If you have ever stood at the doorway of your house, flapping your arms, whistling, yelling, or waving dog treats in the air, you know how vital a skill it is for dogs to learn to come when called. It is an important skill, both for your dog’s safety and for those around it. If your dog refuses to come when you call him, he could easily get hit by a car, get in a fight with a roaming dog, or any sort of situation that may arise. If your dog is reliable in knowing how to come when called, he can be safely taken outside to play in a local park, go to the beach, take a hike with you on a public hiking trail, or go anywhere else you may want to go and take your dog.
Training your dog to come is relatively easy to do. It involves a lot of praise, even more dog treats, and whatever other perks you wish to provide your dog for listening to the “come” command. After the basic training lessons for learning to come when called are mastered, you can try introducing some fun exercises to your dog in order to provide a challenge.
Games are one of the best ways to motivate both your dog and you to work on different training commands and challenges. Training sessions can easily become boring or routine, and creating games prevents this from happening.
It is important to make sure your dog is in a training mindset and ready to accept dog treats for praise during training. You can easily test your dog’s mindset by taking a piece of your dog’s normal food and waving it in front of his nose. If your dog is enthusiastic about the food, you can start food-based training exercises. If he is not excited, you need to wait until he gets excited to start with food-based training exercises.
When you use dog treats for training, it is in your best interest to use foods that work well in a dog training environment. You are basically looking for something small that your dog cannot resist. Things like small training treats, cut up bits of cheese or meat, or cut up bits of regular treats work best. You want to cut or break everything into small pieces to avoid over-feeding your dog. If your dog becomes full very quickly, he will have no motivation to work on training!
Once you have helped your dog successfully master the “come” command, you can take him with you to a number of locations, without having to worry about his safety!
View more articles written by Kristen Sydelko.