Puppy Come! Teaching Your Dog to Come

by Mindy Kaleta on November 12, 2013

Small Terrier Puppy

Puppy Come!

Teaching Your Dog to Come

 

The Need to Run

Let’s face it. Your puppy loves to run. And depending on your puppy’s breed, yours may love to run more than others. Consequently, consider what your pup was bred to do and that will give you a hint as to how much exercise he needs.

Just putting your puppy out in the back yard may not be enough. You will have to get involved. Wear him out every chance you get or he may not get enough exercise and will run off and get it for himself. Puppies know when they need to run and will do it perhaps at a time that is not safe or convenient for you. So, make sure he gets the exercise that he needs.

 

When Puppy Comes, Be Nice

A sure way to teach your puppy not to come to you is to call him for punishment or for something unpleasant. Most dogs consider getting a pill or taking a bath unpleasant as well. Your puppy is smarter than you think. Soon, he will pick up on it, and will be reluctant to come or decide it’s not worth the risk. So when in doubt, don’t use the Come command, but actually walk over and get your puppy in those types of situations.

Never, ever scold your pup for not coming. Ever.

Doing so will ensure that he won’t be coming again.

 

When you are calling your pup to go for a walk, to the park, to play catch with his favorite toy or ball, be sure to say it in your most excited and happy manner. And add his name to it. Everyone loves to hear his or her name, even puppies.

So, when you want your puppy to come, simply say, “Barkley. COME.” Add some clapping of hands or hitting your hands on your legs to entice him to get over to you. Anything that is more exciting than the dog next door, a squirrel or one of the kids. You must be more fun and exciting than anything else. It’s ok. You can look a little crazy to get your dog to want to come to you.

 

When in Doubt, Keep Puppy on Leash

There are times, no matter how well trained your puppy seems to be in controlled situations, when your pup will have too many distractions. It may be on a busy street, or at the soccer field with lots of different things going on and different types of people and other dogs. In these instances, it’s just best to have your puppy on leash. It’s good dog ownership. Not all people, organizations or communities like free roaming dogs. It is your responsibility to keep your dog safe, contained and controlled in public situations.

 

Resist The Urge to Repeat Yourself

Don’t allow your pup to start ignoring you. Resist the urge to give the command “Barkley. COME.” repeatedly before your dog responds. The more often you give the command, the longer your pup thinks he has to respond.

Say it once, maybe twice…giving him the benefit of the doubt that he may not have heard you the first time. I mean, hey, that’s possible.

If after the second time, you get no response from your pup, get his attention with something he loves like a toy or treat to keep him from running away. Then walk over with the enticement and get him. Make sure to slip your fingers through his collar and that you have him secured.

Making sure you have him by the collar prevents the habit of playing “catch me”, with coming close to you and then dancing around you. It’s a fun game for puppy, but an exasperating game for you. Ignore that he didn’t come to you when called, and know that you need to work on it until he can. Remember, practice makes perfect.

Excerpt from Surviving the Puppy Stage, written by Mindy J Kaleta, dog coach

 

Surving_the_Puppy_Stage_CoverJune_22_2010

Other topics covered in Surviving the Puppy Stage, How To Get Inside Your Dog’s Mind Without Losing Your Own!

Housetraining Made Simple

Calming the Energized Puppy

Good Puppy Manners

And MUCH MORE!!

Don’t Lose YOUR Mind!

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