Now that you have started your dog off on the right paw, you should both be ready for exercise 2. As with all training, if you have not practiced daily and implemented the exercises from last week, you shouldn’t move to this step. It is unfair to your dog. We aren’t expected to go from first grade to high school, so let’s not ask that of our dogs.
For this week you and your dog will be doing this exercise as well as last week’s exercise. You will be taking advantage of your dog’s natural instinct to chase! Only this time your dog will be chasing you!. Have your dog’s collar and leash on inside. Have tons of those “special, yummy treats” that your dog LOVES and only gets for the “come” command in your pocket. *Remember, you are only giving the “come” command to your dog inside up to this point.
Allow your dog to wander away from you inside. Perhaps he will start sniffing a vase, or a laundry basket. As soon as he becomes interested in something other than you, give him the command: “ Buddy, come!” while simultaneously placing the treat directly in front of his nose. The moment he turns and looks @ you back up a few feet, praise him and give him the treat!
What this exercise teaches dogs is; if they are investigating something and they hear their owner say that word “come”, that the reward for spinning on a dime and leaving that distraction is wonderful! Thus he will repeat the good behavior. And that’s just what we want!
If you want to train your dog to be really good @ this command, make sure of the following:
• You call your dog with a happy voice.
• You place the treat directly in front of his nose as you call him. Not by your side, or by his body, but stick it right in front of his wet nose! Dogs aren’t mind readers and if you are standing there giving him the command and he doesn’t know that you have something better, why should he go to you?
• Timing is key! The second he turns around and does come, praise him like a crazy person! Gooooood Come! Yes! That’s greaaaaaat!
• Do not do this off leash.
• Do not do this without food at point of training.
• Only use “mild” distraction.
• Only say the command one time.
WHAT IF …?
Your dog is really distracted by something when you are practicing this exercise; then the distraction is too much for him @ this point in training. Use a milder distraction. If you are using a mild distraction, and your dog is not coming to you with enthusiasm, then get a tastier treat and / or praise him with more gusto!