How To Train A Rottweiler

Tips for teaching the come / recall command

This part in my how to train a Rottweiler series covers what I believe to be the #1 most important thing you'll ever teach your dog - the "Come" or "Recall" command!

If you never teach your dog anything else, for safety sake you need him to come to you when you call him.

When it comes to training a dog to come when called, consistency is just as important as when your house training a puppy.

Here are the steps for how to train a Rottweiler to come to you when called. These steps apply to both puppies and adult dogs.

When I rescued Chevy at 15 months old, he didn't know what sit meant, much less what I wanted when I said "come", so I can attest to the fact that it really works with an adult dog too - it just takes longer and more patience :)

Steps for how to train a Rottweiler to come when called

  1. First and foremost, don't ever give the "come" command if you can't enforce it!

  2. Get a long lead line, about 30 feet or so. I happen to also have horses, so I just used one of the lunge lines I had, but you can find long lead lines at a lot of pet supply stores, or large animal feed stores (i.e. for horses, etc.). You can also find them online at Pet Mountain, where I get all of my pet supplies at great prices.

  3. If you've already taught your puppy the sit or down command, it's best to put him on a sit and then stay, with the long lead line attached to his collar.

  4. Back away from him just about 5 or 10 feet, crouch down to his level with your arms wide open and a smile on your face (dogs read body language and facial expressions very well), say his name and then "come" - I would say "Chevy, Come!"

  5. If he doesn't come to you right away, DO NOT repeat the command (I know it's hard to resist), just give the lead line a quick, sharp tug.

  6. The second he comes to you, overwhelm him with praise and give him a treat as quickly as you can.

  7. Keep doing this exercise numerous times a day (keep all training sessions to 10 or 15 minutes and always end on a positive note).

  8. Once he comes to you reliably from a short distance (5 to 10 feet) without you having to tug on the lead, start moving farther and farther away.

  9. Once he's reliable from a greater distance (20 to 30 feet), start introducing distractions.

    Wait until he's not looking at your, or engrossed in a toy or something and use the same method with the lead line as described in steps #4 and #5.

  10. When he is at the point of always coming to you, regardless of what he's doing at the time you call him, you're ready for some off-lead work.

I choose random times practice the recall command when I'm in the house and I know that Chevy isn't engrossed in something, but not in my immediate view either.

I will have a treat, and just say "Chevy, Come!" for other reason than to give him a treat. I also like to keep him guessing, so sometimes he only gets a good scratch'n :)

My boy Chevy is a Rottweiler Rescue dog and didn't have a good start in life. So, I continue to do this randomly even though he's 8 1/2 years old now.

How To Train A Rottweiler Series

Remember that the most important aspect of teaching your dog to "come" to you is to never give the command if you can't enforce it.   You need to make sure you have complete reliability with the lead line still attached before you start giving the command without it!

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