Mastering the “Come” Command with Your Puppy
Getting a new puppy is a fun and sometimes very frustrating experience. It is hard to figure out the best time to starting training your new pup. The truth is, there really isn’t one.
I received my bundle of crazy, err joy, when he was six and half weeks old. Azzo is a full-blooded German Shepherd Dog and his family background is military and police based. Taking this into account, I knew he was going to be smart. I wanted to get started on the training as soon as possible, starting with the “come” command. Azzo was coming when called by the end of day one. How was this possible? Two words: Enthusiasm and Persistence.
I let Azzo onto our front lawn sans leash to do his business. After he was finished, I went directly into his line of sight and started slapping my thigh and saying in a high pitched, very happy voice, “Azzo, come!” I probably looked a bit crazy to my neighbors, and I was met with a blank stare by my puppy. I would not be discouraged. I did it again. And again. And again. Finally, he took a couple uncertain steps in my direction and I immediately started petting him and saying, “Good ‘come’ Azzo! Good boy!” After repeating this a couple more times, he was was happily bounding my way every time I asked him to. In addition to learning to come when called, Azzo also started learning his name.
Your puppy may be different. He or she may come the very first time you ask them to, or they may take much longer. The most important part is to not get discouraged. Early training, even if it doesn’t seem like they’re understanding, can help prevent bad habits from forming. Keep at it, and make sure to give lots of praise when puppy does what you ask of him or her. Dogs are a lot smarter than we give them credit for, sometimes they just need a little extra encouragement and patience.
***Azzo’s speed at coming when called started to decrease when he was about 10 weeks old, as he was starting to want to sniff around more often. I nipped that in the bud by carrying a nice smelly dog treat with me to give him when he came. Worked like a charm.***
Julia Ruggiero is a new blogger, but has a successful history in training puppies. Penny's Choice has asked her to start a guest post segment called "A Day in the Life of Azzo" to share some of her success stories, and some of her failures as well! Tune in an follow Azzo as he grows up!
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