header

Tips for Coming When Called – July 10, 2013

People often practice ‘Come’ at too high a level of difficulty. The key is to start close to your dog and build distance gradually.

The two most important things to remember are to always praise your dog when they come to you – and set yourself up for success.

• Teach your dog that ‘Come’ means – run to me, there’s a party over here!
• Never say ‘Come’ when you think your dog may not do it
• Only call your dog to come when you KNOW you can make them, not hope that they will
• Always balance distance and distractions for level of difficulty – ie, work at a level where your dog can be successful. If there are distractions, work at a short distance away. If there are no distractions, you can be farther away
• Do not call your dog to ‘Come’ for anything she doesn’t like
• Never call your dog in anger
• Call your dog only once – and then make her come or walk away
• Always praise and reward your dog for coming to you- make sure you reward and praise a lot!! (a full 20 seconds of petting for example)
• Never punish your dog for coming to you – even if it takes awhile for him to get there.
• Never chase after your dog
• Get your dog to chase you if you don’t have control
• Practice first indoors with no distractions
• Use a food lure at dog’s nose and walk backwards to start the behavior
• Practice “Find It” and “Hide and Seek” to train the recall
• Practice calling ‘Come’ for mealtimes and for walks
• Practice 10 times on each outdoor leash walk (intersperse walking backwards and calling your dog)
• Gradually add distractions and different locations
• Practice outside on a long line –first with no distractions, then add distractions
• Use high value food rewards when practicing outside
• Don’t expect to get from kindergarten to graduate school quickly – this takes time!!
• Practice “Gotcha” so your dog is used to having its collar grabbed
• Say name first, make sure you have attention, and then call Come
• Praise your dog as they come to you
• Do NOT repeat the command
• If your dog does not come, go get him, show him the treat he missed out on and eat it yourself (make sure it is edible by you), making a huge deal over how good it was. Repeat if necessary but this should work for independent dogs.

Bookmark and Share