Training

3 minutes reading time (513 words)

Training your dog to come

Training a young dog to come when told to starts off perfectly. The dog learns his name and that humans use it when they desire give her something fun like dinner or a brand new toy, so he runs to it. Your dog will soon learn that it is not a great world. He may hear his name called to come in from outside when he is playing or while sleeping.

One huge mistake humans make with this command is to say “Come!" when there is no way to enforce it. Your dog only has to disobey a couple of times when he hears "Come!" and you have taught him that he has a choice. He can decide to come, or not.

Don’t give him that option. Only call "Come" if your dog is on his way into your open arms or on leash so you can direct him toward you. That rule of thumb is in effect until the adult dog is "proofed" (tested by several and a variety of distractions) at about two years old. With many dogs this is considered a lifetime rule.

The next huge error is to call your dog to come to you and then chastise him. Kids do this all the time; make be sure that they understand they should not do it to their own dog. If you catch your dog being bad, you go to him. If he was being bad and you come upon the scene of the crime even 60 seconds later, it is way too late to chastise or punish him. So, never say, "Come" if you are mad.

Your voice tone will tell him not to come anywhere near you; you have basically set him up to disobey you. So say "Come" when he is happily running toward you, or when you have him on leash a few steps in front of you and can direct him to you if he is unfocused. Until he grows up and smarter, call him with only his name. When he responds to you and is running toward you, say "Come good dog" as fast as you can say it.

Make sure that you use a happy tone, kneel down, open your arms, smile, and when your dog is on his way, say "Come!" If you have been having difficulty getting an immediate response, have a snack ready. You can encourage your dog to come to you is to pretend to run the opposite way. As the dog comes after you, stop suddenly and say, "Come!" and give him a nice smile, treat or pat. It is the enticing game of chase and dogs love this!

After the Workout

After your training sessions, allow your pet time for rest and relaxation. It’s been a learning experience and your hound will appreciate some time out now.

Then, reward your beast with a treat and quality time playing together. Toss a ball around outside or play tug-a-war indoors with a rope toy. Give plenty of hugs and kisses, too. And don't forget to snuggle some...

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