Why Won’t My Cavapoo Come When Called?

Why doesn't my cavapoo come when called?
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    Is your Cavapoo ignoring you or pretending like they haven’t heard you when you call them?

    Recall is one of the most difficult tricks to master as a dog owner, as there is a lot at stake if they don’t listen to you, and there are lots of external factors that might prevent them from listening to you. 

    Your Cavapoo might not come when called for several reasons, such as incomplete training, negative reinforcement, the environment, your tone of voice etc. Many owners are quick to blame their dogs when they don’t come when called, but often the Cavapoo isn’t returning because of something the owner is doing incorrectly. 

    Recall training is long and mundane. But it is essential that the training process is complete before you complain that your dog is ignoring you.

    Today we’re looking into the possible reasons why your Cavapoo isn’t coming when called. 

    Why Is Recall Such An Important Skill?

    Any dog owner will tell you that being able to recall your dog at any moment is one of the most important skills they could learn.

    This is because, to keep your Cavapoo as safe as possible, you need them to listen to you and stay close. 

    If your dog gets too close to a busy road, if they run too far away in the dog park, if they somehow get out of the house without you – you need to be able to call them back.

    Moreso, you need to be sure that they’re going to listen when you call them. 

    Trying to call your dog without seeing any results can be annoying, frustrating, and embarrassing. It can make you irritated with them, and it might even put a strain on your relationship. 

    One common issue is that owners aren’t aware that dogs often forget any skills they’ve learned as puppies when adolescence comes around.

    Mature Cavapoos might need to be retrained in recall as they get older. This is frustrating, but the good news is that it often won’t take as much time as the initial training time. 

    Despite how long-winded and annoying recall training can be, it is more than worth it to be able to let your dog off the leash without fear of them running away. So, stick with it and be patient! 

    Are Cavapoos Trainable? 

    Arguably, Cavapoos are one of the easiest dogs to train. They get their intelligence from their Poodle parent and their eagerness to please from the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel parent.

    So, many people consider the Cavapoo to be highly trainable. 

    However, even the most trainable dogs struggle with learning recall.

    When training for recall, the dog must be able to block out all of the other exciting things around them – sounds, smells, sights, and more – to listen to only your voice and follow instructions. 

    It sounds much easier than it is for a young Cavapoo! So, recall training is one of the most difficult but most important tricks to teach your dog.

    While Cavapoos might learn how to sit, stay, and roll over quicker than other dogs, they might still struggle with recall. 

    Possible Reasons Why Your Cavapoo Won’t Come When Called

    Dog training is a joint effort between you and your Cavapoo.

    You need to make sure that you are both working together to improve your training performance, rather than assuming the dog should be doing all of the work.

    Here are six possible reasons why your Cavapoo might not be coming when you call them. 

    1. You’re Using Their Name

    You might be confused by this first point – of course, you use your Cavapoo’s name when you’re calling them. But this is a very common mistake that a lot of owners make.

    Many owners use their dog’s name so often that it loses all meaning when training.

    If your dog hears their name in the dog park, chances are they’re not going to know that you want them to come back to you, and they’ll ignore you. They’re having fun! 

    Instead, you should use a command associated with recall rather than their name. Good examples are ‘let’s go’ or ‘heel’.

    These will only be heard when you want your dog to come back, so they’ll know exactly what you want them to do when you say them.  

    2. You’re Using Negative Reinforcement

    Negative reinforcement never works with any dog, especially not Cavapoos.

    These dogs are kind-natured and love to please their owners, so they won’t take well to negative reinforcement.

    They’ll think it’s a personal attack on them, and it will put a rift in your relationship. 

    If your Cavapoo associates leave the fun dog park to go home and spend the rest of the day in their crate, then it’s no wonder that they won’t want to listen to your call.

    We’re not saying that you should allow your dog to do everything they want all day, every day, but associating recall with something negative isn’t going to help your training. 

    Instead, put a barrier between leaving the dog park and going in the crate. Make sure you have time to play with them at home before starting the crate training.

    This way, they shouldn’t associate recall with their crate, making it easier for them to listen to you. 

    3. You’ve Stopped Rewarding Them

    While we might not think recall is a big deal, Cavapoos often think that they are giving up vital play time to obey your command.

    They are ignoring the other stimulants around them to come to you, and they think this deserves a reward. And what better way to reward a good dog than with a treat? 

    However, owners are often eager to get rid of treats in training as soon as possible.

    They can add to the risk of overeating, and therefore obesity, and you won’t want your dog becoming reliant on treats to follow your commands. 

    While you can give up treats quickly for small tricks such as sitting or staying in one spot, you should give them for a little longer when training for recall.

    This is because recall is a much more difficult task, and therefore you need to keep your dog interested in treats while they continue to learn it properly. 

    You can reduce the number of treats you offer and not give them after every successful recall to reduce the number they’re consuming.

    However, we recommend offering treats after a recall every so often once they’ve learned the trick, as this keeps them engaged and willing to come back when you call. 

    4. You Sound Angry

    It’s easy to get frustrated when your dog doesn’t come when called, especially when you’re at the busy dog park, and you want to leave.

    However, put yourself in your Cavapoos shoes for a moment – would you be happy to approach someone calling you in a rude manner, such as ‘Get here now!’?

    Or would you want to stay away from them and continue having fun? 

    As we mentioned before, negativity isn’t effective with Cavapoos. They prefer soft voices, positive words, and kindness.

    Make sure your tone of voice reflects this if you want your dog to respond well to your commands. 

    It’s always best to remain neutral or happy in front of your Cavapoo, even if you’re frustrated.

    Of course, this isn’t always possible, and there will always be times when you snap, but keeping your voice upbeat and cheerful will make the process of learning recall much easier. 

    5. You’re Boring Them 

    The world around your Cavapoo is fresh and exciting! When they’re exploring and hear your recall word, they won’t want to leave their fun-filled dog park.

    Why Won't My Cavapoo Come When Called (1)

    This is only exacerbated if you’re standing still waiting for them. You need to entice them by making them know that you’re going to have just as much fun together after leaving the park. 

    So, try praising your dog as they start to react to your recall. Clap, say positive things, whistle, and give them the impression that what they’re doing is the best thing ever.

    You Cavapoo will love being praised so much, and this will make them more likely to continue listening to your call in the future. 

    6. You’re In An Unfamiliar Environment

    One of the biggest mistakes owners make when training their dogs for recall is completing it all in one place.

    If you train your dog in your enclosed yard but try to recall them at a dog park, you might find that they don’t listen to you.

    They’re not trying to be difficult or disobedient – there are just so many other stimulating things around them that they have trouble focusing on your voice. 

    Dogs also aren’t the best at generalizing behaviors and associating one thing with another.

    For example, while they know that you saying ‘Come here’ in their yard means that you want them to run to you, they might not necessarily understand that ‘Come here’ in a dog park means the same thing. 

    For the best results in recall training, you need to ensure that your dog has plenty of practice in different locations.

    It might take longer for them to complete their training, but the results are more than worth it. 

    Changes To Make To Your Recall Training To Make It More Successful

    If your Cavapoo isn’t listening while you call them, chances are that you need to swap out your training techniques.

    Here are a few steps to take to enhance your training to hopefully get your Cavapoo listening to you and coming every time you call. 

    Step One

    The first thing to do is to change your recall word. Instead of using their name or a word they associate with something else, choose another command.

    The most effective options include ‘here’, ‘come here’, and ‘heel’. 

    Step Two

    Enlist the help of a friend for the early stages of retraining your Cavapoo. Begin working with your new cue word in the house so there are minimal distractions for them.

    One person should stand at one end of the room, and the other person should be at the other end. 

    Both show the dog that you have lots of moist treats in your hand. Say the new cue word in a positive tone and encourage the dog to come to you.

    Give them a treat and repeat the word when they come.

    Step Three

    Have your friend repeat the same steps. Repeat this so that your Cavapoo is running back and forth between you. 

    Step Four

    Once you’re happy with this progress, move outside into the yard. Continue rewarding your dog as they come to its new cue word.

    Continue this training in different locations until you’re confident that you can take them to a dog park and call them without worrying that they will ignore you. 

    Frequently Asked Questions about a Cavapoo’s recall

    Will My Dog Deliberately Ignore Me?

    While it might seem like your Cavapoo is deliberately choosing not to listen to you, this is very rarely the case. Cavapoos are people pleasers so they will always choose to listen to their owners. So, if they’re ignoring you, it’s likely that there is an underlying reason. 

    Why Does My Dog Walk Away When I Call His Name?

    The most common reason for this is that they have learned that recall means playtime is over. Dogs want to stay at the dog park having fun instead of coming to you and accepting that playtime is over. To rectify this, you need to teach your dog that they’ll still have fun at home once they successfully come back to you when you call them.


    Thanks for reading! There are plenty of reasons why your Cavapoo might not be coming when called.

    These reasons could include their environment, the tone of your voice, or the negative connotations that come with leaving their fun dog park. 

    Recall training is one of the most important but difficult tricks to learn for a dog, so you need to have plenty of patience, kindness, and treats.

    Good luck, and believe that you will get there eventually. 

    Want to learn more about Cavapoo behaviors? Check out our posts here:

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