Training your dog to come to you every time is all about consistency and repetition. It is very important that you create ‘good’ habits with your dog when training it to come to you. It is a great idea when first training your dog or puppy to start off in your home where distractions are limited and the environment is controlled. Once your dog comes to you consistently within the home environment then you can gradually build up the challenge of more distractions such as noises, toys, other dogs and the outside world.
Here are a few basic steps to follow when starting out with your dog or puppy.
Step 1) Put a long lead on your dog. (This allows you to get your dog’s attention and guide your dog to you ensuring that you can show your dog exactly what you want it to do).
Step 2) Call your dog’s name to get it’s attention on you. (If your dog doesn’t look at you, jiggle the lead to get it’s attention. Do not repeat your dog’s name!)
Step 3) Once your dog is looking at you, give it a command to get it to come to you, such as ‘come’. (If your dog doesn’t come to you within a few seconds, then gently tug on your dogs lead and bring it into you. Do not repeat the command. Only say it once.)
Step 4) Once your dog has moved towards you. Use a treat to guide your dog into a sit position.
Step 5) It is very important that you don’t give the treat to your dog until you give it a ‘release’ command. That way your dog learns to sit until you have given it permission to move. Only give the treat to your dog if it is sitting calmly. Never reward the dog if it is jumping up on you.
**PLEASE NOTE** Over using words not only confuses your dog, it can break down a command all together. Next time you are in a park observe the dogs that come to their owners first time and the ones that ignore their name. There is a good chance that a dog that completely ignores its owner does so because the owner simply uses the dog’s name too much and the dog has little association with the command that the owner is giving.