Best Way to Train Your Dog to Come When Called

When you want your dog to come over, small or vast, you want to project the message that you are friendly. This will make him run to you.

  • Beginning at home, indoors, using your new “sit/stay,” put your dog on command, crouch, put your arms out to the side and sweetly call your dog. When he comes, fold your arms around him in a quick hug, tell him he is fabulous, stand, walk him to another spot and try again.

Dog Come When Called Best Way to Train Your Dog to Come When Called

  • When your dog is not on leash, not on a “sit/stay” and not right next to you but within your sight, crouch and call him to come. Praise. Toss a toy for him.
  • When you play fetch with your dog, toss the toy, telling him “take it!” If it is his habit to return to you with the toy, use this game to practice “Come.”
  • If you have a fenced yard, practice “Come” in the yard, first on leash, then off leash.
  • When you are about to offer your dog something that will make him come running, like dinner, a walk or his favorite toy, call him to come, thus practicing this important command by using it when you are sure it will be successful.
  • Always praise your dog for coming.
  • Never call your dog for punishment.
  • Always entice the dog who is reluctant to come. Squeak a toy. Hide a toy and squeak it. Cover your face and call your dog. Cover your face and whine like a puppy. If none of these work, go back to working on leash and patiently start again.
  • When you know for sure your dog won’t come, don’t call him. If you do, he learns he does not have to listen to the command “Come.” If he won’t come because, let’s say, he’s busy playing with another dog, and it’s time to go, go and get him.
  • Do not take your dog off leash in an unfenced area. Dogs always know when they are “free.” They know the difference between a fenced place and an unfenced place. In addition, your young pup may be reliable, attached to you, not bold enough to run off, but when adolescence hits, he’ll be full of himself, experimental, even bratty. The dog who wouldn’t stray at four months might head for God-knows-where at nine or ten months. Do not take chances with your dog.

What if all you want is an off-leash come? My suggestion is that you take your dog to class. Reliable off-leash work takes lots of time. In class, under the guidance of a professional trainer, your dog will learn to come when called even with the temptation of other dogs close by. Once he does well in an off-leash class, you may want to try him in outdoor, fenced areas, and if that goes well, safe, unfenced areas, such as your local park.

Dog Come When Called 1 Best Way to Train Your Dog to Come When Called

Please don’t kid yourself when it comes to your dog’s safety. If your dog does not come reliably in a fenced area, don’t think he’ll do better at the park. Also, be aware that no matter how well trained your dog is, taking him off leash out-of-doors where there is no fence is a risk. You may feel, after lots of training, that the risk is minimal. On the other hand, if your dog is a runner, even if he comes reliably in class, once free to run, he is likely to do so.

Any training you do with your dog will improve your chances of getting him to come when you call him because training tight­ens the bond between you and your pet. Still, caution is advised.

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