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obedience basics: petplan pet insurance teaches two commands every dog should know – part 2

  • Nicole
  • Posted by Nicole Larocco on
    Guest Blogger of Petplan


Yesterday, I gave you some tips for teaching your dog to “leave it!” – a command that can potentially save your dog from disaster. Today I am going to give you tips for teaching another important command: “come.”

This is the mother of all commands.  If your dog knows nothing else, at least get this one down pat. It takes some time to perfect, but stick with it and you’ll definitely reap the rewards.

To teach your dog to come, start with him on a regular collar and 6-foot leash.  Command “come” and run backwards away from your dog.  When your dog catches up to you, reward and praise like it was the best thing he’s ever done.  (Hint:  running away from your dog makes him think you want him to chase you, which dogs love to do. If you teach this exercise by running away from your dog, he will think that “come” is the most fun command there is!)

When your dog has mastered the 6-foot leash come, repeat this exercise with a 25 or 30-foot training leash.  This will be tough, but practice makes perfect.

After that, it’s time to take the show on the road.  You will only get a solid “come” command if you practice, practice, practice – especially amid distractions!  So take your 30-foot leash to the park (the more squirrels the better), on a hike, or to the beach.  Call your dog back to you randomly, then treat, release to go play again.  If your dog gets distracted, don’t give up; it’s just part of training.

When your dog is an expert at 30-foot recalls in many locations, take training to the next level. Go to a safe place where you can let your dog off-leash, and practice “come” without the leash.  Make sure you’ve done plenty of practice sessions off-leash before you really need this command in real life.

When your dog has mastered the “come” command, it can save him from wandering off and getting lost, running into traffic, stepping into a bear trap – all sorts of situations that could spell disaster.

Dog training is all about practicing for when you need it, so think of practice as a way of life. If and when your dog is in a real situation where they could get into trouble, they will just think of it as another practice session.  The more practicing you do, the better results you are going to get, so get out there today and practice, practice, practice!

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Comments
Posted by P Brady
on October 14 2013 14:00

I absolutely agree with the importance of 'come'. The proofing is always the tricky bit. You want this to work in the face of other dogs, squirrels or Godzilla walking down the street. Almost the whole obedience repertoire can be of value in helping your dog avoid potential disasters. One that I add to the mix is auto-sits at curbs. A couple of years ago, my sister-in-law took our GSD for a walk and clipped the lead to the tags rather than the stronger clip on the collar. They encountered a 'provocative' dog across the street. Our pup bounded toward the other dog and the leash popped free. It was a fairly busy street and a potential disaster. My SIL screamed the dog's name... and the dog went into an immediate sit. Why? Because she is trained to auto-sit at the curb and took the scream as a reminder to drop to a sit and await release before crossing a street.

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Pippa ElliottGuest Blogger of Petplan
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