Come Here Command
The come command is another useful tool for managing annoying puppy behaviors. This command helps keep a dog out of trouble or gives him a job to do. If he escapes the fenced yard or bolts out an open door, the come command can also save his life. This foundation skill is one that the two of you will use and refine for the rest of his life.
How to Teach Come
To teach the come:
- Clip a light line to your dog’s collar and let him drag it around.
- After he is accustomed to the line, pick up the end and hold it as you follow him around the yard. As he gets used to this, he’ll begin to understand that the two of you are attached.
- With your marker word in mind—“yes”—and a few treats, walk backward, encouraging him to follow along. When he twirls around and comes toward you, say “Yes!” and treat. Tell him that he’s the cleverest dog in the world.
- Begin to pair the behavior with the word “come.” Every time he responds correctly, praise and reward him. Make the come command a game that your puppy wants to play.
- Don’t get in the bad habit of yelling “Come come come come” multiple times if your dog does not respond. Remember the one-word, one-command rule: Once your dog understands the command, if he does not come the first time you ask, go to him and gently guide him to where you want him to be. If you stand in the yard or at the door and holler repeatedly, he either doesn’t understand the command yet or you are expecting too much too soon.
- Never call a dog to come for discipline. If so, you will teach him to associate the command with a negative consequence. If your dog is behaving badly, always go to him rather than calling him to you.