Training Your Dog to Come When Called
One of the most common concerns dog owners have is getting their dogs to come when called. The idea of the “come” command is to train your dog to come to you on cue. Learning how to teach your dog to come when called saves you and your dog both time and frustration.
4 Steps to Teaching Your Dog to Come
1. Begin in a low-distraction area like your backyard.
Call your dog to you using only his name.
2. Introduce the “come” cue.
In a low-distraction area, begin saying your dog’s name immediately followed by the word “come.” Once your dog walks to you, give him a yummy treat. Repeat daily for at least a week.
3. Practice with distractions.
Put your dog on a 20- to 30-foot leash and take him to a medium-distracted environment like the front yard, but not the park. Let your dog become distracted, then say his name immediately followed by the “come” cue. When he comes to you, praise and treat lavishly and then let him go back to what he was doing. Repeat daily for at least a week.
4. Increase the distractions.
Gradually increase the level and types of distractions as well as the amount of distance between you and your dog until your dog comes to you under all circumstances.
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Additional Dog Training Tips
Be Aware of Your Dog Training Environment
Practicing the “come” cue publicly where you’ll most likely use it trains your dog to obey this cue despite distractions. It’s the distraction quotient you want him to ignore and the cue you want a response from.
Leash Your Dog in the Beginning
Leashing your dog during early practice sessions effectively allows you to control your dog while he’s most susceptible to a distraction. Later, when your dog has had enough practice, you can remove the leash and practice with him responding to a food treat, positive reinforcement and, ultimately, only your cue.
Most Dogs Learn Through Repetition
Repetition is always important when practicing a new cue. Since many professional dog trainers believe training your dog to come is one of the most important behaviors, consistency and practice are highly encouraged.
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