How to Teach a Dog to Come Without Treats

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We all love our dogs. But just like with kids, it is sometimes necessary to correct certain behaviors to help them grow and develop into the best dog they can be.

Maybe you’ve tried treats and were unsuccessful. It’s really frustrating to call your dog and have him basically ignore you and act like this is all a big joke. I’ve been through it

To teach a dog to come when called is an essential foundation of any good training program. However, it is best to use treats in the beginning and gradually move towards recall training without dog treats.

In this article, you will learn how to teach a dog to come without treats, no matter what distractions might be present.

Read More: Teach Your Dog to Walk on a Leash

How to Teach a Dog to Come Without Treats

Want to teach your dog to sit, stay or come when called without treats? Try following tested ways for teaching recall to your dog without food as a reward.

1. Start with Value Rewards at First

Positive reinforcement is very important in dog training, as it is with other training. Use greater rewards that your dog loves and doesn’t get on a daily basis at first. 

Treats are indeed an effective training tool, and while you may train your dog without them, beginning with dog treats makes training easy and helps your young dog to learn faster.

You can try delicious dog treats, bits of cooked chicken, or strips of jerky, which work best for you.

2. Reduce Treats with Time

Moreover, as your dog gains focus and gets used to the training methods slowly reduce treats.

Gradually start giving fewer treats while training. When the dog obeys a command throughout several training sessions, it is likely that they are now familiar with the commands. At this point, start limiting their hopes for delicious food treats every time they comply.

3. Praise Dog Instead of Treats

By using positive reinforcements, you can completely take your dog off of food rewards while training. 

First, you’ll need to start every training with a cheerful tone and caring body language. Regularly praise the mutt with affection and love while periodically rewarding positive behavior with treats.

Each session should begin and conclude with a treat and lots of praise. Then after several sessions, exclude treats and only show affection as the reward. 

4. Stick with Life Rewards

Determine the things your dog values most so you can motivate them to accept orders without the use of food. Petting, Snuggling, dog walking, favorite toys, and hugging are just a few examples of life rewards.

For example, before taking your dog for a stroll, tell them to stay or give some recall commands; this strategy shows that positive behavior could potentially win them life rewards.

Read More: How to Stop Leash Aggression in Dogs


Teaching a dog to come on command takes time and patience, especially if your dog does not like being told what to do. You may successfully teach a dog to come by rewarding them with a delicious treat every time they get it right.

However, it’s important to teach a dog to come and obey commands without dog treats otherwise it is unlikely that the dog will obey in situations where you have no food or treats to give.

Camila Coleman

I'm a creative and compassionate mom. Being an animal lover and housewife who spends most of her days chasing after kids. When I'm not fawning over them, you can find me outdoors spending time with my husky "skippy".

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