How to Train a Dog to Come to You!
I have to confess. I have owned and trained dogs my whole life, starting when I was seven years old. The point of this story is to tell you how to train a dog to come to you.
The key is to start the training sessions as soon as they arrive at your house. Dogs are very eager to learn, and they will learn over time.
For the initial steps of the training session, I suggest that you use hand signals with the dog. I have found that if you do this, and you are consistent, the dog will respond to your hand signals and you will be the supervisor of the training session.
Now, that we have settled the dog will respond to hand signals, how do we begin the training session? We tell the dog to sit down on the floor in front of us. We tell them to stay (stay) until they get a reward. We use verbal praise, but also touch the dog lightly. The dog will learn to “think” that good behavior is rewarded, and that bad behavior is punished. That is how they learn the rules of the session, and it will be much easier for them to learn that.
As I have said before, consistency is king. As long as you are consistent in how you reward your dog when he does the right thing, the dog will follow. If you use the same reward, every time, it will be much easier for them to learn to come to you. You will always be giving your dog the reward regardless of what they do wrong. To give the dog a reward, we tell them to walk over, pick up their leg, etc. As long as you are consistent, the dog will respond and know what they are expected to do, and they will learn fast.
The next piece of advice I have is… if you are training your dog to walk on a leash, use a harness, but if you are training him to sit on the floor, use a collar. Why? Because a harness may not allow him to fall over, which may frighten him, and may cause the dog to not stay. If you are training him to sit on the floor, and if you are training him to stay on a leash, I suggest you use a harness or collar, just make sure you use the same one each time. That way your dog will learn and will be familiar with the harness or collar for their particular action.