Basic Training, Part 4

Teaching Your Dog to Come

The final part of the basic training of any dog is teaching her to come when called. Whether she’s playing with her doggy friends at the dog park or you’re asking her to come get a treat in a quiet, dignified manner, getting her to immediately respond and approach you when you command is necessary for her safety and your peace of mind.

Once your dog is sitting, lying down, and staying in place when you ask, go back to attaching a long lead onto her collar or halter. Ask her to “Stay” as you would normally, then back away a few feet and stop, still holding onto the lead.

Call her name, saying “Come” in a kind, but firm tone, and give her a treat when she responds. If she doesn’t respond immediately, pull on the lead gently to make her come to you, then treat her.

At this point, ask your dog to sit, lie down, and stay, and you back even further away. Stop, call her saying “Come,” then treat her when she responds. Every time she doesn’t come when called, pull gently on the lead until she answers.

Continue training this way, expanding the distance between your dog and yourself with every session. You may have to reinforce your teaching by starting each new session closer than you ended the previous one, but that is to be expected. As in all other training, don’t spend more than 20 minutes at a time teaching your dog a new trick.

As you become more and more confident that your pet is going to listen and respond to every part of the “sit, down, stay, and come” routine, you can begin to remove the lead and train without using it. Don’t attempt to take off the lead unless you are in your home, a fenced yard, or you have installed an in-ground dog fencing system and you know your pet cannot get away from you. 

 

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