Dogs are spontaneous this means that they won’t stop and think about the consequences before acting. Think of a situation where your dog is walking nicely with you only to be alarmed by a squirrel or another dog.
You want to attract your dogs’ attention but he starts to run uncontrollably probably subjecting his life to danger. In situations like this one, it is very important to learn how to teach your dog to come when called because it could be the only way to ensure his safety and the safety of others.
The “come” command is a life-saving skill that could save the life of your furry best friend or the life of someone else. Sometimes your dog may act recklessly or without actually understanding the consequences may attempt to attack someone they are familiar with because they are holding something they want or they find irritating.
How to teach your dog to come when called?
The key to successfully doing so is to keep a positive relationship with your dog by reinforcing positive behavior and using valuable treats to keep him listening to you and following your order. Here are some important tips that will help you understand how to teach your dog to come when called:
- Create positive associations with your command: If you called your dog to come to you and then you did something negative like scolding or punishing him or even leaving him alone, he will associate the “come” command with a negative outcome. This is called poisoning the cue. Avoid doing this by teaching your dog that when he comes to you something great usually follows.
- Create a new command: If you can’t get your dog to come to you when called, then you need to use a new command. Come up with a new word that your dog will listen to rather than focusing on one that he doesn’t like or doesn’t listen to.
- Create positive associations with your dog’s name: If you always yell your dog’s name in a negative way because you are shouting or trying to stop him from doing something, this will always teach him not to respond to you when you call his name. This will make him less willing to come when you need him to. Instead offer rewards whenever you call your dog’s name so that it responds promptly to you.
- Make a list of your dog’s distractions: This way you will be able to identify what distracts your dog and list the distractions from the least to the most distracting factors so that you can add challenges to your dog as you are practicing how to teach your dog to come when called.
Once you are all set, there will be a few ways to actually understand how to teach your dog to come when called.
Here are a few methods:
Method 1: The back up and recall method:
This method is also effective to teach your dog not to pull on the leash. You start by putting your dog on the leash and then hold the other end and say “come” once and move quickly backwards. Keep on moving backwards until your dog gets to you and then say “Yes!” to encourage this positive behavior and give him a treat. It might take some time to teach your dog how to follow your lead.
Method 2: The long line:
This method will involve using a long leash that can allow you to easily catch your dog if he starts to move away or wander off without listening to you. You will also need the help of another person if you want to know how to teach your dog to come when called.
First keep your dogs’ collar to the leash. The other person should stand behind your dog to prevent it from moving probably by putting his hands on the dog’s chest. Next you will have to grab your dog’s attention by holding a treat in front of the dog’s nose and talking to him in an exciting voice.
You will have to run a few feet away from your dog and then say “come!” only once. Encourage your dog to come to you by clapping or whistling but don’t repeat your command. When your dog reaches you, say “Yes” and give him a treat.
Later on, you can practice with your assistant by standing away from your dog’s sight and giving the “come” command. Challenge your dog, by standing further away and in different rooms of the house before you call him to come to you.
Teaching your dog to follow your command is very important because it can save its life and yours. It is very important to teach your dog that you are the boss and that they should follow your orders at all times regardless of what distracts them.