I wonder how much effort the average person put into teaching this to the dog? Probably most people assume that the puppy they bought was born speaking English. So I assume not a lot of effort goes into teaching the word to the pup.
The puppy gets let out loose in the backyard to do his business and we call come when we want to get back into the house. At first the puppy might come because you are interesting, probably slapping your legs….but after awhile the puppy begins to find the yard is more interesting than you are. And at about the same time, the puppy figures out that if it does not want to come back to you…well there is not a heck of a lot that you can do about it. Screaming at the dog to come is making it even worse than ever….now you are not just boring but scary as well.
So change things around. Get yourself a long line and a pocketful of treats….make them yummy treats like cheese or chicken. A long line is a cord of about 30 feet. Put the puppy outside dragging the long line. Let the puppy do its business and play around a bit.
Now step on the long line and tell your puppy to come. If he does not come, show him what you want by picking up the line. Pull him toward you and when he gets to you praise him up and give him a treat. After a week or so you should start to see a pretty good recall in your yard.
Now take him out to somewhere fenced and safe and practice with some distractions. Keep doing things like this for the first year of your puppy’s life and you are going to start to see a dog that really does understand what ‘come’ means and they will also be pretty convinced that you have magical powers because the long line always ensures a good return.
If your dog is older this will still work but it may take a bit longer to undo his previous experiences….but it can still be done. You can teach most old dogs new tricks.
So if you have a new puppy arriving soon, teach him to come right from the start and you should end up with a great recall.