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Training Your Dog To Come :
The most important thing to teach your dog

Training your dog to come is the most important thing you can teach them.  Its usually the first thing that you teach them.

How do you teach your dog to come?


Start training your dog somewhere that is contained.  Such as inside your house or in the backyard.


Use your dogs name and talk to them so they become familiar with their word. 

For Example:

Say your dog is laying on the other side of the room. 


1)  Call your dogs name with the word come.  Ex. Theo Come, or Come Theo.   This allows them to associate the word come with their name, so they know who you’re talking to.


2)  When your dog comes to you reward them and make a big fuss of them, say ‘Good dog’.  Pet them lots, and give them a treat.   When training your dog to come, make them think that coming to you is the best thing in the world! Like people, some dogs are more motivated by food, while others are more motivated by praise.  Do both!  Then they’ll realize that coming is great!

Do this whenever they are away from you and often.  Dogs learn best by repetition.


3)  Try getting them to come from further and further distances.


When our puppies were young, we would let them outside to the bathroom in our fenced backyard.  Then, to get them to come back in, I’d say ‘come, come, come’, and run away from the puppies and back towards the door and they would chase after me and come.  This can also work for some dogs.

4)  Once your dog is reliable at coming in your house and in your backyard, you can then try them away from your house.  Leave their leash hanging, (so if you can catch them if they don’t listen), and then let the leash go.  When the dog is a bit of a ways from you – perhaps 5 feet, call them back.  If they don’t come right away, then they will need further training. 


Always praise them when they come back.  Never scold them, even if they took a long time to come.


Once your dog can come, then next thing you can teach them is to sit.    Or, train your dog to stay.

Training your dog to come gives them more freedom.  It’s like a good kid that returns at their curfew time.  They get more freedom and enjoy other things that a less trained dog isn’t ready for yet.  You can take them to a dog park, or off leash in a regular park without the worries that they might run away.


If your dog reliably comes when you call them, this could save their life.  For example.  Your dog is running the wrong way towards the road.  You call them and they come, avoiding any danger that might have occurred.


Keep in mind that some breeds of dogs and dog personalities may know (italics) how to come but may purposefully ignore you.  Some breeds that come easily include herding breeds such as collies, border collies, shelties, Australian cattle dogs.  Other dogs that don’t come as well (or rather have a mind of their own) include huskys, beagles, or boxers.

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