Your Dog Doesn’t Hear? 8 Steps to Bombproof Recall

You’re on a walk and your dog does what he wants?

The absolute horror for every dog owner. Your own dog doesn’t hear outside and the callback doesn’t work either.

This is not only a nerve-racking situation for you, but can also create very dangerous situations for your dog or those around you.

Are you in the situation and think: My dog won’t come when I call him? Don’t despair!

You are right here!

In this article you will find out why puppies and young dogs sometimes do not hear and how you can easily set up a secure recall in 8 steps.

Thoughts like: my dog ignores me will be history in the future…

In a nutshell: Your dog doesn’t hear? You can do that!

There can be a number of reasons why your dog won’t listen to you. The dog is often given unclear signals, what has been learned has not yet been consolidated or he sees no advantage in it.

Is your dog a little older and you have noticed that your dog is no longer hearing? Then this can be a sign of the beginning of hearing problems and should be clarified medically.

With targeted recall training and a little work on yourself, this problem can be solved very well and the statement my dog ignores me will soon be history.

Your puppy isn’t hearing

Puppies and young dogs often have trouble concentrating for a long time. If your puppy’s concentration drops or if it’s tired, it’s possible that it won’t hear.

The saying “after tired comes stupid” applies relatively well to puppies.

Your puppy actually hears very well, but he doesn’t understand what you want him to do.

Your puppy / young dog must first learn what your words mean.

It often happens that you have already taught your puppy a lot and then it comes: puberty. It often happens that you get the feeling that the youngster has forgotten everything he has learned up to that point.

7 steps to successful puppy training

  1. Always use clear commands (such as “sit” and “down”) that are easy for your dog to understand.
  2. Start in a low-stimulus environment first. This allows your dog to concentrate and not be distracted.
  3. Stay consistent Once your puppy / young dog has successfully implemented the command, this does not mean that he can do it forever.
  4. Use different practice locations. Dogs learn situationally and locally.
  5. Keep motivation high during training, for example with treats or your favorite toy. A dog that willingly cooperates learns more easily.
  6. The timing of the confirmation is essential for success.
  7. Short training sessions. Only train as long as your puppy / young dog can concentrate.
  8. ALWAYS finish a training session positively for a puppy/young dog.

My tip: My dog does not react to me? No freewheel!

Young dogs that are going through puberty are often completely elsewhere in their thoughts and relatively unfocused.

This can lead to very unpleasant and dangerous situations, especially when running free. Furthermore, it is your duty as a dog owner to protect your dog and others from possible dangers.

When my dog was in this phase, I mostly used a long flexi leash and a harness. So the dog had a relatively large range of motion and I still had him on a leash.

Puberty in young dogs – how do I deal with it?

Your young dog doesn’t listen to your call back and otherwise brings you to the brink of despair?

Congratulations, your dog is in the midst of puberty.

The good news about puberty: it will pass!

Young dogs reach puberty at an average age of 6 to 12 months.

Smaller dog breeds sometimes a little earlier. During puberty, the sex drive also awakens.

No buck, ears on permanent passage, and no respect. Puberty in dogs is similar to that in humans and is triggered by hormone fluctuations.

My tip: Use puberty to build bonds

During puberty, you can use the personal bonding phase to develop a deeper bond with your dog.

If your dog is in the midst of puberty, pay attention to the following 3 points:

Leadership and consistency

Remain unperturbed, confident, consistent and honest. Your dog will notice that his ideas are not so good after all and will use you as a guide.


It is also possible that your dog no longer remembers what it has already learned. Be patient, brush up on the workout with great motivation, and learn something new that you both enjoy.


Since your young dog’s brain is controlled by hormones, he often forgets his good manners. Don’t let uncontrolled clashes or bad experiences happen. Protect your dog from this. If your dog experiences bad things during this phase, this will be remembered very well.


Never lose your sense of humor and keep in mind all the time: this phase will soon pass.

Recall training with the dog – Here’s how it works

A perfect recall means that you can retrieve your dog from any situation at any time and he will come to you immediately on command.

The most common causes of a non-working callback are:

  • Everything else is more interesting
  • The callback was not established correctly.

What tools do you need for recall training?

First, you should think about the motivation, i.e. the confirmation. What is extremely important to your dog? What does he adore? This is exactly what you can use for recall training.

A padded harness and a leash that feels comfortable in your hand are best suited for your training.

Recall training: 8 steps to success

First of all, properly structured recall training for dogs takes a lot of time. Often it is weeks or even months.

If your dog has a strong hunting instinct, you should NOT let him off the leash during this time.

Step 1

Think about which command you want to use as a callback. Here I recommend a short, crisp word, such as “Here” or “To me”.


Only use this command if you are 100% sure your dog will come back and only use this word for recall.

Step 2

Start exercising in a low-stimulus environment, such as your living room. watch your dog If he’s on his way and you’re sure he’s coming, say the command.

If he is with you, he gets his reward. Expand this slowly. Be careful not to jump too far too quickly.

Step 3

Move the training outside as soon as it is comfortable at home. Keep the dog secured to the towline. Once you realize he’s not distracted, lure him towards you.

When you’re sure he’s coming, say the recall command. If the dog comes to you, there will be a big party. Initially, the distance should be just a few meters. Practice this for several weeks until it is bombproof in every situation.

Step 4

Take advantage of jackpot rewards. These are special rewards that you only use in recall training. Your dog learns, everything else is not as interesting as it is with you!

Step 5

Trained in different situations, with different external stimuli and distractions.

Step 6

Repeat as often as possible. What you have learned must be consolidated. Expect weeks or even months.

Step 7

If you get a call back, confirm from time to time. This will refresh your dog’s memory and show him that it’s worth coming to you immediately.

Step 8

If you want, you can include a release character. In this way, your dog learns that it is only “free” again when you command it.


Only go one step further in the training when you are sure that your dog has understood everything and is sitting.


Your dog ignoring you and not listening to you is a no-go. Except, of course, for a puppy that hasn’t learned this yet.

Often the point is not to teach the dog to obey, but to teach the dog what a recall means.

With targeted training and patience on your part, this problem can be easily solved.

In this article, I only touched on the subject of your dog not hearing.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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