Training your dog to come when called is a crucial, and possibly even life-saving, part of successful pet training. You’ll need to keep your dog under control in public places and that means the dog must learn to respond immediately to your words.
The quicker you can train dog to come when called the better. For starters, having the dog come to you when you call will help you regain control of the pet in case of collar break, snapped leash or other related equipment failure. That is particularly important as soon as you are out with your pet, especially in an area with lots of traffic. It can be vital that he will respond to your voice and return to your side, even in the absence of collar and leash, and even if there are lots of other things competing for his attention.
One note about dog training generally – it’s all too easy for training sessions to become dull and routine for both human and dog. A bored dog will not be receptive to learning, just as a bored handler will not be a good teacher.
It’s important, therefore, to always incorporate fun things and play into each and every training session. Incorporating a few minutes of play time before your lesson begins can do wonders for the attitude of pet and human alike. Likewise, ending each training session with a few minutes of free play time is a great way to end on a positive note and to help the puppy associate obedience training with fun and not drudgery.
The command to stay and your command to come are often combined in obedience training lessons, and they do go naturally together. Start with the dog on a loose leash, ask him to sit and then slowly back away. If the puppy begins to get up and follow you, return to him and ask him to sit again. Continue this process until you can reach your end of your leash without the pet getting up.
After you can successfully reach the end of your leash on a consistent basis, try dropping your leash altogether. Of course you will want to do this in a controlled environment like a fenced-in yard. After your puppy has mastered your stay command, it will be time to add your come anytime called command.
Take up your leash again, and with your pet on the end of your leash, say “come” or “come here”.
Its often helpful to use a lure like a toy or a treat while teaching this behavior. The lure provides a visible item for your dog to focus on and he will be tempted by it. Teaching your four-legged friend to come to the lure is a good first step in training the dog to come anytime called.
Repeat this procedure many times until the puppy will consistently stay and then come anytime called. After the dog has mastered coming as soon as called while attached to the leash, slowly start introducing your concept when your leash is removed.
As we said before, these early training sessions should only take place in a controlled, safe environment, such as a fenced in front or back yard. Later, a well taught, obedient dog should respond to your call to return to its owner no matter where it is and no matter what distractions may occur. It will be therefore necessary to train dog to come by setting up some distractions of your own.
If you’ve got a neighbor who has a dog of their own, try having her come over with the dog. Have her, and her dog, stand just outside your fenced-in area, then you repeat the come as soon as called exercise with your pet off leash. If he becomes distracted by the other dog, put the leash back on and repeat the process. The goal is to have your pet consistently pay particular attention to your commands, regardless of the disruptions that may present themselves.