Hi, I’m Melisa, and my Great Dane Oscar was a handful when I got him. He was four months old, and the previous owner had not trained him.
It was, therefore, a struggle to stop him from running after every moving thing he was.
Taking walks with him on a forest train was a pain, and more than one’s he’s managed to yank the leash of my hand and run off chasing squirrels and other small creatures.
Stopping these incidences was the main reason I had to teach Oscar to come to me. It took a while, and now he’s as obedient as ever.
Here are some tricks that helped me.
Table of Contents,
Understanding the importance of the command “come”
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I’d never had a life-threatening moment, but I was always scared that Oscar would be fixated on something and run across the road into traffic.
That’s what makes the “come” command so important. It is a lifesaving skill for when your dog is in potential or actual danger.
So when you’re doing it, remembering the purpose helps you work through the frustration, especially when training an older puppy.
Apart from understanding why your beloved friend needs to understand the command, you also have to be in a posture that facilitates learning for them.
It means having a strong bond and having treats to give them when they do something right.
High-quality treats are among the tools used to train dogs as it signals to them; they have done something that is encouraged.
Even when Oscar would ignore my command the first few times I said it, it just meant I had to be patient and reward him when he got it right. It meant extra play time as well.
Positive association with their name
Pets take a while to catch on their name, and that’s why you have to be purposeful about it. Though we are talking about dogs, my friend’s cat called Cat (I know!) always responds with a soft purr when you call him.
He will look at you when you call him the first time, the second time he’ll make his way to you because it signals playtime or a treat.
You have to be the same with your dog. When they hear their name, it needs to be associated with love from you. That is why yelling at your dog is unhelpful and stunts their training. If anything, they become fearful and less obedient.
Start in your yard
I found that starting in the yard was simplest. I’d put him on one side and cross over. I’d them tell him to come, and every time he walked or ran towards me, I could cheer him on.
When he got to me, I could give him a treat and pet him.
It’s essential to make the command “come” synonymous with a good thing. Don’t do something like take something out of his mouth or scold him or the like when he comes to you. Always use positive reinforcement when training.
I used a toy snake and a treat to make Oscar’s time hard. When your dog is distracted, it’ll be hard for them to come to you.
That’s why you should create obstacles for them until they are obedient to your command. I’d put the treat slightly out of his way and tell him to come.
If he first went to the treat, he would get nothing, but we’d try it again. Later he learned if he ignored the treat, there was more he got from me. It helps ensure that your furry pet knows that coming to you first is the best thing for them.
Get a helper
If you have someone to help you, it’s even more comfortable. One person can hold the puppy while the other creates distance.
The person far away can then wave a tug toy, and when the dog runs toward them, give them a treat and play with them. Continue doing so a few times and then introduce the word “come.” Gradually increase the distance until they get it.
It doesn’t stop there
Even when they get the command, the training doesn’t stop there as this eBook will tell you. You have to use it throughout his life so that it remains with him.
You can also use it when you want to him to come to you and play, when it’s feeding time, going for walks or when you want him by your side for a snuggle.