Come When Called – Layer 1

For most of us, the first word that comes to mind when we want to call our dog is ‘come’.  If you have a new puppy in your home and you have never before used the word ‘come’, then you are one of the few for whom I would say it is okay to use the word ‘come’ to call your dog.

For the rest of us, whether your dog is older but new to you or because you have been saying ‘come’ for months or years with limited success, I strongly recommend that you pick a new word before starting the “Come When Called” exercises.

Why “come” isn’t a good recall cue

For the majority of dog owners, we have inadvertently taught our dog that the word ‘come’ means something unpleasant is about to happen to you:

  • You will be put on leash
  • Play time with dog friends is over
  • When you do come to me, I will yell at you
  • It’s time to come inside
  • And so on….

Rather than trying to re-teach our dog that the word ‘come’ is now going to mean good things for you, it will be much easier for you to pick a new word.  This is your chance to start fresh and teach your dog that coming to you when called means:  good things for you!

Select a new word

Other possibilities for your “come when called” word are:

  • here
  • to me
  • with me
  • touch
  •  cookie
  •  …pick your own.  Just make sure that it is a word you are not embarrassed to call out in public!!


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