPHERD PERODICAL).

However, when we then actually tried various aspects of his comprehensive dog training approach, we realized that indeed it does make the dogs calmer, more content, and seemingly happier too. It does further improve the relationship with our dogs!

I wouldn't often suggest that you try Dan's dog training too if I wasn't very happy with it myself. As often said, it's not GSD-specific but since GSDs are dogs as well after all, his dog training videos have been enormously helpful to us - and so it will be helpful to you too when you try it.

So, Key point #2 for a successful Recall:

Train yourself to ignore your dog whenever (s)he comes to you without being called

Not in a mean, harsh way. But in the way already the mum does it with the litter pups.

Admittedly, this is the hardest bit of the training for all of us who love our dog! Not only that we actually like to get unsolicited attention and affection (for once! :-D ), no, we may find it somewhat "cruel" not to give in, right?

However, no matter how much we are used to treat our GSDs almost like human beings, we must not forget that after all they are animals - with animal-typical traits and needs!

This is what a Top dog expert says:
Find out more: Click to save vet cost, training cost, and your nerves!

And fact is, no matter how much socialized and how familiar and close our own GSD is to us, being an animal, dogs, the dog will indeed always try to get the upper hand, to dominate us when we show signs of weakness or indecisiveness. Remember the words: dogs dominate.

And, being a dog, (s)he will always get confused and stressed when we show inconsistency in our expectations, commands, and behavior.

I'd strongly suggest you read the above paragraph again, as I fear even my highlighting can't fully relay its significance. :-|

Hence Key point #3 for a successful Recall:

Be clear about what you want from your dog, be decisive, and don't confuse your dog:

  • with inconsistency between your commands and your body language
  • or with inconsistency between what you communicate today and what you communicate tomorrow.

Yes, all these three key points come before you even start with the Recall. Uuups! :roll:

If you don't keep this order of training the Recall, don't be surprised when your GSD may never come reliably when you call your dog. Meaning, sometimes (s)he'll come, but other times (s)he won't. ;-)

How to train your dog 100% successful Recalls

Now on to the actual steps of training the Recall in a way that almost guarantees you 100% success rate when you call your German Shepherd:

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==> Next edition: GSD Ear Care <==


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 13 Site Comments , ZERO SPAM Add one


    we are Canadians living in Italy. A year ago, we adopted a 10 year old GSD who had been abandoned in Southern Italy. The ones who found him discovered he had changed owners 3 times. He had a few health problems (his stomach turned and he was operated; he has a chronic ear infection which we are unable to cure) since we got him in July, but he now seems serene. I know most of your emails are geared to puppies etc. but it would be also great to read about older GSD's. Can one train an 11 year old GSD? Ours jumps when he sees other dogs and yanks on the leash (45 kilos!) and depending on how he likes persons, can jump towards those to. Would appreciate some insight on your part. We've discovered the world of GSD's and surely agree with you that they are highly intelligent dogs. This adoption has been difficult at times but also very rewarding! I print out your emails in case one day we decide to adopt a young GSD! Best,


      Hi Chantal, First: Thanks so much for adopting a 10 year old adult GSD! From what you are saying, gladly he finally found a permanent family, which is wonderful at his age.

      I am confused how you could possibly get the impression we would be focusing on puppies? Since I see that you just got "The Recall", I know that you've had only ONE puppy Periodical (namely your last one: GSD Puppy Leash Training). But you've had TWENTY adult GSD Periodicals. - It seems you may not have opened your first 20 emails then, hm?

      1) Ear Infection: GSDs are prone to ear infections - IF - not treated right. What have you tried for it? Pl give me some details. Ear infections certainly are easily curable. You got that for free as well: The MYGERMANSHEPHERD Health Manual. It's all in there.

      2) Older GSD? Sure. You got "How to Care for a Senior GSD" 8 weeks ago.

      3) Adult GSD Training? Sure. You got my "Adult GSD Training Essentials" for free as pdf document.

      If you don't like to open your emails, I can offer you the training essentials as Kindle book? ;-)


    Hi Tim, what a great article (Points for Successful Recall). It makes perfect sense when you read it in black and white. Whilst it will be difficult to ignore my 9 month old pup, I know that it will be very worthwhile in the longer term! Thanks - your periodicals are always helpful and a great read.


    This material is locked in spite of the fact that I am subscribed. I am very interested in your newsletters, however this has happened twice now.


      Nancy, You got "The Recall", so you've been a free subscriber for a long time, so you got my email about the "locking" sharing last week, and so you know what to do and why, don't you?

      The reason why I ask: I am alarmed by the fact that more than half of all subscribers have NOT opened that email, titled "MUST-READ email...". We will have to have a very thorough cleanup of our list of free subscribers (again). Sending out the emails costs me my money, but you get these emails for free. So what's the point of wasting my money when you don't even open the emails?

      And no, we don't have any newsletters anyway, as there are no "news". We have the MYGERMANSHEPHERD PERIODICAL which you may receive for free (that's an honor here because we don't send out garbage). That it's free seems to attract lots of spammers though...

      If I share all this WORK with you, and even for free, the minimum is you share it with others. Right?

      And that's all you need to do.


    Thank you! This is going to be difficult for a dog hugger with a puppy but it makes perfect sense.


    Once again, for me, this information is right on time. My 8 month old is very good at recall in the house, but when she is playing in the yard, she might as well be deaf! I call her and she actually runs the other way. I never call her twice, I just wait a few minutes and then go get her. We go to obedience classes with a German Shepherd club in my area, and she is doing really well there also! I put her in a sit/stay and walk a few yards away and call her when I am ready. She flies like a bullet right to me even though there are many other dogs all around. Yet she rarely comes when I call her in the back yard. The stay works well though because if I tell her to stay where she is, she always does and I can catch her easily. I always pet her when she comes to me and sticks her head right under my hand. Its like taking your child onto your lap when they want some loving. However, everything you have told me so far has worked wonders with us so I am going to follow this to the letter as well. Thanks again Tim, for your very timely periodicals.


    OK Tim, heres my problem.
    I am not sure if her failure to recall when outside in the yard is due to this or not but here goes:
    When I gesture eat her food, she actually doesnt care. She always sits and waits to be fed and she is always calm at feeding time. When I gesture eat her food its almost as if she knows I am not really eating it. She actually looks the other way as if she is saying to herself "Ho, Hum". I swear she actually looks bored. But because she is calm and always waits for me to tell her she can eat, I give it to her. She doesnt always finish it, but I take it up as soon as she walks away from it. She often goes back to the bowl, but of course then it is empty and she just walks away! Am I doing something wrong?


      No you are doing allright.

      > She actually looks the other way as if she is saying to herself "Ho, Hum". I swear she actually looks bored.

      You misinterprete her behavior though: When she looks away when you Gesture-eat, she tells you not "Ho, hum", but: "You can spoon that food into my bowl however you like, I am still the Pack leader anyway."

      Does this ring a bell when you consider her other behavior (like the Recall that you write about)?

      I'd make a real theater-play out of it, like I always say (and Dan does too). Plus, I'd do all the other things that you find for free in that other book you just replied to.


    Hey Tim, I've learned a lot from you and your books.My 2 year old GS usually obeys my commands so I know he understands me, but there are times I have to keep repeating for him to finally respond. I would like a quicker response. Thanks


    Hi Tim, I hope all is well. As you know, from my various comments everywhere, I have gotten a lot of good results following your site. This is just a little anecdote for you. I commented on this particular subject four years ago almost to the day! I followed your advice and I just wanted to let you in on something that happened. I let Jordan out into the back yard at night and she immediately ran, growling, towards the back of the yard. To my surprise, she cornered and caught a racoon (what a prize)! She had him by the tail, and he was not happy. Fearful that he would bite her (they will fight!!), I yelled to her to drop it and come, half expecting that in her excitement she might ignore me. Well, she let him go and came running back to me. This was a major test for her and she passed with flying colors! She has been trained not to chase wildlife that we come across on our walks, but her own backyard is another story I guess! I thought you might enjoy this.
    Keep reading and working folks! You have a lot of help here!


      Huh, you were BUSY reading today....

      No frankly, NOTHING is well. Never been as bad.
      At least I am honest still.

      I did enjoy the racoon story, indeed. I have never even seen a racoon. I dount Miguel would obey. I would have to do my other trick: running away from him.

      He'll always follow :-)
      It's videod in the puppy diary.
      By the way, did you never finish the dog expert interviews with reviews? I can't see you did. ;-)


        Yes, it is snowing and I am stuck inside today, so its a good day to catch up on all the things I was too busy to get to! I have not finished the interviews but I will. Especially now that you reminded me of them.I am not at my computer a lot, and so I kind of binge read! Sorry to hear that things are not going well for you. I hope you are not ill and that things will get better. I do keep you in my prayers that your fortune will turn for the better. You certainly deserve it!

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