Dogs should always be supervised and on a leash when not in a secure fenced-in area.
Teaching the “come” cue:
• Practice “come” on a short, yet appropriately sized leash. First try teaching the “come” command in your house where there is less distractions. Have your dog sit or another command, and step back. Say “come” once. If the dog does not come forward, try using other sounds. Treat and Praise your dog when he walks forward, even a step is correct! This is where clicker training can also work to help catch the correct behavior. Gradually increase the distance between you and your dog. Once “come” is mastered in the house, try taking it a step further and go outside! You will need to start again on a short leash, gradually working your way up to a longer distance. Eventually go to other places, like parks, to have more distractions to encourage your dog to focus on you when asked to come back. Start slowly, praise, and use short sessions. Always end on a positive note!
• You can also try this with your kids or spouse. Having everyone in the house be able to successfully recall your dog will allow for easier times going out.
• ALWAYS praise and be clear of what you are asking. Make sure you don’t start with “come here” and then drop “here” whenever you want. Dogs need a clear, consistent cue. Also, be sure to keep your voice happy. If you are angered, your dog will sense this and stay clear from you. Don’t punish your dog if they don’t listen right away. They’ll get it eventually; they just need some encouragement along the way!
Never forget to praise, be calm and patient, and always end on a positive note.