Come: Calling your dog
Teaching your dog to come to you requires lots of successful repetition. Its hard to get this because a lot of people call their dog for things they don’t like, such as coming in from the yard or to leave the dog park.
A hand target and “find it” can get you lots of good practice calling your dog. This drill is great because you build a strong reinforcement history. You also develop a positive association with the dog’s name. Plus, it makes recall fun.
The benefit of the hand target is that it brings the dog all the way to you. That way you avoid drive by returns, when the dog comes to you but runs right past you.
I like to say “(dog’s name), Come!” at times when I don’t seriously need the dog to come to me immediately. I use a hand target (dog’s name “touch”) for important times, and I always reward it.
As you can see we are starting in a low distraction area, the dog’s living room. He has already been taught a hand target and a “find it” but this is making those cues even more strong.
In this drill I am working with my mother’s 12-old chihuahua who is only now getting some training! Even old dogs can learn.