Beginning steps of 'come'


I cannot stress enough how important this command is to you and your dog.  Even if you never teach your dog another thing the command, “come”, is the one command all dogs should learn.  The word “come” can save your dog from harm time and time again.  What if a car is close to knocking your dog down, or if it is amongst aggressive dogs or people, chasing a rabbit and heading too far off in the distance; the word “come” will get your pet to come back to you immediately and you can save the dog from a bad situation.


Please note: all training should be done in short and regular intervals, in a playful and rewarding manner.  Using a toy or treats will reinforce the activity and repeat behaviour of your dog; always praise your dog using his name and give your dog a fuss when he has done well, ignore unwanted behaviour and never scold him using his name.  Remember all training can be broken down to simple steps, when feeling frustrated stop the exercise with praise and wait for a while to pass before you continue, if you’re frustrated what must the untrained dog feel like. 

They want to please you but they do not understand spoken language and it is our calm, repetitive actions that teach them to please us.  Remember when you’re feeling frustrated stop for a while.  Let a little time go by then start playing the game/training again, please take a few steps back in the training and work your way up through the stages again, rather than trying to get them to restart from the stage you stopped at. The dog will stay focused and learn faster with an owner who combines patience with praise who is willing to motivate regular practice training no matter where there are.  With this in mind, the dog will learn faster.


Please start the training immediately!

Objective: To respond, to answer to their name on first call.

This fun/training game starts the basic's of teaching the dog to respond to their name, accept a leash, it will teach him to come to you and learn to walk beside you without pulling! 

Stage one.

Have treats at the ready, drop a few treats on the floor at your feet and make sure your dog knows they are there.  Allow him to enjoy the treats, drop a few more and each time he gets a treat, say "Good Boy".  Turn a quarter turn and wait for your dog to move around with you, when he does, drop a few more treats, praising him calling out "Good Boy" when he is enjoying the treats.  Continue doing this until you have turned four times.

Stage two.

Do quarter turns again, only this time wait, and in silence.  When your dog looks up at you, immediately call out his name and give him a treat.  Turn and wait, (at the begining stages you may have to put a few more treats on the floor to keep teaching him to follow you)  but when he looks up at you, immediately call out his name and give him a treat, play the game again, quarter turns.

Stage three.

Clip his leash onto his collar for one hour supervised everyday and increasing this by twice per day.  As he walks around the house with the leash trailing on the ground, he learns that the leash is now part of him and will learn to accept it as he did with his collar.

As you go about your business in the house every now and then call out his name.  Please Note: Only Call his name once;

You will ruin the entire training if you keep calling their name over and over again. Call his name once!

If he does not turn to look at you, you must get up and go to your dog, place the treat onto his nose, “do not move the treat away from his nose” and get the dog to follow your hand getting the dogs head to turn around to face you, this is vitally important, as it will set you up for all your future training.


Once he faces you keep the treat a couple of inches away from his nose and your hand being in the direct middle evenly, ………eye-treat-eye contact.

Once you have this eye to eye contact call his name again “Rover” and at the same time give him the treat saying, “good boy Rover” in a high pitched happy voice whilst giving him a pet.

Walk away from him and repeat this exercise again in a few minutes, then in 5 mins, in 2 mins, in 8mins, continue to do so when they are least expecting it. 

Do not move on to the next stage until your dog instantly looks at you 100%


Stage four

(Your dog should now be coming to you on the odd occasion for the treat and praise.)  Start the exercise again, if he does not come to you, go to him and gently lift the leash and walk backwards and entice the dog with you using the treat.

When he catches up with you instantly give him the treat and be sure to praise him using his name.  Good boy Rover!

Drop the leash and start again when he doesn’t expect it.

It is very important to remember, he may not look at you here and there, or even come to you.  Just simply start the exercise from the stage three; go to him, turn his head, lift the lead, and entice him to come for a treat, praising him using his name. Praise the wanted behaviour and ignore the unwanted behaviour. 


Stage five.

Now that he is coming to you, as a young baby learning to walk you bend down and stretch out both your arms a little to entice them to come to you, do the same for your dog and introduce the word, “come”, “come Rover come!  Still gently pulling the leash with one hand, the treat in the other, walk backwards calling out, “Rover come”, when he catches up give him the treat giving him loads of praise using his name, make a big fuss of him. Drop the leash and start the exercise again when he is not expecting it. 

Over the next few days continue this game until he is coming to you 100%

Next step is to hold the leash for a few moments, put the treat beside your left thigh, your dogs nose must know where it is so that he can follow it, then walk around the house together in play.  Take only a few steps and give him the treat then build up the steps over time. (This will teach them to walk beside you). Then drop the leash with great praise and start again when you are ready.  Do this for a number of days all around the house and make it really fun for the dog.


Stage six.

For a few days after that, play the game without the leash, again don’t get frustrated when they slip up here and there, just simple go back to the beginning and play the game again. Try and keep yourself exciting for the dog, using a treat or toy to come and then walk beside you without the leash and then after a huge fuss, allow the dog to go back to what it was doing.   A dog will learn quicker with praise.

 Do play the game on and off leash over the next few days.  You will see the dog is enjoying walking beside the leg.

Play the exercises in different rooms and when you are in separate rooms.  Do not let them “not” respond, you must be consistent on each and every time you do the exercise.  If a dog gets away from not responding once, he will do it again.  They do learn by your actions!!

If you are in one room and your dog in the other, call out, “Rover Come,” give it a few moments and if he is does not respond, you go into the room where he is and place the treat directly on his nose.  Turn his head and entice him to the room where you called him.  When you both reach the area that you first called him this is when you give him the treat, loads of praise in a happy voice using his name.  Play the game for a few days.



No matter what training you want the above steps are the ground basis of all training. 

Dogs are sociable animals and want to be part of a family unit, but how the humans behave every time teaches the dog your rules, boundaries and limitations he has in your family unit/household.  Your actions: meaning your emotions, body language, voice control, interaction: play and training games, teach your dog acceptable behaviour. 

I always address behaviour: I address and immediately go into teaching mode when I see the unwanted behaviour and I always recognise good behaviour by making a point of praising my dog every time.  If I am consistent with my actions the dog will learn easier, faster and learns to understands what pleases you.  

Yelling and screaming does nothing to stop the unwanted behaviour when they are barking etc., but it has just taught him "you will bark" in his game and give him attention.  He is now in control of the situation and getting you / the rest of the members to react to his behaviour.  If you go into training mode every time will show your dog you are in control this will teach him he can trust you, thus building up confidence between the dog and handler. 

All training must be enjoyable by both, as it will help bond you with your dog and teach him you’re the one who’s in control and will keep everyone safe, it also helps takes  the stress away from your dog because you have gained their trust and confidence.  

If you have any problems or questions please do not hesitate to phone me, I can either help you over the phone or we can make an appointment for a one-to-one training session at the earliest convenience.  It is best if all family members are present when I come, if all the household member(s) trains the same way it will teach your dog what behaviours humans do and do not accept.  Dogs want to be sociable and want to please and what better way to teach your dog but through positive attention and rewards.  :0)