Teaching “Come”

Simply simple, leash your dog and wait for her to become preoccupied. “(Dog’s name), come,” you call, reeling in the lead as you back up and exclaim, “Good, good, gooood!” Kneel to welcome her and release her with the “chin-touch alright.”

A game called “Pass the Puppy” is a terrific technique to teach your dog that coming when she’s called is incredibly rewarding. Encourage your family to participate in the program by leashing the dog when at least one other member is present. Allow one person to hold the leash and the other to hold the puppy. When the one holding the leash yells out, “Buddy, come,” the other person lets go so the dog may be reeled in while the person holding the leash backs up slightly until the pup reaches her. After praising and patting the puppy, that person holds it and passes the lead to the next person. This exercise can be done everyday for up to fifteen minutes; if everyone in the family uses the same, consistent training methods, the puppy will learn to respond to everyone in the family.

Here are some general suggestions for teaching the word “coming.”

  • Don’t jeopardize your authority by saying “come” when your dog is unlikely to obey and you know you can’t enforce.
  • Standardize your voice, always saying “Buddy, come!” with the same joyful tone that implies urgency.
  • By moving away after calling “come,” you can appeal to your dog’s chasing impulse and assist assure a speedier recall.
  • While he is approaching, praise him enthusiastically. If you wait until he gets there, your lack of commitment will lessen his dedication to the process as well.
  • Squat to acknowledge his impending presence.

More practice is required to perfect the command so that your dog will listen to you while you’re walking or otherwise preoccupied. First, put your dog on a leash and take him on a stroll. “Buddy, come!” if he starts sniffing something, looking around, or wandering off. Back up quickly while reeling in the leash and praising loudly. When your dog arrives, kneel down and solely provide verbal praise. Continue practicing the sequence after releasing with a “chin-touch okay.”

After approximately twenty repetitions, your dog will most likely be running toward you quicker than you can reel. Now test if he will leave distractions when you stop and call “Come.” If he does not respond quickly, employ a mild piston-type horizontal jerk toward you while you praise and back up. If he does respond to your command, give him praise and support.

When your dog answers to your command 80 percent of the time in the presence of heavy distractions, you can begin working on asking him to come from a distance. To execute this, you’ll need a glove and a long, lightweight line (the glove will prevent the line from hurting your hand should it get pulled). Attach the line to the collar of your dog. Position yourself over the line and call him when he’s distracted. Praise him throughout the recall, from the moment he takes his first step toward you until you let him go with a “chintouch alright.” Squat down and release with the “chin-touch alright” as he approaches. If your dog rejects your instruction, grab the line and “wrap, run, and praise” — wrap the line twice just above where your thumb joins to your hand, make a fist around the line, and anchor your hand on your waist while you sprint away from your dog, praising all the way. When he arrives, release with the “chin-touch alright.”

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