This article is courtesy of Man’s Best Friend Dog Training in Madison, Ohio. For more information, visit www.bestfrienddogtraining.com.
Does your dog promptly respond when you call him? Dog training is a step by step process and in order to get your dog to come when called we must first achieve a super nice sit and stay.
Once your dog is in the sit position you want to begin walking away from them, still with good leash control. Your right hand is going to continue to hold the loop of the leash and your left hand is going to allow leash to run through it, making the leash longer and shorter based on which way you move. Remember, always be in a position to correct the dog, at first they might try and test you, making you prove to be an effective and dominant leader.
You want to start by walking the way the dog is facing. That way you can turn and face the dog and they can see you too. Once you reach the end of your leash wait for several minutes, and then tell your dog “okay come.” If they don’t come right away just a little tug on the line and repeat the request “okay, come.”
If the dog is continuing not listen to the correction must become more severe, but you cannot give the dog an option to simply say no. Dogs know what come means and it’s their natural instinct to come, especially after being corrected, therefore if the dog is choosing not to come they are simply saying no.
By showing you are willing to insist just slightly more than they’re willing to resist you are again setting precedence of yourself as leader, and as the dog begins to have less and less success saying no, they will be able to resist less and less.
Once you have the dog coming when called while walking in front of them, try walking away at different angles. Walk directly behind the dog so he can’t see you, try calling them to you from multiple angles while just 6 foot away on the leash. Once you have that going in a favorable direction you can utilize a long line.
I recommend just 15-20 feet of durable rope with a snap attached to the end. Allow the dog to drag this line around. Walk with them and hold the rope about three feet from where it is attached to the collar. once you have the dog sitting and staying, begin to try to increase the distance between you and the dog, always with your hand on the rope.
If the dog gets up from sitting before you tell them to come it is important to correct them and take them back to about where they were before they got up. By having the long line you are allowing your dog more freedom and choice-making, but also able to quickly catch and correct them if they are doing something wrong.
With consistency and willingness to show the dog who is boss, you will find that the dog stays and allows you to walk away large distances, running the rope through your hands. You can then practice calling the dog to you from different distances and locations. Once the dog comes to you when called from a distance have them sit once they get to you.
At this point make sure to give your puppy lots of praise and love. You can even begin to incorporate treats or toys, for every two or three times they come when called they get a piece of food or a ball thrown for them. Through this exercise, you will notice a difference in your dog coming when called. Again, start slowly, have it quiet and practice in small sessions. Then build up your time and distractions from there!