Train Your Dog to Come
Coming at your call is one of the most basic and essential tasks that you can teach your dog. There are numerous benefits to teaching your dog to come. Firstly, it helps with their general obedience: once your dog has learned to come at your command, then you can build on that and teach them to sit, stay and fetch.
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Teaching your dog to come also helps you to create a rapport with them: they come to learn and respond to their name, and they also learn to listen to your commands and respond to them.
Finally, if you train your dog to come, you will be able to find them no matter where they are! Use this skill to call them in for dinner, to bring them close to heel when another dog is approaching, and to stop them from chasing after anything they shouldn’t (from wild rabbits to other dogs’ balls!).
Is it Easy to Train Your Dog to Come?
It is effortless to train your dog to come when you know how. Here, we explain how to teach your dog to come at your command on a step by step basis. The trick is to cover the first step first before moving on to the second, and so on. Patience and the willingness to keep repeating steps until your dog has been trained are essential skills here.
What Will You Need?
Before you start this training program, make sure that you have the following available: a fenced yard and a set of tasty dog treats. A friend or family member who can lend a helping hand if necessary will also be a big bonus when you are training your dog to come at your command.
How to Begin
Firstly, you need to choose a fenced off area to begin your training. Practicing calling your dog over to you in a large field (where there is ample space for them to run away) may turn in to a recipe for disaster! A fenced off back yard is perfect. Now, follow the steps below:
Decide on what you want your command to be. It could merely be the dog’s name, or it could be the word ‘Come!’. It could be a phrase such as ‘come here!’. It is good to be consistent so that your dog comes to associate you speaking a specific phrase with the desire to come over to you right away.
Teach your dog that ‘towards owner’ means ‘good’. Do this by letting them loose in the yard, and holding a dog treat in one of your hands. If it helps, you can let them sniff your hand briefly so that they know you have got a treat in there. Now, practice saying your command (e.g. ‘Come here!’) and hold the treat out to them.
If your dog starts to approach you at all, encourage them with a warm tone of voice (saying things like ‘well done!’ ‘good boy’ and so on) and waggle the treat in front of them a little more. If they make it all the way over to you, reward them with the treat!
By doing all this, you teach your dog that coming over to you when you call them results in a reward and lots of praise. They learn that coming when called is something ‘good.’ Repeat this process a few times a day – but not so often that your dog gets exhausted or bored. If you train your dog to come in a way that is fun for them, then they will be more likely to learn End the training session with lots of petting and encouragement.
Now it’s time to be a little stricter. Previously, your dog had perhaps been meandering over to you in their own time, possibly stopping to go back and investigate something in a different corner of the garden halfway through. But, what you want is for your dog to make a beeline straight for you as soon as you command them to come.
To achieve this, start only rewarding your dog when they come straight to you when you call. This builds on Step 2, and it helps them to learn that what you want is for them to be at your side, lightning fast!
Step 4: Cut the Treats a Little
Once your dog has got it fixed in their mind that they should come straight to you when you call, you will not need to reward them so often with treats. This helps you to watch their waistline and also teaches them that they should come because you (their owner) command it, not merely because they expect to get a treat at the end.
Video Credits Goes to YouTube Channel – Training Positive