If you’ve ever trained a puppy, you know that it can be a very exciting experience! Learning about your new puppy is always fun! They are full of energy and excitement – one of the many reasons we love them so much! However, sometimes this excitement can make it difficult to train your new friend. It’s always fun to play, but what do you do when you need your dog to focus? You need your puppy to pay attention to you – especially with the recall (also known as the “come”) command. Unsure of how to do this on your own? You’re in luck! We’ve compiled a list of tips and tricks to help you learn how to teach your puppy to come!
Why Won’t My Puppy Come?
Before you can understand how to get your puppy to come to you, it is important to understand why your pup isn’t coming when called. While this varies depending on the dog, we’ve found that it is usually the result of one of these issues:
1. They Don’t Know Their Name
It takes any newborn a while to become familiar with their name, and this is especially true for dogs. Not only do they have to learn how the world works – they have to learn how to understand both other dogs and humans. If your dog hasn’t learned their name yet, try reading this article before moving on to the “come” command.
2. They Think They’re In Trouble
With all of the running and playing puppies do, they’re bound to get into a bit of mischief from time to time. However, how you respond to their behavior can make all the difference. If you yell at your puppy for making a mistake, they’re less likely to want to come to you the next time you call them. Make sure you avoid associating their name and the “come” command to ensure that this isn’t the reason your puppy isn’t responding to your call.
Are you concerned that this may, indeed, be the reason your puppy doesn’t come to you? Not to worry! To correct the way your dog feels about coming to you when called, you just have to put in a little more work. Start by working on your dog’s association with their name. When you call them to you, hold a treat in your hand. When they come, offer them the treat as a reward. This will show them that their name is a good word – not a sign of discipline. In addition to this, create a new word for the “come” command. We’ve found that “here” works well.
3. They Don’t Want To
There’s so much for your young pup to explore that sometimes – even though they love you – they just aren’t ready to come back when you call them. They’d rather chase that butterfly or bark at the mailman. If you want to convince your pup to come to you when you call them, you’ll have to show them that coming to you is always better than chasing whatever they’re focused on. Not sure of how to accomplish this? Keep reading!
Our Best Training Tips
So you’re ready to start training your puppy – fantastic! Before you start, you’ll need to gather a few items:
- Treats: Any dog loves being rewarded with a treat – and this is especially true for puppies. Pick up your pup’s favorite treat to encourage them to focus during their lesson.
- Toys: Show your pup that learning can be fun by including one of their favorite toys in your lessons! This can also be useful later on in your lessons when you’re trying to transition away from giving your dog treats as a reward.
- A Positive Attitude: If you want your puppy to pay attention, show them that training will be fun by showing up with a smile! They’ll be more likely to want to participate if they see that you’re having fun too.
- Dog Whistle: Dog whistle is an effective tool to get your dog’s attention.
How to Train Your Pup to Come
1. Pick a Quiet Spot
Before you begin, you’ll want to find a quiet spot with no distractions. As much as your pup may want to impress you, sometimes the temptation of running off to play with your other pets is too much to resist! Make it easier on them by providing them with a quiet place to learn.
2. Ask a Friend to Help
You can train your puppy on your own if you absolutely have to, but we’ve found that training your puppy to come works best with two people. Have your friend sit with your puppy on the other side of the room. They should be holding your pup gently.
3. Grab Your Pup’s Favorite Treat
Once your friend is in position with your puppy you’re ready to start! Grab a treat and hold it out in front of you. Make sure your dog sees it before moving on to the next step.
4. Call Them!
It’s time to start! Call your puppy by their name and say “come!” (Example: Fido, come!). When your puppy starts to get up and move towards you, have your friend let go of them so they can receive their reward.
Last, but not least, keep practicing! We recommend working with your puppy at least 5 to 10 minutes a day. This will help to keep the command fresh in their mind. As their learning progresses, try making the training more challenging. Are they coming to you immediately every time you call them? Great! Now test them by having your friend play with them (perhaps with their favorite toy) to see if they’ll come to you when they’re distracted by something else.
It’s that simple! If you work with your puppy consistently, they’ll soon be on their way to mastering the “come” command!