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Al's Dog Training Tips

Coming When Called – It’s Good to Come. You Must Come

The topic today is coming when called – It’s good to come. You must come. So I’ve been talking quite a bit about coming when called the past few weeks. And I want to talk about it a little bit more today because I think I need to go into a little bit more detail about the transition between when we’re genuinely doing 100% rewards based coming when called to beginning to tell the dog that they must come while compelling the dog to come.

Treat Toss Game

Okay, so let me set up the treat toss game for you all. In this game, several things are going on. Let me talk about the nonverbal stuff that is going on first. So the first thing is I’m trying to activate the dog’s nose and eyes onto my hand. So the way that I do that is I put a piece of food in my hand, and then I rapidly shake my wrist, and I put that right up to the dog’s nose and eyes.

The reason I do that is once I have the dog engaged with that shaking movement, I’m going to throw the piece of food underhand away from me. And in the beginning, I’m going to be throwing it at a wall.

The next nonverbal thing that I’m going to be doing is using a wall to turn the dog. That’s wall pressure, some spatial pressure on the animal to get them to turn around. And then when the dog turns around again, I’m going to be using that full activation of the eyes and the nose by shaking my hand again to get the dog to come back to me and then drop the piece of food that’s in my hand right behind my heels.

These three things, the shaking of my hand at the beginning, using the wall to turn the dog, and the vibration of my hand at the end, help the dog to understand, to go out, to turn around, and to come back. And then I just label these three actions with some words. The first words are, “Are you ready?” And then, as the dog is turning, I’m going to say their name. (I’ll use Jericho’s name for now.) So it’ll be “Jericho come”. And then I begin to say “good dog” quite a bit as the dog is coming back. Okay. So that’s the base game. You can’t stay there. But it’s an excellent place to start. And I’d suggest to anybody, maybe a week or two of playing it this way.

Are You Ready?

The next step that I take is I still ask the dog if it’s ready by shaking my hand and activating those nose and eyes, throwing the piece of food to the wall, calling the dog as they begin to come. However, now when they come back to me, I am still shaking my hand most of the time, sometimes I’m not, but I’m shaking my hand most of the time.

And then when they get to me, if they tap their nose to my hand, I immediately say “good dog”. Then reach into a treat pouch that will either be in front of my waist or behind my back. There’s some timing in there, though. The timing is that as I’m shaking my hand as the dog is coming back when they touch my hand, the moment they feel my hand, I’m going to say, “good dog”.

If you’re using a clicker, you could click right there. And then that’s what causes me to go into the treat pouch to grab the food and give it to them. Then I begin to transition. Okay, so let me get to this last part because I feel this last part is maybe one that I haven’t shared enough of.

Nose To Hand

Okay, so same game. I’m going to ask the dog, are you ready as I activate their nose and eyes. And then I’m going to throw that piece of food to a wall. When they get there, I’m going to call them again. (We’re using Jericho for now.) “Jericho come,” the dog turns, “good dog”, and then what I’m going to do is when the dog is going to come back to me, it’s going to touch my hand with its nose. When it feels my hand with its nose, I’m going to say “good dog”. And then, with the opposite hand, what I’m going to do is I am going to grab the collar firmly.

As I’m saying, “good dog”. I’m going to pull the dog into me a little bit as I reach back around my back to grab food and then liberally feed the dog as I’m holding onto their collar with a little bit of pressure, maybe not even a little bit, perhaps a moderate amount of pressure.

You’re not trying to correct. You’re just trying to have the dog know that when you call them, sometimes you’re going to grab the collar, and I want you to be prepared for that because this is where you’re actually teaching the dog that you’re going to be putting a leash on them. And this is the transitional step that I’m taking as I’m going from letting them know it’s good to come to beginning to show the dog that you must come.

This is the step that I want to get pretty good at before I start doing some long-line recalls and teaching the dog that they have to come back to me so I can handle them. I’m preparing the dog to, be off-leash at some point soon.

Okay. I hope that one was useful for you guys. If it was, why don’t you send me a little bit of feedback? Some of you all are doing an excellent job of that, and I appreciate it.

So if you’d like to send me some feedback, my text messaging line is 832-7345 189. And here’s a thought. I’m on a lot of different platforms. YouTube, Tik Tok, Facebook, and Instagram. If you would like to see a demonstration of what this looks like, let me know by sending me a text and which platform you would prefer for me to demonstrate it on.

I can go live on any one of those and perhaps show you guys what those steps look like. Also, you can find more tips like this right here on my website

Happy Training!

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