How to teach my dog here – This command can be vital. In a dangerous situation, on the street, anywhere, it can be essential that your dog comes to you immediately on demand. On the dog park or in the park, however, one often experiences that masters shout the command loudly, but the four-legged friend completely ignores it. This may be amusing when it concerns a strange dog, but it can quickly become nerve-wracking with your own.
Why you shouldn’t say “Come”
Your dog is older and still cannot be retrieved reliably? That could be because of your command. Do you use the word “come” when you want your four-legged friend to come to you? Terms that we don’t use constantly in everyday life are suitable for commands. We all tend to talk a lot with our dogs and some of us downright chat with our four-legged friends. The word “come” is astonishingly frequent in our everyday lives. You should therefore think of another command to call it up. This can be “here”, “here”, but also a word from another language or even a fantasy world.
Why “here” is not easy for the dog
When you call your dog, he is usually busy doing something that he finds much more exciting than coming back. So he has to interrupt his action just to come to you, where he may then be leashed and the walk ended. Doesn’t sound tempting, does it? You shouldn’t expect a miracle here, especially with young dogs and puppies. As a rule, try not to call the dog to you if something unpleasant follows. If you want to leave the park, call him to you, reward him and play a little more round before you leave.
Find the right practice environment
The risk of your dog running away or storming onto the next street is just too bad. Besides, he can pose a danger to other dogs or himself be in danger if he storms friendly and wagging his tail towards a fearful, aggressive conspecific. For the appendix, you should therefore ideally practice in an environment with as little irritation as possible, in which your four-legged friend is not so easily distracted. A towline is particularly suitable for training. Attach this to a harness and not a collar to protect your dog from injury.
Most important requirements for the training:
possibly chest harness
Teach the dog “here”
Step 1: encourage the dog to come back
Once you have decided which command to use, you can start training. With the leash loose, let your dog move a few feet away from you. Then call him back with your command and his name. Never just call the name when you want the dog to come to you. Without the appropriate command, the four-legged friend can only guess whether he should come to you, sit or do something else. Some four-legged friends come running straight away, others prefer to continue sniffing the ground or take a quiet look around. If your dog does not come by itself, you can draw his attention to it by gently pulling on the leash. As soon as he comes running in your direction, you reward and praise him.
Important: Try to pronounce the command only once if possible. Your four-legged friend should come to you the first time you call, not the tenth. With the leash, you can correct it without having to use your voice. We recommend using a harness and not a collar. With a collar, you act directly on the cervical spine or, worse, the larynx when pulling, which can be very uncomfortable and even dangerous for your dog.
You should repeat this exercise a few times, but not so long that your dog is frustrated or bored. Every training should end positively, i.e. as long as the dog is still motivated and of course with a reward.
Step 2: increase the distance
When your four-legged friend comes back to you happily, you can give him a little more freedom of movement with the dragline. Now repeat the exercise. Your four-legged friend should still come to you on call to collect his reward. If the training goes well, you can start reducing the number of treats.
Step 3: train in an unfamiliar environment
So far you have trained with your four-legged friend in a quiet place, but as soon as the retrieval works well, it is time to switch to a lively environment. The change should not be too abrupt. So don’t train in the park today and at a festival tomorrow, but choose a place somewhere in between. Take your dog’s nature into account when choosing. Can he concentrate well or is he easily distracted? Is he afraid of busy roads? The dog should be relaxed at the training location. A little distraction is desirable, but you should still be able to call up the four-legged friend so that you can both achieve success for you.
Step 4: train off the leash
Retrieving with a leash already works? Then it’s time to leave that annoying thing out! Of course not if you have to leash or if your four-legged friend has a strong hunting instinct and you are in the middle of the forest. Some dog breeds naturally react particularly strongly to motion stimuli, including cyclists and joggers.
Sometimes dogs react more intensely to these stimuli because walking with humans seems too boring for them. In this case, you need to regain your dog’s attention. For example, you can try to distract him with search games or a new toy
However, the hunting instinct can usually never be fully controlled. Basic obedience can help, but it doesn’t mean your dog won’t run away at the sight of a rabbit. Depending on how pronounced the hunting behavior of your four-legged friend is, you should rather do without the leash. In this case, the use of a towline is recommended. Many dog schools offer special courses on the subject of the “hunting instinct” that can help you specifically with training your dog.
Step 5: Retrieve the dog despite the distraction
Does your dog reliably return to you on-demand and doesn’t even go pounding when he is off the lead? Now it is important to find out whether this also works if there are other people and especially dogs in your environment. It doesn’t matter whether you practice in the lively park, on the dog park, or the daily walk. Call your four-legged friend over and over again in between and reward him as soon as he is with you. With young dogs or very independent four-legged friends, it can take a while until the retrieval works perfectly. It is important to practice regularly. If you do not see any improvement after several weeks, we recommend training in the dog school.
Tip: In some cases, it also helps if your four-legged friend gets their daily food ration only from you. However, this is a bit difficult, especially with wet food or BARF. If the temperatures allow it, you can of course take the food with you in a sealable can or a freezer bag.