Coming To You Is At The Root Of Training
Training your dog to come to you on your command is one of the most important obedience commands your dog will ever learn and the bedrock foundation of a reliable recall is your positive relationship with your dog.
Right now, you and your pup are at the very beginning of that relationship. It’s still not sure exactly how wonderful you are. That means you should use your most powerful rewards or “re-enforcers” during recall training, the tastiest treats, the most delectable toys and, after you’ve finished and are playing with your pup, lots of cuddles and petting, even an exciting game of tug-of-war. You want your pup to think that coming back to you is more worthwhile than doing anything else. You want it to think that being with you is better than being away from you. That’s why your rewards should be compelling. At first your pup has no idea what the word “come” means so in the initial stages of recall training, don’t say “come” until it starts on its way to you. Pair what it’s doing to the word you’re saying. That’s how it’ll learn exactly what "come" means.
Mealtimes provide ideal opportunities to teach this command.
- With the longline attached to its collar, crouch down a short distance away from your pup, show it the food bowl, say its name and asit begins to move towards its meal give the command “Come”.
- As it approaches say “Good girl” or “Good boy” enthusiastically.
- Give it the meal.
Between meals frequently carry out the same exercise, using kibbles from its daily food portion as the reward. Graduate to standing upright while getting its attention by calling its name then saying “Come” as it starts to approach. Stroke it as an alternative reward. Within only a few days your pup will come to you willingly when it hears its name and the word “Come”.