Teaching your puppy to come when called is an essential and potentially life-saving command. Here are some steps you can follow to train your puppy to come:
Start indoors: Begin the training in a quiet and familiar indoor environment where there are minimal distractions. Use a calm and positive tone of voice.
Use a leash and collar or harness: Attach a leash to your puppy's collar or harness to have better control during training sessions.
Choose a consistent cue: Decide on a word or phrase you'll use consistently when calling your puppy. Common choices include "come," "here," or your puppy's name followed by the command.
Positive reinforcement: Use treats, toys, or praise as positive reinforcement. Find treats your puppy loves and keep them handy during training sessions.
Short sessions: Keep training sessions short and enjoyable to maintain your puppy's interest. Aim for 5-10 minutes per session, gradually increasing the duration as your puppy gets more comfortable.
Create a positive association: Make coming to you a positive experience. When your puppy comes to you, reward immediately with treats, praise, or play. Repeat this process consistently.
Use a long leash for outdoor practice: When you're ready to move outdoors, use a long training leash to give your puppy more freedom while still maintaining control. Allow your puppy to explore but gently guide them back to you using the leash and the "come" command.
Gradual increase in distractions: As your puppy becomes more reliable in a controlled environment, gradually introduce distractions. Start with mild distractions and gradually increase the difficulty level as your puppy improves.
Avoid punishment: Never punish your puppy when they come to you, even if it took a while. Punishment can create a negative association with the command.
Practice regularly: Consistency is key. Practice the recall command regularly in various environments and situations. The goal is to have a reliable response from your puppy regardless of the circumstances.
Reinforce periodically: Even after your puppy has mastered the recall command, continue to reinforce it periodically with treats or praise to ensure it remains strong.
Remember, patience and positive reinforcement are crucial in puppy training. Celebrate your puppy's successes and be understanding of setbacks. Consistency and positive experiences will help your puppy learn to come reliably when called.
At Puppy Paws Colorado we believe in lifetime support of your puppy. Feel free to reach out any time for more tips and tricks to help support you on your journey to raising an amazing lifetime companion!