Training Buddy to come when called

You need two people, one hungry dog, one six-foot leash, plenty of small treats, and two whistles (optional). Some people prefer to train their dog to come to a whistle rather than the verbal command "Come." Some people train their dog to do both.

What works best depends on the dog, and you may want to experiment. Consider trying the verbal command first, because there may be times when you need to call your dog but don't have your whistle. You can then repeat the steps, using a whistle, which goes very quickly because Buddy already has some understanding of what he's supposed to do.

For this exercise, you need to be inside the house, with your dog on a six-foot leash. You and your partner are sitting on the floor, six feet apart, facing each other, and your partner gently restrains the dog while you hold the end of the leash.

1. Call your dog by saying "Buddy, come," and use the leash to guide him to you.

Avoid the temptation to reach for your dog.

2. When Buddy comes to you, put your hand through his collar, give him a treat, pet him, and praise him enthusiastically.

Now you can and should pet Buddy so that he understands how happy you are that he came to you. This situation is different from the Sit or the Down in Chapter 7, where you want him to remain in place, and petting him would cause him to get up.

3. Hold Buddy, and pass the leash to your partner, who says "Buddy, come," guides the dog in, puts his hand through the collar, gives him a treat, and praises the dog.

Keep working on this exercise until your dog responds on his own to being called and no longer needs to be guided in with the leash.

4. Repeat the exercise with Buddy off leash, gradually increasing the distance between you and your partner to 12 feet.

5. Have your partner hold Buddy by the collar while you go into another room, and then call your dog.

6. When he finds you, put your hand through the collar, give him a treat, and praise him.

If he can't find you, slowly go to him, take him by the collar, and bring him to the spot where you called. Reward and praise.

7. Have your partner go into another room and then call the dog.

8. Repeat the exercise until Buddy doesn't hesitate finding you or your partner in any room of the house.

9. Take Buddy outside to a confined area, such as a fenced yard, tennis court, park, or school yard, and repeat Steps 1, 2, and 3.

Now you're ready to practice by yourself. With Buddy on leash, take him for a walk. Let him sniff around, and when he isn't paying any attention to you, call him. When he gets to you, give him a treat, and make a big fuss over him. If he doesn't come, firmly check him toward you (you may have to use the live ring of his training collar), and then reward and praise him. Repeat until he comes to you every time you call him. After Buddy is trained, you don't have to reward him with a treat every time, but do so randomly.

Dog Potty Training

Dog Potty Training

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