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Training Pup To Come When Called

The minute a new owner gets their puppy the first thing they want to know is when and how do I begin training. The first thing I tell them is to just play with the pup and then the training will come naturally. The more a dog is socialized and around people, the easier they are to train. Give them to your kids, the neighbor kids and anyone that will play with them. It will make life much easier for you.


As to training, the first thing you need to teach a pup is "come". Come/here (choose the command you will use and stick with it always) is easy, when you want your pup to come to you, get down to his level, say come in a very reassuring voice, make some noise to get his attention and then keep repeating it until they come to you. Pet, praise and reward the dog and then let them go about their business. I used to never treat a pup when they responded appropriately, I did not want them to look the "show" dogs always responding to food but I have found out that if taught with occasional biskits or treats, come is much easier to teach.  Repeat this little drill every time you get the chance. If the dog is coming to you without a prompt, get down to their level, say your command and praise them when they get to you.


As the pup gets a little older, I use a short cord attached to their collar. Give the command, give a gentle tug on the cord and bring the pup to you. Reward, pet and praise and then repeat. If the pup does not respond, give the command, gently reel them in to you and then praise them when they get to you. If the pup does not respond to the second command do not continue to shout at the dog. Move around a little and then give the command again. I also find it sometimes helps to take the pup out of their normal area, have the short training session and then return to their domain.


Once the pup has learned what come on the short cord means I switch to a longer check cord and add the whistle command. Give the come command, blow the whistle and bring the dog to you. Reward, praise and release, in one or two training sessions the dog will be responding to the whistle command alone.


Contributed by David A. Witner

Nimisila Creek Kennels


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