7 Top Tips–Teaching Your Puppy to Come
Always start teaching your puppy to come with your pet on a leash until it begins to obey consistently. This will allow the puppy to become used to the leash and begin to view it in a positive manner. Using the leash will also allow you to gently make the puppy respond to the “come” command and thus show it the desired behavior.
You will need a leash that is at least 3 feet in length. Attach it to your dog’s collar (not a choke or pinch collar) with your dog at one end and you at the other. Tell the dog “come,” and then gently prompt your pet by very gently, using only the minimum force necessary, tugging the dog toward you. When the dog has come to you, give it a generous reward of praise and a small piece of kibble or some other small, but desirable treat. Repeat for 10 minutes. I suggest doing this at least twice a day if possible and at the same times each day.
Establish a strict training routine. Set a time for training and determine a procedure that you always follow in the same way when you train your dog. Your puppy will come to predict and look forward to the training sessions.
Use the command sparingly and only when you want your puppy to obey. Once your puppy understands the command, do not over use it. Use it less frequently, and always reward your puppy for obeying.
Use your puppy’s innate love of chasing in your favor. Let the puppy chase you, then turn around, hold out your arms and say, “come.” Reward the puppy with praise and/or kibble for obeying.
Use the “come” command with a firm and civil voice, and avoid using it when you are angry or when the outcome will be a negative experience for the puppy. For example, you may want to avoid the command if you are going to bathe or groom your pet. In this case, these are necessary actions that your dog may not enjoy; you don’t want your dog to associate “come” with a potentially negative result.
If your puppy does run away from you, do not repeatedly call it. Do not chase it, and do not over correct it.
Find another command to use when calling your puppy into the house, such as, “inside” or “home.” The idea, here, is that coming inside may signal the end of a much more enjoyable experience outside, and we want the dog’s association with “come” to be as positive as possible.
Remember as well, all of your training must be carried out with patience, persistence, and with gentle firmness. Be prepared to repeat the same actions again and again until your puppy begins to understand. Keep in mind this secret to basic puppy training–your dog wants to please you. By applying these basic principles with constant and consistent patience, you will set the stage for a long and happy relationship with your pet.
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