The 3 Biggest Mistakes When Teaching the “Come” Command to Dogs

The “Come” command is one of the obedience commands that should be considered the most important in your relationship with [i4w_ud_DogName]. It is extremely important for [i4w_ud_DogName]’s safety – and your enjoyment of your dog as a family member – that you can use a recall command reliably with your [i4w_db__DogBreed]. But there are three very common mistakes made by dog owners that can effectively ‘poison’ the “Come” command so that the dog learns to simply ignore it. You want to avoid these mistakes at all costs.

What are these three mistakes to be avoided? They are as follows.

Biggest Mistake 1 – punishing or scolding a [i4w_db__DogBreed] that does not come immediately on command. For example, if you call your dog but it takes its time in deciding to come back to you and then you scold it when it eventually gets back for taking so long, all the dog learns is that it will be scolded when it comes to you. Even though you may try to explain why, your dog does not understand that the scolding is for taking too long, it only knows that it was in trouble once it arrived. So, no matter how long it takes for the dog to return to you, never use a scolding technique. If your dog is too slow in coming back to you, simply ignore it (if you can safely do so) and continue walking. Your dog must learn that it only receives praise and a treat if it comes back to you immediately.

Tip: In the early days of training, make sure you are practising recall in a quiet area without any distractions and build up the challenges gradually so that you only move up a level when your dog is totally reliable with the easy stuff. That way, hopefully, [i4w_ud_DogName] will learn to always respond to you, whatever the level of distraction.

Biggest Mistake 2 – running after a [i4w_db__DogBreed] that does not come immediately on command. By chasing a dog that is not behaving, you are only making a game out of it and, more likely than not, your dog will take off in the hope that you will continue chasing it. Most [i4w_db__DogBreed]s find chasing extremely rewarding behavior. So, only in very rare circumstances, such as when your dog is in immediate danger, should you ever chase your dog.

Tip: Many [i4w_db__DogBreed]s show better results if you turn and run away from your them instead of toward them. Often, this will tempt the dog to run after you so that you can recapture it.

Biggest Mistake 3 – only using the recall command when you want your dog to do something that it doesn’t find rewarding. For example, if you only use the “come” command to bring your dog to you before you go to the vet, or at a dog park so that it can be put back on its leash to walk home, or to go in the house after playtime, then your dog will associate the “come” command with negative things.

Tip: Use the command frequently, praise and reward, and then allow your dog to continue what it was doing before so that there is no negative association possible.

Filed Under: Email ArticlesGeneral Dog Training

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