Training The Dog To Come When It Is Called

Training a​ dog to​ come when it​ is​ called is​ a​ vital,​ and potentially life saving,​ part of​ any successful dog training program. All properly trained dogs must learn to​ respond instantly to​ the​ owner’s voice,​ and the​ sooner this lesson is​ learned the​ better.

The advantages of​ teaching a​ dog to​ come when called are obvious. For starters,​ coming when called will help you​ regain control of​ the​ dog in​ case of​ collar break,​ snapped leash or​ other similar equipment failure. This is​ particularly important when you​ are out with your dog,​ especially in​ an​ area with lots of​ traffic. it​ is​ vital that the​ dog respond to​ your voice and return to​ your side,​ even in​ the​ absence of​ collar and leash,​ and even if​ there are lots of​ other things competing for its attention.

Coming when called is​ also a​ vital skill for every working dog. Whether the​ dog’s job is​ herding sheep,​ guarding livestock,​ or​ sniffing out bombs and drugs at​ the​ airport,​ the​ working dog must be under total control at​ all times,​ whether on​ leash or​ off.

Even if​ your dog’s only job is​ being a​ loyal companion,​ it​ is​ still vital that he learn this important basic obedience exercise. After the​ first obedience lessons,​ such as​ heeling,​ stopping on​ command,​ sitting on​ command,​ etc. have been learned,​ it​ is​ time to​ start incorporating the​ come when called lessons into the​ daily training sessions.

One note about dog training – it​ is​ all too easy for training sessions to​ become dull and routine for both handler and dog. a​ bored dog will not be receptive to​ learning,​ just as​ a​ bored handler will not be a​ good teacher. it​ is​ important,​ therefore,​ to​ always incorporate fun things and play into every training session. Incorporating a​ few minutes of​ play time before the​ lesson begins can do wonders for the​ attitude of​ dog and human alike. Likewise,​ ending each training session with a​ few minutes of​ free play time is​ a​ great way to​ end on​ a​ positive note and to​ help the​ dog associate obedience training with fun and not drudgery.

The command to​ stay and the​ command to​ come when called are often combined in​ obedience training lessons,​ and they do go naturally together. Start with the​ dog on​ a​ loose leash,​ ask the​ dog to​ sit and then slowly back away. if​ the​ dog begins to​ get up and follow you,​ return to​ the​ dog and ask him to​ sit again. Continue this process until you​ can reach the​ end of​ the​ leash without the​ dog getting up.

After you​ can successfully reach the​ end of​ the​ leash on​ a​ consistent basis,​ try dropping the​ leash altogether. of​ course you​ will want to​ do this in​ a​ controlled environment like a​ fenced in​ yard. After the​ dog has mastered the​ stay command,​ it​ is​ time to​ add the​ come when called command.

Take up the​ leash again,​ and with the​ dog on​ the​ end of​ the​ leash,​ say “come” or​ “come here”. it​ is​ often helpful to​ use a​ lure when teaching this behavior. the​ lure provides a​ visible item for the​ dog to​ focus on. Teaching the​ dog to​ come to​ the​ lure is​ a​ good first step in​ training the​ dog to​ come when called.

Repeat this procedure many times until the​ dog will consistently stay and then come when called. After the​ dog has mastered coming when called while attached to​ the​ leash,​ slowly start introducing the​ concept when the​ leash is​ removed. as​ before,​ these training sessions should only take place in​ a​ controlled,​ safe environment,​ such as​ a​ fenced in​ front or​ back yard.

A well trained,​ obedient dog should respond to​ the​ call to​ return to​ its owner no matter where it​ is​ and no matter what distractions may occur. it​ is​ therefore necessary to​ test the​ dog with distractions of​ your own.

If you​ have a​ neighbor,​ preferably one with a​ dog of​ his own,​ try having him come over with the​ dog. Have him,​ and the​ dog,​ stand just outside the​ fenced in​ area and repeat the​ come when called exercise with your dog off leash. if​ he becomes distracted by the​ other dog,​ put the​ leash back on​ and repeat the​ process. the​ goal is​ to​ have your dog consistently pay attention to​ your commands,​ no matter what distractions may present themselves.

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