The Foundation

If you turned to this chapter first before reading the rest of the book because coming when called is a major problem with your dog, you are going to have to go back and read at least the previous chapter. You will do better if you read everything except the housebreaking chapter. The training discussed in this chapter is based on what you have taught your dog from the material presented in the previous chapter. You shouldn't expect your dog to come when he is 50 feet away from you if he doesn't understand what the command means in the first place or if he doesn't respond reliably to it when he is 5 feet away and on a leash. Make sure your dog will pay attention to you and respond promptly to all the basic commands on leash in the places where you would like him to come when called. The bonding created by the basic training will greatly improve your dog's responsiveness to you in general, which in turn makes it easier to train him to come when called.

Don't make the mistake of skipping the basic training in chapter 5 because you think that your dog already knows what "come" means. If you haven't made a specific effort to teach him what "come" means, he doesn't. This is a common error because dogs do respond when you call them some of the time, even though they don't know what the word "come" means. In young puppies, it is a natural response for them to come toward you when they hear your voice. A dog may know his name and come sometimes when he hears it, but that is not the same as knowing that "come" means to move close enough to you so you could touch him.

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Dog Potty Training

Dog Potty Training

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