Learning how to train your dog to come is the first step in a long journey you will walk with your new furry friend. From the smartest dog in the world, to the useless mutt snoring in the living room, all dog training begins with teaching them to come to you. Training your dog is fun, so relax. Since they can read your energy, always be cheerful when you train.
To train your dog to come, you will need:
- Leash (possibly)
- Inside. To start this simple lesson, we begin inside. First, get some treats. Most dogs will eagerly learn calculus or how to fly an airplane for liver treats. Face your dog and call him by name, followed by the command "come". For example, ‘Mookie, come!’ If the dog comes over, give him a treat and praise him. If the dog does not come, let him sniff the treat and try again. When your dog starts to figure it out, go into different rooms where he can’t see you and try again. Make it a game. More often than not, he will start to follow you around, which is perfect.
- Outside. We want to start outdoor training in a mellow, safe environment like your backyard. Go outside but don’t do anything. Let the dog be a dog. Watch him sniff, pee, run around and play. While he is ignoring you, call him the same way you did inside. Consistency is very important. Always use the same commands. When he comes immediately, you can start to do this exercise in public parks. You should be able to size up your dog by now. If he is a runner, you may need a leash to train him at the park. If he watches you like a hawk, you can skip the leash and just try and find an empty place to practice. Slowly move closer to crowds as the dog learns to listen. Since parks are varied, this is also a great opportunity to socialize them to different age groups. Ideally, you are teaching your dog to come to you on command in a noisy, distracting public setting. This is not only for safety, but it makes your life easier if your dog can run around without a leash and burn off some energy.
- The treat. While you train your dog to come, you will want to slowly cutback on the treats. Always praise them, but you don’t want to be solely dependant on treats for training. Try to make him come three or four times before you cave in. But remember, always praise them.
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