Fun With a 'Come!'

September 22, 2016

 

Does your dog ignore you when you call him? Make recall fun by trying these games:

 

1. When your dog is just a few feet away from you, say ‘Come!’ then turn and run away. When he runs after you, say ‘Yes!’ and give him a treat when he reaches you. If he doesn’t follow you or if he looks at you without moving, use a kissy noise or squeaky toy (something exciting and attention-grabbing) and run a few more steps. Say 'Come!' then cue ‘Yes!’ and give a treat when he follows and reaches you. Get excited and praise him so he is excited too. You want him to associate only great things when he comes to you.

 

 

Once he starts running to you every time you run away, you can start decreasing your movement, until he runs to you when you are standing still and asking him to 'Come!'. Don’t forget to give him treats (eventually you can fade out the treats or use them intermittently when the recall is solid). You want coming to you to be more fun, exciting and rewarding than anything else your dog could be doing.

 

Another fun recall game:

 

2. When your dog is outside playing, exploring or doing something else fun, call his name and show him you have the most-amazing-wonderful-delicious treat ever. When he runs to you, cue ‘Yes!’ then jackpot him with 1-2-3 treats then release him with “Go Play!’ This will help reinforce that when you call him over it is for something amazingly wonderful, not to stop fun. Do this often, randomly throughout the day and with several repetitions of treat/go play.

 

Remember: never call your dog over to you to punish him-that can easily and quickly poison the cue 'Come' and ruin a solid recall. Coming to you should always be a positive experience! 

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