Why Won’t a Springer Spaniel Come Back When Called?

If you own a Springer Spaniel (or any other dog), one of the crucial skills he should have is a reliable recall—or knowing to come when you call him. Although a Springer Spaniel is loyal, obedient, and easy to train, sometimes he won’t come back when called.

A Springer Spaniel won’t come back when called because he isn’t properly trained or the bond with his owner isn’t strong enough. The dog could also be distracted or scared of punishment. In addition, a Springer Spaniel might not want the fun to end and therefore won’t come back when called.

I’ll tell you more about why your springer spaniel won’t come back when called in the rest of this article. I’ll also tell you how to get your Springer Spaniel to come back when called.

Why a Springer Spaniel Won’t Come Back When Called

If you own a Spaniel, one of the frustrating things you might face is that he ignores you when you call him. A reliable recall is essential for your dog’s safety, and it can help you keep him out of dangerous situations. 

Below are some reasons a Springer Spaniel won’t come back when called:

  • Your springer spaniel isn’t properly trained.
  • The bond between you and your dog isn’t strong enough.
  • Your springer spaniel is distracted.
  • Your dog is scared of punishment.
  • Your springer spaniel doesn’t want the fun to end.

Read on to learn more about all of these reasons your Springer Spaniel might be ignoring you.

Your Springer Spaniel Isn’t Properly Trained

As mentioned earlier, a Springer Spaniel is generally a loyal and obedient dog that is easy to train. However, if you haven’t taught him well, he might not obey some of your commands, including the recall command. 

The best time to start training your Springer Spaniel for reliable recall is when he’s a puppy of about 6 to 10 weeks.

The Bond Between You and Your Dog Isn’t Strong Enough

If the bond between you and your Springer Spaniel is strong, he’ll always want to please you. As a result, he’ll obey your commands to make you happy. 

However, if the bond between you and your Springer Spaniel isn’t good enough, he might ignore some of your orders, including the command to come back when called. 

Your Springer Spaniel Is Distracted

The Springer Spaniel was initially bred as a hunting dog, so it’s no surprise that they love the outdoors! Your Springer Spaniel might get easily distracted as his instincts overcome him when he gets outside. 

When he follows his instincts to spring on a bird or chase a squirrel, the Springer Spaniel becomes distracted. As a result, he might not come back when you call him. 

Your Dog Is Scared of Punishment

Suppose you occasionally punish or reprimand your Springer Spaniel when you recall him. In that case, he might associate your recall command with being in trouble. So, when you call him, he feels scared because he doesn’t know what to expect from you. 

In such a scenario, the Springer Spaniel won’t come back when called, or he might take a while to make his way back to you.

Your Springer Spaniel Doesn’t Want the Fun To End

The Springer Spaniel loves the outdoors and would give anything to stay outside for hours. So, if you are planning to take him home or indoors every time you recall him, he might not come back when you call him. He doesn’t want the fun to end, so he shows some resistance. 

How To Get Your Springer Spaniel To Come Back When Called

A reliable recall is essential in a dog. It can prevent your Springer Spaniel from being hit by a car, getting lost, or getting hurt in a dog fight, among other risks. 

If your Springer Spaniel doesn’t come back when called, you can take the following steps:

  • Dedicate time to training your Springer Spaniel.
  • Strengthen the bond between you and your dog.
  • Refrain from negative reinforcement.
  • Reward the Springer Spaniel when he comes back.

Below I will describe each of these steps. If you’re struggling with a Springer Spaniel that doesn’t come when he’s called, these techniques are worth a shot.

Dedicate Time to Training Your Springer Spaniel

Your Springer Spaniel isn’t a robot, and there is no guarantee that he will always obey your recall command. However, you can train him in reliable recall to ensure that he will enthusiastically obey your recall commands 99.9% of the time. The best time to teach your Springer Spaniel this skill is when he’s a puppy.

However, you can still train your dog the reliable recall skill even when he’s older. All you need to succeed in teaching your Springer Spaniel reliable recall is effective training games, a positive attitude, patience, and daily practice. 

Strengthen the Bond Between You and Your Dog

Typically, when the bond between you and your dog is good, he’ll always want to please you and come back when you call him. A great way of creating a good bond is by spending quality time with him and providing for his basic needs. 

In addition, you can cuddle him, play exciting games, and use high-pitched and exciting tones when calling him. 

Refrain From Negative Reinforcement

It isn’t enjoyable when your dog ignores you or takes forever to come back when you call him. However, it’s best not to show your irritation, annoyance, or anger when he finally comes back. 

If you scold, yell, or punish him, you’ll intimidate and scare him. Then, he most likely won’t come back the next time you call him. 

Reward the Springer Spaniel When He Comes Back

If your Springer Spaniel doesn’t come back when called, giving him rewards when he obeys is a great idea. The rewards can be any of the following:

  • Praise
  • Cuddles
  • Food treats
  • An exciting game or toy 

When you reward him, your dog won’t associate recall with rebuke, punishment, or the end of fun. He’ll instead obey your command in anticipation of the reward! 


Springer Spaniels are an obedient and loyal breed with great energy and stamina, making them a great companion for hunting, camping, and hiking.

Springer Spaniels do have a tendency not to come back when they are called. However, if you train your dog well and meet his basic needs, he’ll view you in a positive light. As a result, he’ll be much more likely to come back whenever you call him.  

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