This is an edited reprint of the “I want my dog to come to me when I call him!” post under the Dog Training heading.
However, it is much easier to do this right as a puppy. You have no bad habits and your puppy wants to learn from you. Your puppy wants to trust you from the beginning. At this point, you are his “alpha” or leader.
This is so important!
Once a puppy stops coming, it is not quite as simple to correct it. And, it can become frustrating and potentially life threatening. There are a number of reasons why this happens … most all of the are because of you.
Hopefully, these steps or tasks will improve the situation.
1. Never call your puppy to you and punish him. What better way to lose your puppy’s trust by correcting him when he obeys you. If he has done something worth punishing him for, go get him and correct him. If you call him to you, you have to praise … and forgive.
2. In the beginning, never call your puppy to you unless you are 99.9999% sure he is going to come to you. How do you do that? He is playing with you or coming to greet you (physically moving towards you) and you give him the “Come” command at the last second before he gets there. And follow that up with praise.
3. Have him “Come” to you indoors for a treat, then praise him. I hesitate to tell you about treats as some of you will think the treat is the only reason he comes. It is used as a motivating factor only … when he is hungry.
4. As that works, begin the “Come” command indoors with a leash. Do not use a treat. Make him “Come” if he doesn’t. Follow that with praise. When he comes 9 out of 10 times indoors move outside WITH THE LEASH.
By being consistent, your puppy will improve. Results will not be overnight, but you will make steady progress. Then if you really want to make it automatic, invest with a good, results oriented trainer.