Dog Training Made Easy- Coming back when called
Carolyn: In this film in this series I’m going to teach you how to train your dog to come back when you call him. This is the most important thing you will ever teach your dog to do. And if you only teach one exercise, this should be it.
If your dog will come back when he’s called you can let him off the lead and you can have all the exercise and fun that he needs. Most importantly you can keep him safe from roads or any other dangers. Until you have spent some time training your dog to come back every time you call him, don’t let him off the lead.
Let us train the recall; you’re going to find it really useful to use the six-foot training lead that we talked about in our introduction film. It’s long enough that you can get a good distance away from your dog but still keep him safe because he’s on lead.
One clip goes on to your dog’s collar and you can either hold the other end or clips out onto your belt so that your dog’s secure and you’ve got both hands-free. You’re going to find this really useful in this exercise.
So to help me show you how to teach your dog to come back when you call him, I’ve got David. Hey, David. Look at you.
The first step as always is to show the dog what you want him to do and lure him with the treat. So get something that David really, really likes. That sounds good, doesn’t it? Put it on the end of his nose and you’re going to walk backwards. So you’re teaching him that he should follow you. David, David, David. Yeah, good boy. And give him the treat when you stop.
So practice this a lot until your dog really knows that he should be following you when you go backwards. Some dogs get this in a few sessions; others might take a few weeks, but just go at your dog’s own pace.
And step two as always is getting the dog to offer the behavior without the treat and then the trick comes as the reward. So David, look I’ve got a treat. So going backwards as before, David, David, David. Yeah, and then rewarding him at the end. Be really up and positive, be fun for your dog to follow. Don’t worry about feeling silly.
Once you’ve practiced that a lot and your dog follows you every single time it’s time to move on to step three, which is putting the name to what you’ve just taught. So you can use come or here, whichever word you like. So the first thing you do is use your dog’s name as you talked to him earlier on to get his attention. If a dog’s not looking at you he’s not listening.
After you said his name encourage him to come to you as you did before and as he starts to move put that word in, so that he links coming to you with that word. So it’s always name first and then the command.
So David, David, come. Good boy. Yeah, good lad. And then reward him when you gets to the end. After your dog’s learnt what coming to you is called you can start to practice it everywhere.
If you’ve got someone to help you a really good way is to play a game called ping pong puppy where you pass the dog back and forward between you saying his name first and then telling him to come. So to help me today not only do I have David but I’ve also got Adam. Adam.
Carolyn: Now one of the things to remember when you’re calling your dog is you have to have a really big open body language to encourage them to come to you. If you lean forward you’re encouraging them to go away. So Adam, do you want to call David. So say his name first and then when he looks at you tell him to come with a big open body language.
Adam: David, come on.
Carolyn: And give him a reward.
Adam: Good boy. Good boy.
Carolyn: David, come. Oh, you’re too good. And again say name wait till he’s looking at you.
Adam: David, David. Come on, come on. Good boy, good boy.
Carolyn: Brilliant, well done, Adam. David, David, come. Yeah, good boy. And you can practice this and have a lot of fun at it.
Now you’re not going to let your dog off the lead until you know 100% that he’s going to come back. So when you go outside to start with, with the great outdoors and all these distractions you need to have him on your training lead, either hold it or clip it onto your belt.
David, ready? You remember? David, come, come, come, come, come. Good boy. And once you’ve practiced all of those three steps you’re ready to move on to letting him off the lead. The first time you do that make sure it’s somewhere enclosed, somewhere that he can’t run off.
So after you’ve practiced that so often that your dog knows to come to you when he’s on the lead it’s time to take him off lead, make sure you’re in a really secure space that’s safe. And the other thing is make sure your dog’s focused on you and paying attention to you.
David. Remember if dogs aren’t watching you they’re not listening to you. So be really exciting and fun and up and really enthusing. Always rewarding him, remember to make it fun, keep it really up and exciting. Ready? David, David, come. No, no, no. You’re getting ahead of me.
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This article was first published at passpawt.com/blog/tag/dogtraining
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