Dog Friendly Tips: Training a dog to come to your call
The need-reward method is the most effective.The need is food. Most dogs are fed once daily so the training must take place twenty-four hours after the last feeding; for difficult trainees, thirty-six hours later.
Let's say you want to train your dog to come when you call it. Tie the end of a twenty or thirty foot rope or length of twine to its collar and take it outside. Use the same command each time with the same tone of voice, which is usually the word, "come."
Say "come" and give a firm pull on the string; the dog should come to you without the need to continue pulling on the string. Offer it food as a reward. Being hungry, it will take the food with relish.
Then walk on, having instructed the dog to "stay", and when the dog is some distance from you, repeat the procedure. Repeat it a dozen times, which is enough for one session.
Wait a few days and go through the same paces, and in a surprisingly short period of time you will have conditioned it to come on command. You should soon be able to try the same without the string. My mother with her dogs always carries some titbits in her pocket when out walking and rewards her dogs when they come to call, provided they are quick and obedient.
Another tip is never to call a dog to you if they are not paying attention, other than in an emergency. You need to have the attention of the dog, before calling it to you, as a few occasions of 'getting away with it' and not coming to call, will undo the benefits of all your earlier training. Too many times I see owners calling their dogs, which continue running around independently and ignoring their owner totally. This is instilling in the dog quite the opposite response you need.
With an obedient dog that has gone off out of sight, be careful about calling them to you if you are near any roads. Someone we know once had a very obedient and well trained dog. It had wandered off unnoticed and crossed a main road to some woodland the other side. When she noticed her dog was missing from the field she was in, she shouted out its name to call it back. The dog duly re-crossed the main road in obedient response to his owner's voice, and was killed by a car.
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