An introduction to training your dog to come when called. Useful if he steals things and runs around the house, or to get him to come at the dog park.
Come When Called Basics
Not mentioned in the video, but very important are some simple steps to make it easier to train your dog to come when you call.
- Say the cue ONCE, and make it happen. Don't repeat cues. This is often a hard thing to do, but an important strategy.
- Don't give a punishment or perceived punishment. Hopefully it is obvious not to yell at your dog after he comes to you, but what about more subtle things that he doesn't like? I would NEVER call a dog and clip his nails, give him a bath, or anything else that he doesn't LOVE. You should only call your dog and give him GREAT things. If you need to clip his nails, go get him, bring him to you, and clip his nails. But, don't call him.
- Don't always end the fun with "Come". If your dog is in the backyard, and you call him and bring him inside and then he is bored, the next time you call him he might play the chase game instead. (More fun!) When you want to bring him inside at noon, for instance, start working with him at 11:50am. Call him, bring him inside (use a leash and gentle pressure, if necessary) and give him AMAZING treats and then let him out again to play. What? I get treats AND I get to go play again? Of course I will come when you call!!
Put Your Dog on Leash
This is such an easy way to avoid frustration. Puppies especially should be on leash when not in the crate. You can have it ready to go if you need to call your dog. As always, only use gentle pressure when bringing your dog to you.
Reward Even When You Help
This sometimes gets missed in discussions. It is imperative that you reward your dog with amazing treats even if you reel him in gently like a fish, tap the floor or your leg, or run the other way to get him to come to you. He needs to realize that when he hears the word, "Come", you are doling out great things.
Use Toys or Treats
Sometimes the most rewarding thing for a dog is to chase a toy. Throw a toy when your dog comes to you if he loves toys.