3 Steps for a Reliable “Come” Command.

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At Abracadabra we understand that teaching your dog the “come” command can be a challenge oftentimes resulting in a game of chase instead of inspiring an enthusiastic recall. You may have gotten your dog to respond to your command, but only when there is nothing to distract them. Or perhaps he comes running when you call but then instantly takes off once he gets to you. These are all very common problems but here are some tips from our dog trainer, Sha, to help you work toward that reliable recall.

Complete the command with a “sit”.

    • When you practice “come” complete the command by having your dog “sit” before praising, rewarding or petting. This increases the chance of your dog completing the command successfully without taking off immediately, and can often help refocus your dog on you. It is a great way to encourage your dog to fully commit to completing “come” and helps you gain control in certain situations where it is necessary to get your dog back on leash.
  • Don’t use the “come” command to get the dog in situations where your dogs behavior needs corrected.
    • Our natural response to disobedience is to call our dog to us, which makes the dog have a negative association with the command. If you feel that there is too big of a negative association with the word “come” feel free to use a different cue word for the command such as “here”.
    • Make “come” a fun game. When your dog comes to you give a ton of love and praise. Coming to you should be seen as a rewarding behavior.
  • Don’t use “come” to end the fun.
    • When your dog is playing, and having a really good time, don’t just call your dog to come so you can leash her up and end the fun.
    • Incorporate “come” into the game: Call your dog to “come” while he is playing –after he has a solid understanding of come- and when he completes the command give him a release cue and let him go back to playing. Doing this multiple times will make the command more reliable because it doesn’t end the fun every time so there is more positive association than negative.

We are committed to helping you and your dog live a happy and healthy life together. One of the pillars of this relationship is understanding how to communicate with each other. For more tips on dog behavior check out our blog article “5 Ways to Reinforce Your Dog’s Training.” We also offer free behavior evaluations. Call us to book yours today!