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Train Your Dog To Come

Updated on February 27, 2015

Train Your Dog To Come

In this lens we look at how to train your dog to come! If you have a dog that runs away, or doesn't come when called you know how important this is! We have a rescue dog who has been known to run away and doesn't come when called. We are currently in the process of training him and we have tried out a lot of books and training aids. So here I will share what worked and what didn't work so well!

Also included is a review of the electric dog collar and we will answer the question about whether it is cruel to use an electric dog collar or not.

Why Train Your Dog To Come?

Charlie is a rescue dog, and when we first got him it became apparent that he had not been properly trained to 'COME' on command. This caused many problems and he has been known to run away for extended periods of time. He will run off after a rabbit and then just won't come back. You can imagine the worry we felt, not knowing if he was going to come back, or whether he would hurt himself, or chase the farmers sheep, or run onto a road! We had to do something.

Neither of us really had a good idea about training, we had some ideas and we began by doing what we thought was right, and telling him off when he had run away! However this is COMPLETELY THE WRONG APPROACH! To train your dog to come you need to always make it a pleasurable experience to come to you. If the last thing he did was to come (that was the last thing he did, even though he previously ran away) and then you tell him off, he makes that association with coming back to you, that he will be told off. Similarly if you sometimes call him and then put him on a lead so that the fin of running around has to stop. Or you call him and then give him an unwanted bath! You get the picture.

To train him to come you need to make a really strong positive association between the command to come and the rewards he gets when he does.

We also found using the Esky Electric Dog Collar to help when we were training our dog Charlie, to be very helpful. You can see our review below.

Some Quick Tips To Train Your Dog To Come

I did not realize that the process of teaching Recall with a dog is quite in depth. There is more to it than we realized, so I strongly recommend that you get one of the dog training books and guides I have included here. It's important to get it right.

Here are some quick tips to give you an idea of how Recall Training for your dog works, however if you need to train your dog, get professional guidance or get a good dog training guide.

TIP - Use SIMPLE commands when training your dog to come. We use his name followed by the command 'COME'. So in our case the words we use are 'Charlie Come'. This is easy for your dog to understand. Dog's don't understand lots of long and varied words like we do and we sometimes forget this. Choose one or two simple words to make your command for your dog to come and then stick with the same words.

TIP - You need to reward your dog when he does come. Don't make the classic mistake that we made at first of telling him off when he has run away and finally returns as this gives him the message that he gets a smack when he COMES BACK! Instead you need to build up positive association. Start by training him to come indoors, and reward him with doggie treats, praise and cuddles, or a toy.

TIP - Later you will progress to trying the recall process on a long leash outside, and then off a leash but in an enclosed area, and finally, when he is ready, with no leash at all! Don't progress to the next stage until he is completely obedient at the stage you are on.

TIP - If he runs away just ignore him when he does finally come back. Put him on his lead immediately but don't make a fuss. Instead go back to basics training him to 'come' when called. We found some great guides to help you with this process which are listed here.

Check out the guides and books that I have listed here to help you with this process. They are really good!

Great Dog Training Books

These are the best guides we found to help your train your dog well.

Teach Your Dog to Come When You Call Him
Teach Your Dog to Come When You Call Him

The great thing about this book is it concentrates purely on just one thing - training your dog to come! And the process it teaches works! Read the reviews on Amazon when you click through for more testimonials.

 
Family Friendly Dog Training: A Six Week Program for You and Your Dog
Family Friendly Dog Training: A Six Week Program for You and Your Dog

This book is highly recommended, a great general dog training guide with very good reviews.

 
101 Dog Tricks: Step by Step Activities to Engage, Challenge, and Bond with Your Dog
101 Dog Tricks: Step by Step Activities to Engage, Challenge, and Bond with Your Dog

This book contains a lot of insight and activities to help you train your dog, keep him challenged and build the relationship with him.

 
The Dog Listener: Learn How to Communicate with Your Dog for Willing Cooperation
The Dog Listener: Learn How to Communicate with Your Dog for Willing Cooperation

This lady Jan Fennell has been dubbed 'The Dog Whisperer' for good reason. Her techniques work.

 

A Review Of The Esky Electric Shock Dog Training Collar

We bought this electric collar to help us train Charlie to come. It is good, however it is only good as an aid to a PROPER DOG TRAINING PROGRAM. It does not work on it's own. It is not a shortcut which allows you to skip training. We both work and are quite pressed for time, and I will be quite honest, we bought this item kinda hoping that it might do the work for us. It doesn't, and to be honest I am glad, because if it had we would have missed out on all the important bonding and relationship building that comes from training your dog properly!

However this electric dog collar is GREAT as a training aid! When used in conjunction with a proper training program it is very helpful.

The collar has three settings. First you press a button and it beeps, this is like a warning to your dog. The next time you press it vibrates, this is like a sightly stronger warning. And the third time the collar gives the dog a small electric shock. This is if they are not listening to your commands, and makes them jump and run back to you. When we use this on Charlie he began to make the association between the noise and the command to come.

The problem came when Charlie ran off after a rabbit. We didn't have time to press any buttons and by the time we pressed the shock one he was out of range. At least we think he was out of range because he certainly didn't come back. So this is why it needs to be used with a training program rather than relied on. if you use it alongside proper training using the Recall method, it is very effective. It can help get them to listen to you when you are practicing Recall on a long leash, and you are in an environment with lots of distractions. After a while, once your dog has had sufficient training, you won't need it anymore.

You might be wondering is an electric dog collar cruel? I was worried about this when we first got it. Don't worry, the electric dog collar IS NOT cruel. the shock it gives is very small and will not harm your dog. I wouldn't use it on Charlie if I thought it could cause any harm to him. And actually in reality we very rarely use the shock setting!

Websites and Guides To Help You Get Your Dog To Come. - Does Your Dog Run Away? This Info Will Help You!

These are the three most helpful websites we found when we started to address this problem.

Other Items To Help You Train Your Dog To Come

These items will also help you while you are teaching your dog the Recall technique.

Flexi Explore Retractable Belt Dog Leash , Large, 26-Feet Long, Supports up to 110-Pound, Blue
Flexi Explore Retractable Belt Dog Leash , Large, 26-Feet Long, Supports up to 110-Pound, Blue

A long leash is ESSENTIAL when you are training your dog to come using Recall. You need to get him to do it on the leash before progressing to removing the leash. This one is great because it is 26 feet long and you can long it at any length and pull him in when you need to. This lead will take dogs up to 110lbs.

 
Newman's Own Premium Dog Treats, Turkey & Sweet Potato, Breakable Medium, 10-Ounce Bags (Pack of 6)
Newman's Own Premium Dog Treats, Turkey & Sweet Potato, Breakable Medium, 10-Ounce Bags (Pack of 6)

You need to use treats as a reward (as well as praise, stroking, toys etc) and we like to feed our pet with natural, organic food that doesn't contain all the nasty additives. So I have chosen these Newman's dog treats. However you can use any dog treats. Just be sure that you don't overfeed your dog. Treats are calories and too many pooches are becoming overweight these days! If you give him extra treats when training, give him a slightly smaller dinner!

 

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Does Your Dog Come When Called Or Does Your Dog Run Off? - Leave me a comment to let me know you stopped by.

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    • PenguinGirl111 profile image
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      PenguinGirl111 4 years ago

      @Yoursanity: Dogs are such individual characters! :-)

    • profile image

      Yoursanity 4 years ago

      One of my dogs comes - the one in my picture. I aslo have another staffy pup and a miniature dashound that do not do as they're told!

    • Gaby81 profile image

      Gaby81 4 years ago

      Doesn`t really run off but if she is playing with her favorite ball she won`t lisen to me or others.

    • PenguinGirl111 profile image
      Author

      PenguinGirl111 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Ha ha! Yes that sounds familiar. They sure can be that. Bribing them with food usually works...

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      My dog is just very stubborn I think.

    • PenguinGirl111 profile image
      Author

      PenguinGirl111 4 years ago

      @sbaiju: Yes, ours too. We are aiming to get him obedient that he comes EVERY time we call!

    • sbaiju profile image

      sbaiju 4 years ago

      my dog usually come but really depended on her mood :)