Dog exercises with “Come” with and without distractions
One of the first and most important things that dog trainers want to teach their dogs is to always come when called. When the dog trainer gives the command “Come” they are almost always competing with various distractions that dogs normally find much more exciting and compelling than their masters. Almost without exception the most difficult exercises for the dogs are those involving coming when called. The dog trainer for their part need to put their all into making the exercises work by giving the correct signals. Giving the correct signals doesn’t just mean saying the verbal signals (“Come”) properly, also refers to the body language of the dog trainer. If the dog trainer leans forward when the dog is approaching or quickly tries to grab the dog’s collar, the dog will feel threatened and will try to give the dog trainer the slip. You have probably seen instances of the detrimental effects that these confusing messages have on dogs, for example, when the dog trainer calls the dog they immediately begin running towards the trainer but pretty soon slow their pace and eventually come to a complete stop a few feet from the trainer, confused and unsure of what to do next.
Practicing the basics of “Come”
The dog trainer starts with their dog on a leash that is at least two or three meters long. The trainer doesn’t give the command to “Heel” but rather the dog follows at the end of the leash. When the trainer gives the command “Come” they immediately take a few steps backwards. The trainer has a treat in the right hand held against the body of the trainer at the height of the dogs head and the leash in the left hand.
When the dog comes up to the trainer move the hand with the treat in it up to chest height this will force the dog to look up and if the action is preformed correctly the dog will also sit at the same time. As soon as this happens reward the dog.
Pointer: The first time you try to perform this exercise you will find it very difficult to get the body posture and hand movements just right. It is better to practice without the dog till you have it perfected before trying it for real. Simply practice using another dog trainer or the course instructor in place of the dog.