5 Ways To Teach Your Dog To Come When Distracted

How to teach your dog to come when distracted

When most untrained hounds are distracted, they will not come even when you signal. They will ignore you and continue with whatever they were doing.

This behavior often makes a pet parent mad. Some pet parents have confessed that their dog’s chasing does straight into the stream and ignoring their call.

A dog that understands the word “come” will be easy to deal with if he/she accidentally slips your hand and run towards the road or other dogs along the street. Just call out the word, and she will immediately stop and run back to you.

To deal with this annoying behavior, you should have an insightful guide. Here, we have looked at different ways you can teach your dog to come even when he is distracted.

1. Using Treats To Communicate With Your Dog

Every dog loves treats. This is because the treats have all the nutrients a dog needs and finds it tasty. If you want your dog to obey every command you mention, using treats is one sure way to achieve positive results.

Step By Step Process:

  • If she is distracted, you can call her repeatedly. (At first, she will not respond to your calls, but after several attempts, she will start to respond)
  • Reward her with a treat or praise. “GOOD BOY/GOOD GIRL” are excellent praise names to call your pet dog is they obey commands
  • Repeat this process several times, and she will begin to understand
  • After a few days or weeks, your dog should now respond when distracted, even if you do not have a treat for her.
  • DO NOT OVERUSE TREATS. Your dog will know that each time she is called, there is a reward. Use PRAISE instead. (DO NOT let her know that you are BRIBING her)

2. Use A Toy To Divert Their Attention Instead

Using a toy is a clever way of diverting your dog’s attention if she is already engaged in “another enjoyable activity – like waiting for a bunny to come out of its hole.”

If she is distracted by waiting for the neighbor’s cat to climb down the tree, you can use a tennis ball and roll it down as you continue to call her (by her name).

Most dogs are playful, no matter their age. When he sees that you are playing with the tennis ball, he will inevitably become interested and join you.

Use this “trick” to your advantage and teach him to obey commands.

Slowly, she should start responding to your call without having the toy, and even when distracted.

3. Remove The Distraction For A Period And Teach Him Accordingly

Distraction could be anything ranging from ducks in the pond or other dogs roaming freely. It could also be anything that your dog is particularly interested in.

In many homes, there are domesticated animals that also pose a distraction to your dog. You can find him staring at the chicken shed or gazing at the sheep pen.

Shifting the hen house and the rabbit hutch to another hidden location allows you to teach him to come when called. After she understands and obeys the command, he should now be ready to come even when distracted.

Remove the distraction for a period and teach the dog accordingly

But, removing the distraction can also have its disadvantages. She will cease to be as active as she used to be and she will look stressed.

Note that: You might have removed the distractions in your home, but when you go with him for a walk, she might come across other distractions and refuse to listen to your call. So, it’s imperative to teach him to come in different outdoor settings.

4. Call Him In A More Enthusiastic And Happy Voice

Calling your dog in a more enthusiastic voice can make him respond quicker than calling him in a somewhat half-hearted way. An enthusiastic voice will show him that you are eager to give him something and so he will respond instantly.

Also, if you call him and squat a little, he immediately responds. I have seen many dogs responding to being called by someone who squats/bends to reach the same level as the dog. Dogs interpret that when you bend a little to meet your dog, he will think you want to pet him.

If you continue with this method for the next few weeks, he should come to you even when distracted.

5. Teach Him By Continuously Calling His/her Name When Distracted

All dogs know their names if they are called regularly. Always call your dog by his name even when he is distracted by ducks in the pond.

Seize the moment he stops looking at the ducks and call him by his name. Once you realize he is coming towards your direction, you can increase the name-calling. That way, he will not divert halfway through the journey.

To help him realize quicker, you can call him randomly even when he is not distracted.

Note: If your dog gets distracted again, when he is coming towards you, you need to shorten the distance between you and him and start the process once again.

What Not To Do

Having understood what to do to teach your dog to come when called, you should also know WHAT NOT TO DO. Below are four things you should not do:

  • DO NOT shout at your dog (even if he doesn’t come when distracted)
  • DO NOT regularly punish your dog
  • DO NOT discourage her
  • DO NOT confuse him with many commands


With the correct training, your dog should come towards you when called. Also, it would be best if you started teaching your dog while she is still young. It’s easier for a puppy to understand commands than trying to teach a mature dog.

If she does not respond even with the above guide, you can then proceed to seek professional advice and let the experts take control.

Dogs are more receptive to new ideas when we are close to them. You should use everything you have, including your patience, to teach your dog to obey different commands.