How to Use a Long Line to Teach Coming When Called

Apr 9, 2021

Are you struggling with your dog's recall? Do you often find yourself frustrated when your furry friend doesn't come back to you when called? Worry not, because at The Upbeat K9, we have an effective solution that can help you teach your dog to come when called reliably. In this article, we will guide you through the process of using a long line to train your dog for a solid recall.

Why Use a Long Line?

Using a long line can be a game-changer when it comes to teaching your dog to come when called. A long line gives your dog more freedom to explore, while still allowing you to maintain control. It acts as a safety net, ensuring that your dog doesn't wander off too far, and also provides you with the ability to reinforce the recall command if necessary.

Choosing the Right Long Line

When selecting a long line, it's essential to choose one that is appropriate for your dog's size and strength. The ideal length for a long line is usually between 20 to 30 feet, allowing your dog enough room to roam while keeping them within your reach. Look for a sturdy material that can withstand outdoor conditions, such as nylon or leather.

Getting Started

Before you begin training with a long line, ensure that your dog has a basic understanding of the recall command in a distraction-free environment. Start in a quiet area, gradually increasing the level of distractions as your dog becomes more proficient.

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Attach the Long Line

    Attach the long line to your dog's harness or collar, ensuring it is secure but not too tight. A sturdy connection is vital for maintaining control throughout the training session.

  2. Give the Recall Command

    Using a clear and firm tone, give the recall command (e.g., "Come" or "Here") while gently guiding your dog towards you with the long line. Encourage them with praise and rewards for responding correctly.

  3. Gradually Increase Distance and Distractions

    Once your dog is comfortable with the long line, start practicing in different environments with increasing distractions. This could include incorporating other dogs, people, or even tempting distractions like toys or treats.

  4. Intermittently Remove the Long Line

    Once your dog demonstrates consistent recall behavior on the long line, you can start intermittently removing it while still reinforcing the command. This helps your dog generalize the command, understanding that they should come when called, regardless of whether they are on a long line or not.

  5. Consistency is Key

    Remember, consistency is essential in training your dog to come when called. Practice regularly, reinforce positive behavior, and be patient. With time and practice, your dog will become more reliable and trustworthy in their recall ability.

Troubleshooting Common Challenges

During the training process, you may encounter some common challenges. Here are a few tips to overcome them:

  • Lack of Motivation: Use high-value treats or toys to motivate your dog and make coming when called more rewarding.
  • Distractions: Gradually increase the level of distractions while training. Start in a controlled environment and progress to more challenging scenarios over time.
  • Pulling on the Long Line: Teach your dog to walk politely on a leash before introducing the long line. Use positive reinforcement techniques to encourage loose leash walking.
  • Inconsistency: Ensure that all family members or caregivers follow the same training methods and use consistent cues for the recall command.


Using a long line to teach your dog to come when called is an effective and safe training technique. Remember to choose the right long line, follow the step-by-step guide, and be consistent in your training efforts. At The Upbeat K9, we believe in positive reinforcement and building strong bonds with our furry friends. With patience, practice, and love, you'll soon have a dog that reliably comes when called, giving you peace of mind and ensuring their safety.

Kenny Taylor
Great tips! 👍
Oct 16, 2023