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Category: Training For Dog Trainers | Author: admin 16.12.2013
Training your dog to come to you when called is not only important for behavior reasons but for safety reasons as well. If your dog does not respond and stays put, give your leash a slight tug and encourage him to move toward you. If you are clicker training your dog, be sure to click as soon as your dog starts moving toward you and when he reaches you. Though positive reinforcement most often takes the form of praise and a treat, use your knowledge of your dog to your advantage.
If you do initially have to take a step or two backward to initiate the behavior, reduce those steps, take smaller steps, and other similar actions to wean your dog off needing you to move to respond to the command.
As always, use your clicker if clicker training and offer plenty of positive reinforcement when your dog reaches you.
Make sure that you never progress all the way to open areas (or even enclosed park dogs where safety may be an issue) until your dog is successfully obeying the command in various locations with all different levels of distraction. Never punish or scold your dog after he eventually does come after a very delayed recall no matter how infuriating or frustrating the delay.
This version of How to Train a Dog to Come was reviewed by Pippa Elliott, MRCVS on September 15, 2015. Plan A is being responsible: keep your dog on a leash if you want them close, keep treats on hand when you're on walks, and train them to come when you call them. A simple recall command could be the difference between life and death if your dog gets loose and is headed for a busy street.

While your dog will later graduate to off-leash developments in the method, the initial training should take place on leash to keep him close and focused on you. For a small dog, this may only be two or three feet, whereas you may stand back the entire six-foot length of the leash for a large dog. Signals are a good idea since they further associate the behavior, and they also help in situations where your dog can see you, but may not be able to hear you.[7] If you choose to teach with both verbal and hand signals, use a distinct hand signal. Holding your hand out in front of you, palm up, and curling your fingers back onto your palm is another common signal for the come command.
You want your dog to associate the command with coming all the way to you and not simply running a few feet.
The key to success is introducing greater distances and distracting environments in small increments that add a new dimension without overwhelming your dog.
Your dog will eventually learn to associate the command with the behavior, allowing you to stop taking steps backward to initiate the behavior. If your dog fails to come when you stand still, go back to taking one or two steps for another day, and try try again. Each time you repeat the command without the dog understanding, you risk weakening the association he had already begun to form with the command.
As you try to increase the distance from which you recall your dog, you may have to get help from another person. Once your dog is successfully responding to the command for you, a round-robin approach offers new challenges and complexity to the process.

After you feel more comfortable with your dog's progress, alter the training environment and increase your dog's exposure to distractions. If you do, your dog will then associate recall with punishment and will be reluctant to come in the future.
But as most dog owners know, our furry friends can be unpredictable, so it's a good trick to have in your back pocket. Dogs that respond to this basic command are also allowed to enjoy more freedom outside when involved in activities such as hiking or playing at the dog park.
A professional trainer can help correct any mistakes in your home technique for the training, and the group environment is great for socializing your dog. The restrained recall variation involves having someone else hold your dog still, so you can get farther away without your dog following along.
If you do she'll equate the telling off to her return, not to her bolt for freedom and she will be that much less likely to come to you on recall the next time.

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