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Training a dog to Come is not only simple, it is incredibly useful for making sure your dog stays out of harm's way. The following advice makes teaching a dog to come a breeze.
Coming on command is one of the simplest benchmarks to reach in dog obedience training. A dog that doesn't come when it's called, or only comes when it feels like it, can't be considered well-trained by any standard. Apart from being a hallmark of a well-trained dog, Come can help you keep your pet under control in a variety of situations. It's useful for keeping your dog out of trouble - you can call it away from the trash pile it's tearing through, something unsanitary it wants to eat, or even out of the path of an oncoming car.
The Method For Training a Dog To Come
Training a dog to Come doesn't even necessarily require practice sessions. Your dog comes to you when it's feeding time or when you have a toy in your hand anyway, so whenever its time for a feed or a game, use the dog's name followed by the "Come" command. The food and game, which the dog was going to have anyway, act as the reward. It's simply a matter of introducing the verbal Come command to everyday activities.
However some dogs will need more of a lesson structure to get the idea that they have to Come whenever they are called, not just on the odd occasion. You want your dog to obey commands consistently.
Prepare a with a few tasty dog treats and attach your dog's collar and lead, then go out to play in the garden. At some point as your dog is playing, give a gentle tug on the lead and use the dog's name, followed by the command, "Come." There should be a bit of excitement in your voice to let the dog know something good is on offer if it comes to you. Don't jerk the lead - just let your dog know that it should be moving toward you. It's also a great help to show your dog its treat at this point. When the dog comes to you, reward it with its treat and give it plenty of praise and attention. Let it wander start to play around the garden again, and then repeat the process a few minutes later.
You shouldn't need to do this more than 3 to 5 times each day for a week or two before your dog gets the hang of it, depending on its temperament, age and habits.
When your dog has mastered coming on command, try to change the situation a bit. Call your dog to you as you are moving away from it, but stay facing the dog (ie, walk backwards). You can also experiment with a longer lead until your dog can Come when called from a far away distance.
Jack Russell Training Tips
Jack Russells are extremely affectionate to their owners, so getting them to Come on call shouldn't be too difficult - you'll have a lot more trouble teaching them to Stay and stop them from jumping all over you and licking your face!
To encourage your dog to Come at first, you can kneel down so that you are closer to its eye level.
Never, ever call your dog to you with the Come command in order to punish it for something. This will create a negative association in the dog's mind, and in the future you will find that it won't come with consistency when you call it because it knows it may be punished for coming. Remember, in the dog's mind any reward or punishment results from what it just did, not something it did an hour ago.
To learn more about the importance of becoming a leader in your dog's eyes and how to build a strong bond, check out my training ebook, The Jack Russell Lover's Ultimate Guide To Training.
The Next Step
Having a hard time teaching basic obedience commands? My free special report The Top Ten Jack Russell Training Mistakes may be just what you need to get past those problems.