Training your dog to come when it will be called
Training your pet to come each time it’s called is a really necessary, in addition to likely life saving, component to every successful four-legged friend training program. Every correctly trained dogs should learn to respond immediately to the owner’s voice, and the earlier this lesson is learned the better.
Some great benefits of training your puppy to come when called are obvious. For starters, coming while called will help you regain control of your pet in case of collar break, snapped leash or other similar equipment failure. That is particularly important as soon as you are out with the dog, especially in an area with lots of traffic. It will be vital that the puppy respond to your voice and return to your side, even in the absence of collar and leash, and regardless of whether there are lots of other things competing for its attention.
Coming when called just happens to be a vital skill for every single working dog. Whether your dog’s job is herding sheep, guarding livestock, or sniffing out bombs and drugs at your airport, the working puppy must be under total control at all times, whether on leash or off.
Whether your dog’s sole job is being a loyal friend, this is still vital that he learn this important basic obedience exercise. After your first obedience lessons, such as heeling, stopping on command, sitting on command, etc. have been learned, its time to start incorporating the come as soon as called lessons into the daily training sessions.
One note about dog training – its all too easy for training sessions to become dull and routine for both handler and puppy. A bored canine friend will not be receptive to learning, just as a bored handler will not be a good teacher. It can be important, therefore, to always incorporate fun things and play into every training session. Incorporating a few minutes of play time before the lesson begins can do wonders for your attitude of dog and human alike. Likewise, ending each training session with a few minutes of free play time is a great way to end on a positive note and to help your dog associate obedience training with fun and not drudgery.
The command to stay and the command to come as soon as called are often combined in obedience training lessons, and they do go naturally together. Start with the puppy on a loose leash, ask the dog to sit and then slowly back away. If your four-legged friend begins to get up and follow you, return to your puppy and ask him to sit again. Continue this process until you can reach your end of your leash without the puppy getting up.
After you can successfully reach your end of the leash on a consistent basis, try dropping your leash altogether. Of course you will want to do this in a controlled environment like a fenced in yard. After the dog has mastered your stay command, it will be time to add your come anytime called command.
Take up the leash again, and with your puppy on the end of the leash, say “come” or “come here”. It can be often helpful to use a lure when educating this behavior. Your lure provides a visible item for the k9 to focus on. Training the canine friend to come to your lure is a good first step in training your puppy to come anytime called.
Repeat this procedure many times until your dog will consistently stay and then come as soon as called. After the k9 has mastered coming when called while attached to your leash, slowly start introducing the concept anytime your leash is removed. As before, these training sessions should only take place in a controlled, safe environment, such as a fenced in front or back yard.
A well prepared, obedient dog ought to respond to the call to return to its owner no matter where it is and no matter what distractions may occur. It can be therefore necessary to test the dog with distractions of your own.
If you have a neighbor, if possible one having a dog of his own, try having her come over with your dog. Have him, and your dog, stand just outside your fenced in area and repeat the come when called exercise with your puppy off leash. If he becomes distracted by the other dog, put the leash back on and repeat your process. The goal is to have your puppy consistently pay particular attention to your commands, regardless of distractions may present themselves.