One of the most important commands for dogs in their early years or as an untrained dog for safety is the ‘come’ command. If your dog breaks the leash and runs free, this command could save your dog from running in front of a car or into any other of the many dangers untrained dogs face.
In this article I will guide you through the different steps needed to control your dog using the ‘come’ command and how to do it in the easiest and least confusing way for your dog and you. This command is best learnt when the dog is a puppy or very young and has not yet picked up too many bad habits or actions.
To start you should get someone else weather it is a friend or neighbour to lightly restrain your dog from being able to run after you as you show it one of their favourite treats and show them you have something of interest that they will want.
Start this exercise by keeping yourself not too far away from your dog or puppy to start with until they get the idea of the game. Once you are the correct distance get your friend or neighbour to let go of the dog so they come running at you, as they do this you should say the command ‘come’ and move back slightly so they have to travel slightly further.
When the dog gets to you, reward him with the treat or ‘good dog’ and a hug. After the first success it should get easier as you retry the game from further and further away. After a few times of playing this game your dog will get familiar with the way things are done.
When you feel comfortable with this training method, try playing hide and seek with your dog and let them find you when you shout ‘come’, rewarding still after every success. When your dog is comfortable with this method your training is complete and ready for the next time your dog darts for the road.