Ok, time for a new trick of the week. This time I am going to teach you how to teach the command "COME." This is just as important for your dog to learn as sit/stay.
Difficulty: 3 (1 is easiest and 5 is hardest)
Things Needed: A six foot leash, treats or favorite toy (optional)
Ok, read the trick of the week about teaching the sit/stay command first. That command will be needed to teach the "Come" command.
Once your dog has mastered the stay command you can teach him/her to come when called. Put your dog in the sit/stay position and leave, going to the end of the six foot leash. After awiting one miniute, give your dog a very happy sounding "Come." You can clap your hands or open your arms wide, inviting your dog to rush to you. As soon as he/she reaches you, give the sit/stay command, making sure that your pet stops right in front of you. As soon as he/she does, give him/her a lot of praise.
There is one thing you must never ever do. IF your dog does something that displeases you, and then comes to you, never, and I mean NEVER scold or otherwise show anger toward him/her. The dog will not understand that you are angry at him/her for something that he/she did 20 miniutes ago "over there." The only thing your dog will learn is to never come to you when you call. It takes a long time to regain a dog’s trust once you lose it.
As your dog learns to come on command, you can use a longer leash to make him/her come from further away. You should also practice this exercise in as many different places as you can, so the dog can learn to come to you no matter where you are.
I know this is really more of a command than a trick, but it will help a lot of you. Most people can’t get there dog to come to them with out some kind of help. Others are lucky to have those dogs that just follow them everywhere, even with distractions. Remember, if you have any questions… just ask!