How to Train Your Dog To Come in 4 Easy Steps
How to train your dog to come is a lifesaving skill. The come command helps keep your puppy out of trouble. Puppies (and adult dogs) don’t understand that if they bolt out the door, they could get lost.
Or, that if they run into the street, they could get hit by a car. So they need good recall. In this post I’m going to teach you how to train your dog to come in 4 simple steps.
Step 1 – Attach a long leash (about 6 feet) to your puppy’s collar and let him walk around with it (dragging it).
Step 2 – Once he gets used to dragging it around with him, pick up the other end and hold it as you follow him around. Once he gets used to you holding it, he’ll make the connection that the two of you are attached.
Step 3 – With your command word you’ve chosen, along with treats in your pocket, start walking backwards encouraging him to follow you. When your puppy turns around to come towards you, excitedly exclaim, “Yes!” and give him a treat and a rub on his head saying “good boy!”
Step 4 – Start to pair his coming towards you with the word “come.” So instead of saying “Yes” when he starts to come toward you, say “Come.” When he comes, remember to praise him heartily and give him a treat.
More Helpful Tips On How to Train Your Dog to Come
Alternating between treats and lavish praise when teaching a dog to come will not make the dog expect a treat every time he does something right.
This is also useful because may not always have a treat on hand.
Now, if you’re not going to give your dog a treat, make sure you give him some sort of positive reinforcement. Give him an excited rub on the head, while saying “Good boy!”
Or, just say “Good boy!” excitedly and warmly without rubbing him.
Keep Your Sessions Short and Sweet
Keep your sessions no longer than 10 minutes. Dogs have short attention spans. If your dog becomes bored, he’ll tune you out.
So keep the training session 10 minutes or less. And always end the training session on a positive note!
Repetition is Key – Train Several Times a Day
Dogs forget fast. So repetition is key to learning how to train your dog to come. Train your puppy 3 times a day with the come command. Don’t do it when he’s tired, or hot, or in the middle of playing vigorously.
Use One Word Commands
Dogs don’t understand complex sentences. Remember, they’re like toddlers. So when training your dog to come, use one-word commands.
Once you see that your dog understands your command, but has his own agenda, don’t keep yelling for him to come.
Walk over to him and gently bring him to where you want him to be. It could be that you’re expecting too much of your dog too.
Never Call a Dog to Come for Discipline
Always go to your dog if he’s doing something he shouldn’t be doing, and be gentle. You don’t want your dog to be afraid of you, do you?
Helpful Dog Training Resources
How to train a dog to come, is only 1 of the 5 basic dog training commands you’ll need to know. Click this link to read my article on how to train your dog to sit.
Or, if you want a solid foundation on all 3 areas of dog training, including house training and how to care for your dog’s health, The Dog Mastery Multimedia Package is a comprehensive resource for all dog owners.
This book teaches you step-by-step, basic, intermediate and advanced obedience training as well as how to care for the health of your dog.
In my next post, I’ll show you how to train your dog to stay.