Many people struggle when it comes to training their puppy the ‘come’ command, but yet it’s another very useful part of puppy training that you can use in an infinite number of situations. If you are lucky enough to live in an area that allows your dog to walk freely off leash, or even if you would enjoy taking your puppy to dog parks to socialize, then the come command will be especially useful.
When you train your dog to come when called, you are building an extra level of trust that will allow your dog to have some additional freedom, while you are safe in the knowledge that they will return to you when called.
The ultimate goal that you are trying to reach when you train your puppy to come when called, is to get to the stage where no matter what else is going on, your puppy will return to you immediately and give you their undivided attention.
The most frequent obstacle that people face when trying to teach their puppy to come is that they try too hard too soon. In fact, the best way to train a puppy to come command is to start at home when it is relatively quiet and when your puppy is nearby. Tell your puppy to sit, and then take one or two steps back.
When you make the ‘Come’ command, use a light and happy voice, and introduce a gesture such as patting the fronts of your thighs, to show the puppy that you are excited and want them to come to you. When your puppy responds, be sure to praise them for their efforts. Next, you should again tell your puppy to sit, but this time move a little further away. And repeat the process.
Keep following these steps until you are at the other end of your garden and your puppy is still coming to you. If at any stage, they don’t respond, simply move a few steps closer. It may take a few weeks before you can have trained your puppy to come from a distance, but this is okay, just keep having short practice sessions every day.
After you have trained your puppy to come in the safety of your own yard, it’s time to move on to practicing the come command in public. Of course, there will be many more distractions for your puppy here, so it’s advisable to keep them on a leash. If your puppy gets distracted as you practice, simply give the leash a small tug until they come running to you.
One of the most important points of training your puppy to come is to ensure that you never scold your puppy once they have come to you. By doing this, your puppy will associate coming to you with a bad experience, and will stop responding as explained in this article on Petsium.com. If you need to correct bad behavior, always go to your puppy, rather than undo all the hard work you have put into training your puppy to come when called.