The Come is a very important command, one that makes day-to-day living with a dog easier but also could be a lifesaver. You want to teach your dog that the word Come means to come to you, as fast as possible, every single time you call him. To do so, you want a really good treat or toy that your dog really likes. You also want a long leash, not a retractable one that has tension on it but a simple leash—even a length of clothesline. Holding the leash so that your dog is 8 to 10 feet away, show him the treat or toy and call him, "Fido, come!" Back away so that he has to chase you. If he's moving toward you, praise him, let him catch up to you, and give him the treat or toy. Praise some more: "Yeah! Good boy! Yes, you are!"
If he doesn't appear interested, continue to back up and then reel in the rope, helping him Come even if he doesn't particularly want to. While you reel him in, praise him, but don't give him the treat or toy. Next time, make sure that you are more exciting to him, either with your voice or with the treat or toy. Make him want to Come to you.
Repeat the training five times and then take a break. Come back later and do it again. As your dog learns the command, continue using the long leash but extend the distance. Then add some distractions. First have him Come when there's another dog around, and then some kids playing. Have him Come when a squirrel is out in the grass. Make sure that he will Come when you call no matter what the distraction.
This exercise teaches your dog to walk nicely on a leash without pulling. The Heel position (dog's shoulder next to your left knee, which I discuss in the following section) is not emphasized; instead, keeping the leash loose is the goal. Have your dog Sit in front of you. Show him the treat and ask him to do a Watch Me. As soon as you have his attention, take a step backward, smile, tell him, Let's go!" praise him, and encourage him to step toward you. When he does, praise him and pop the treat in his mouth.
When your dog will take several steps following you while watching you, turn so that the two of you are walking forward together. Stop, have him Sit, and praise him. If he pulls away or pulls ahead of you, stop, get his attention with a Watch Me, and start again at the beginning, backing away from him. If your dog has a problem and really enjoys pulling on the leash, you will have to make sure that his Watch Me is very, very good, and you will have to keep this exercise short and sweet, praising each step that he takes with you.
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