Dog Training, Tips, Tricks, and Plenty of Good Advice

Teaching Your Puppy to Come When Called

This is one of the most important commands your puppy will learn and one day could save your puppy’s life. It is well worth the time and effort required to teach it.

What it means:

Come here to me right now.

Verbal command – “your puppy’s name COME!”
Tone of voice – Friendly, Enthusiastic, Welcoming
Hand signal – none

Body Language:

Crouch down, lean forward, look inviting, encouraging, even playful. Remember to smile!

Enforcing the command:

When teaching this command be sure to always have your puppy on leash. If the puppy is highly distracted and pays no attention, or comes very slowly, give the leash a quick pop – just enough to get the puppy started in your direction, then use your voice and body language to bring your puppy in. For a very lazy or stubborn puppy, you may have to use a rather sharp tug on the leash to get your puppy up and moving in your direction.

Alternatively, you could turn and run the other way (with the leash in your hand). Stop running as soon as the puppy is headed your way.

Do’s and Don’ts:

Always use a positive tone of voice. This should be an enjoyable command for your puppy. All your body movements should be inviting. Give treats and rewards when your puppy comes. If correction is needed, remember to say “NO!” when pulling on the leash.

Avoid pulling your puppy all the way to you, or reeling him in like a fish. It’s better to give a sharp tug on the leash followed by a friendly voice, and then another sharp tug (if needed) followed always by friendliness. If you want your puppy to make the decision to come to you willingly, he must be given a chance to come of his own accord.

What your puppy learns:

To respond to his name. Teaches him to look to you for leadership, love, and all good things. Also begins to establish the necessary groundwork for a reliable “come when called no matter what”.

Written by: Shirley Gibson


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