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Train Your Dog To Come

This is a fun one, and possibly the most important command you can teach your dog.

"Come!" means to come immediately and sit right in front of you. ("Come here" in a loving, questioning voice means that he is allowed to come to get a hug in a minute or so - at his own pace - when he wants to. For this kind, you can even start down on your knees.) Before he is trained, you may find he is running all over the yard before he comes to you. Never, never, never tell him no or scold him when he DOES come to you or he will think that is what he did wrong!

Start with him sitting next to your left heel. Say stay while pushing your hand in front of his face, and go stand in front of him. Push your hand in front of his face again and say stay again. Now back up a few feet. Say come! as you give a little tug on his leash. If he is coming slowly, repeat come over and over excitedly. As soon as he gets an inch or so from you, loudly say sit!. Technically, he has not come until he is right in front of you and sits, so don't say good boy! until he sits. Practice this way for a week. If the sessions are going well, you can back up more and more each day until you are at the end of the leash.

Start with him sitting next to your left heel. Say stay while pushing your hand in front of his face, and go stand in front of him. Push your hand in front of his face again and say stay again. Now back up to the end of the leash and hold your arm out in front of you - making you 8 or so feet away. Say come! as you give a little tug on his leash. If he is coming slowly, repeat come over and over excitedly. You may even have to pull on the leash a few times to keep him coming quickly. As soon as he gets an inch or so from you, loudly say sit!. Good boy! when he sits. Practice this way for a week.

If he is not coming quickly enough or is not coming without extra pulls on the lead, change the pace with this next one.

Start with him sitting next to your left heel. Say stay while pushing your hand in front of his face, and go stand in front of him. Push your hand in front of his face again and say stay again. Now back up to the end of the leash. Say come! as you give a little tug on his leash. When he gets up and starts toward you, run backward as you excitedly repeat come. As soon as he gets an inch or so from you, loudly say sit!. Good boy! when he sits. Practice this way for a week.

Now you will need to extend your training lead. Either buy a 20- or 30-foot-long training lead, or tie a 15-foot-long rope onto the loop handle of your 6-foot-lead.

Start with him sitting next to your left heel. Say stay while pushing your hand in front of his face, and go stand in front of him. Push your hand in front of his face again and say stay again. Now back up to the end of the 20-foot-long training lead. Say come! as you give a little tug on his leash. This is a long way, you may have to keep repeating come excitedly - and you may also have to pull on the lead a few times to keep him coming quickly. When you stop and gets a few inches from you, loudly say sit!. Good boy! when he sits. Practice this way for a week.

Don't forget to give him a healthy treat.

In the end, he should be able to come directly to you immediately and sit in front of you no matter what he is doing or how far away he is.

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