Teaching Fluffy to come when you call her may seem like a difficult task, but it is part of basic dog training. Known as the “recall” command, it is something you can teach your furry friend from the puppy stage.
The command involves calling your dog by its name and then saying, “come!” in a cheerful way. If you train your pup with the recall command, it’s a great way to keep it under control, even while it’s enjoying some free time off the leash.
Getting started on the recall command
Training your dog should begin with a foundation of positive reinforcement. This means rewarding the dog after it completes a task. Being patient is crucial as you’ll have to repeat the training over and over again.
You can even train senior dogs that require mobility devices like a bed ramp for dogs to come when called. Although you should take extra care with older furry buddies, an old dog can still learn new tricks with a patient owner.
Eventually, your furry friend may even surprise you with how quickly it catches on. The main thing to remember is to have fun, enjoy your time with your pup and watch the progress it makes.
Train your dog – 6 Tips to get you going
Now that you are ready to teach your dog the recall command, these tips are a great place to start:
#1. Food rewards as positive reinforcement
The easiest way to encourage your dog through positive reinforcement is by using food. Special treats only used for training will help the dog differentiate between a fun snack and one used for training.
#2. Non-food rewards
Although food rewards are probably the best way to train a dog, non-food rewards work as well. For example, that well-chewed ball they like so much, or cuddles and playtime.
By rewarding the dog’s success, it will begin to respond quickly to your commands. If you’re searching for guidance on how to train a dog with a shock collar to come, please consider using methods that don’t involve pain or force.
#3. Practice indoors first
By practicing indoors first, your dog won’t have all the distractions of things like squirrels! You can slowly help it to adjust to the outdoors. Eventually, you’ll move to other areas, especially places where there are people around.
Soon you’ll know how to train a dog to be calm when visitors come, one of the first things most dog owners try to achieve! However, this takes time, so starting slowly is always best.
#4. Avoid confusing the command with punishment
Using the come command to get your dog to do something unpleasant will confuse it and create a negative association with the command. They may even begin to avoid coming to you when you call.
Here are some examples of how the come command might be confused with a punishment:
- When it’s time for their bath (most dogs hate bathing!)
- Grooming time, like brushing, nail clipping, haircuts, etc.
- Taking medicine.
- Going to the vet.
#5. Using commands such as “here” or “come” instead of its name
Pet parents may use the recall command for things like finding out where they are and what they’re up to. This can be confusing for the dog because it’s not telling them what the owner wants them to do.
Replacing your dog’s name with “come” or “here” when you want them to come will be much easier on your dog and your training. Remember to reward your furry buddy when it does come to you!