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Information Connection: Training Your Dog to Come

All Pet Articles

Does your dog come when called?

By Sally the Trainer, of

For more tips on helping your dog be his or her best, see

Sally's Angel Training Tip: The Elusive Command "Come"

Getting your pup to come is probably one of the toughest commands in existence. I know it is for me. I work on it from day one. Scout, our service dog in training, came to us at 7 weeks and we started then. He certainly won't be able to help anyone if he won't come when called. Remember, especially with a pup, start with short distances and not in open areas, unleashed. Believe me he'll find many more wonderful things to check out than you. So here are some tips.

1. When the pup comes make it the best thing he has ever done. Make it a game. The payoff has to be big. Lots of excitement.

2. Say "Come", then "Good Come", then praise, praise, praise when he comes to you on his own. For a puppy you can pat your leg, wiggle fingers on the floor, act silly or squeak a toy to get the pup to come. You could call him every ten minutes or every time you turn around. But, again, initially make it short distances and not when he has his lips around something good because you'll lose. Call "come" when you know he'll choose you.

3. Do it on and off leash in the house and on leash outside. (Advanced training is off leash in open areas. Not the subject of this tip.)

4. Even if he just takes a few steps towards you (even sideways) say "Good Come, Yeah Yeah Yeah, Good Boy etc."

5. Hide behind a door or wall and say "Come Fido" and wait (a game). He will come looking. And praise praise praise. Patience is the key to all of this. Sometimes they are slow to respond. But they get quicker.

6. When on leash, jog backwards and say, "Fido Come" and as he trots towards you, say "Good Come" etc.

7. When you are in the house or anywhere, have a favorite toy(s) that he never gets to play with but would love to. (I have a little stuffed man that vibrates. He would love to haul that to a corner and rip it to shreds.) Call him and show him the toy or lay it in front of you. When he comes use the same praise routine and let him mouth it but not keep it. He gets to mouth it because that is why he came. Again, make it a game and lots of praise.

8. When using treats to lure a dog, use maybe three to 5 times in a row, then sporadically, then eventually not at all. Make sure to give dogs lots of verbal praise as well. At some point that is all they will get.

9. The more you use the "Come" in a win situation, the more the dog will do it.

10. Remember to never call the dog when you are angry because the pup will associate anger with the command and won't want to come near you. It is too important of a command.

Note: I need home video clips of puppies or dogs in action doing something funny or fun for my Puppy Power Video. I thought I'd have time with this pup to do lots of filming but . . . If you have something Email me with your address at and I'll mail you a release. Thanks Sally

Check out the training tip archives at and the Sally's Angels cards.


Special note on Sally's Angels: is a fun site about and for service dogs.  Service dogs are our passion. Service Dogs really do make a difference in people's lives. They truly are angels.

Thanks for the free tips, Sally. Mindconnection is proud to host your article, and we recommend to anyone interested in dogs.
-- Mark Lamendola,

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