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How to Teach Your Dog to Come When Called

“Come” is something that young pups can learn, as well as old dogs. So what, exactly, does come when called mean to the dog? It means “Come here, quick! There’s a party going on and you’re invited!” I like to teach the dog something very specific to do when I call. I teach the dog to touch his nose to my hand. Here’s my reasoning: If you just teach the dog to come closer, that’s way too vague. “Closer” means nothing. And in an emergency (the dog slips his leash on the corner of a busy street), you need the dog to come to you and be right by your side for safety’s sake.

Thankfully, teaching your dog to come to you when called is really easy, if you follow these guidelines.

*Teach your dog that touching his nose to your hand is a good thing.
*Present the hand straight down by your side, next to your pant leg.
*When your sure the dog will touch your hand when you put it down, add the word. Say “Here!” in a happy, fun voice, then put your hand down.
*Start increasing distance one step (take a step backward, then call the dog) at a time.
*After your dog is able to come from a distance of about 20 feet, switch to working on distractions.

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