Teach your Dog to come when Called

Don’t you want to let your dog off leash once in a while and allow him to explore freely?  But that requires voice control. Voice control means your dog immediately comes to you when you call him/her to you – not after a while, but right away.

Here are a few tips and tricks to ensure voice control, especially when you are outdoors, in a park or at a beach.

The Motivation

The first is to understand what motivates your dog. Recall what you can bring with you and what would motivate your dog to come to you. Does your dog love pieces of hotdog or a game of tug with his favorite toy? Think of what would be tempting enough to encourage your dog to leave what s/he is exploring and come running to you.

The Reward

Think of what you could offer, as a reward, once your dog comes to you. Some dogs may love a treat but if your dog loves to play more than s/he likes to eat, you may need a ball or a toy to reward him/her.

The Command

It is important to associate the motivation and the reward with the word “Come” to actually have voice control. Here is an exercise as an example.

Count 20 pieces of your dogs’ food. Say the word “come” and give your dog one of those pieces. Repeat this 20 times, during the day and every day, for a month. This will help to build the association between the command and good things happening for your dog.

Reward your dog for coming up to you on walks. Try it on- and off-leash as a check.

The Bottom Line

Don’t expect an untrained dog to come running to you. It requires training. Work with your dog patiently till s/he learns to respond and when they do, offer a reward to reinforce the behavior.

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