As a pet owner, one of the most important commands you can teach your dog is to come when he’s called, the first time. Having this command mastered allows you to trust that he can be free to run around in the park, in the yard, or anywhere for that matter, because you know he’ll come when you call him. This is extremely important for his safety, as dogs are often oblivious to any potential dangers that are around, such as coyote or another wild animal. Knowing this essential command could quite literally save his life one day! So how can you teach him so that he knows to come when called the first time, every time? We have some tips for you.
Find a Quiet Spot
By teaching your dog this skill in a quiet, secluded area at first, it allows him to focus with minimal distractions. If you have a fenced in yard, let him run free and begin practicing the command. Slowly you can work your way up to doing this in the park, on walks, and other public places until he’s comfortable enough with the command that you could do it in any crowded area and you’d trust that he’d come!
Use Treats for Reinforcement
When you’re first teaching your dog this command, using treats will work wonders. Although you don’t want your dog to become dependant on food motivation, its a good tool to use to start getting your dog to associate the words you’re saying with the desired behavior. Ideally, you should offer the treat every few commands when teaching until slowly he understands the command without any treat motivating him.
Never Repeat a Command
This is one of the most common mistakes that pet owners make when teaching any trick or command. If there’s one golden rule for training your dog, it’s to never repeat a command. After all, the goal is to get him to come after ONE call. Once you say the word “come,” if he doesn’t act immediately, you can make whistling noises or other sounds, call his name, and hold up the treat, but refrain from repeating the command over and over again.
Consistency is Key
This is true in any aspect of dog training and life, so it’s no surprise that it applies here. The more you practice this command with your pup, the quicker he’ll pick it up. Make each practice session count by staying focused, even if it’s just a short 5-minute lesson at home.
Contact Argos Dog Training
If you need assistance teaching your dog this or any other command, contact the experts at Argos Dog Training! We offer several different dog training courses and structured daycare programs. Fill out an online contact form or give us a call today at 617-302-7467 to learn more.