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Teaching The "Come" Command to Your Dog

Teaching the "Come" command is critically important, and how well your dog executes this command can actually be a life saver at sometime during it's life. It is not hard to train "come" command but it does require some time and patience. 

To begin teaching the "Come" command you will need to have a 50 foot piece of clothes-line rope or the equivalent. Attach the rope to the dog's collar and allow the dog to wander away from you while you hold the other end of the rope. When the dog is out about 10 feet, call the dog excitedly making sure you are crouched down. If you need to, you can use the rope to give a quit tug so the dog will start moving toward you. DO NOT pull on the rope, just give it a little tug to get the dog coming toward you. Pulling the dog toward you is not going to teach the dog anything, and it may actually make the dog NOT to want to come to you. 

When the dog comes to you, give it lavish praise and a small piece of treat. Repeat this procedure until the dog come to you every the time. Then increase the distance 5 feet or so. 

Between outdoor sessions, you can also work indoors. When the dog is away from you, simply call it to you and reward it with treats and praise when it comes. 

Over the course of several days (or maybe weeks) you should be able to have the dog out to the full 50 feet and it should come to you every time. At this point, you can start working off leash. 

Start the off leash training in your yard when it is quiet and when you have very few outside distractions. The off leash training should be just like the on leash training. The only thing that will be different is that the rope is gone. Remember, you MUST be patient, and don't forget the praise and rewards. 

Some day you dog may get loose, or chase after a critter, another dog or even one of the neighborhood kids. The "come" command can be the only thing between you and the dog, and if you can call your dog and make it come, you may actually be able to avoid your dog being hit by a car, or hurt by a wild animal. For these reasons, it is crucial that this training is successful.

As with all training, keep your sessions short. Advanced training should be kept under 10 minutes in length. Always do something that the dog likes to do when the session ends. Playing with the dog's favorite toy or going for a walk will keep your dog interested in training. Because there is a "fun time" following the training, it will make the dog more willing to train well.



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