Be the Stubborn One When Training Your Dog to 'Come'

>> 11/12/09

Dogs aren't actually insubordinate. However, they usually don't understand precisely what they're supposed to do. To make this apparent to them, you need to appropriate the alpha status very quickly. Be sure to practice patience and resolute and firm force to produce the behavior wanted. This can be very challenging when teaching the command "come".

Dogs enjoy exploring their environment naturally by sniffing all around the area, digging, turning things around and running away with little objects. A training session is best done when you keep your dog away from other distracting voices and people. A clear yard without any little objects is the best idea for such a purpose.

The moment the dog comes spontaneously towards you, act quickly, and reinforce the command with a hand gesture. If he moves towards you, spontaneously, reinforce "Come" with the hand movement. Make sure that the gesture and/or the word is unique and not one which is used during regular training sessions.

To start, stand in front of the dog and get it in the sit position. Execute the "stay" command as you move back several steps. Use the vocal and hand signal command. Give the dog effusive praise for appropriate behavior, but don't give a reward for partial or improper behavior.

Keep repeating this, as you move back. If your dog comes towards you too quickly, use 'sit/stay' commands again. If the dog does not move try coaxing with treats or toys.

For dogs that are sluggish learners, or a little reluctant, leash and collar training may be necessary. Put your dog in the sit/stay position and begin to back up a short distance as you are playing out some excess on the leash. If your dog won't come to you, give a light tug that is pronounced while giving the vocal command along with the hand sign.

For a dog that comes too eagerly, use a long rope or strap and wrap it around a post or a tree. If the dog tries to lift off early tug the leash as you give the "stay" command. If there are no trees available, use someone to help with the session. The detrimental part about using another person during the session is the dog can become puzzled about who they should obey. It's always best if they just focus on one teacher.

While instructing, steadfastness and composure is critical. Dogs don't as a matter of course understand the usefulness of 'come' or any other commands. Speaking harshly when the dog commits errors or is a little stubborn is normally not useful. Develop your leader position with tone of voice, body posture and willingness to wait for the dog to comply. Physical correction or leading is a less helpful technique.

Dogs respond extremely quickly to praise when they execute proper behavior. You need to be resolute and make sure that they come when you order them to.

Article kindly provided by Training Your Dog Tips

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