Teaching the Come Command is another one of those vital commands that can come in handy for many different reasons. It can actually be a life saver as well, because a dog that responds to the come command before running out into traffic is a life saver. It’s great for all situations, like the times you come across an especially timid dog at the dog park. When you demonstrate that your dog responds to your recall, it puts other people, owners and dogs alike, at ease.
It also puts us at ease because we know and are confident that our pup will come when needed and avoid any potential danger. It will be helpful for you to teach your dog the sit and stay commands before teaching come. Each of these exercises are best practiced together Teaching the come command is not difficult and like anything requires a bit of patience and consistent practice to get down.
How to teach the Come Command
1. Start on leash in a quiet setting. You’ll want to use a longer leash, the longer the better. However as your training gets better you should move to off leash and more distracting areas so they can learn in these settings as well.
2. Ask your puppy to sit, and then walk a few feet away or just a few steps at first, and say “come” when they walk towards you. Immediately give them a treat when they get to you.
3. The trick here is to always offer your dog a reward in the form of a treat (usually the most sought after in dog world) to teach them that the word “come” means treat, or reward.
4. You can eventually make this more difficult by asking your pup to sit, then asking them to stay. Then you’ll want to walk away, and allow some time before you give the command to release them from stay, and then use the come command to recall them.
Having a training schedule and a specific time set out to go over the come command is important. It is also important to increase difficulty and to perform the command in new situations so that your dog gets comfortable responding to you at all times. Having a schedule where you work specifically on training with your dog for 15 or 30 minutes a day or every couple of days will benefit both of you in the long run. You won’t have to do this forever and you can always hold training sessions as quick reminders to you and your pup about what is expected. Remember this should be done in a happy, confident attitude and should be fun for you and your dog.