It sounds easy really, doesn’t it?
You’re in the park and your puppy is off exploring. You call them and they immediately come running straight to you. You give them a tasty treat as a reward and that’s it – simple!
In reality though, it doesn’t quite work out that way for a lot of dog owners. It’s very easy to end up running around the park, chasing after your puppy as you shout their name and they completely ignore you as they continue to run away from you.
At times like this it can seem like your only option is to sit down and wait for your puppy to get tired and eventually come back to you once they’ve had enough exploration and adventure.
How To Train Your Puppy To Come To You At The Park
It doesn’t have to be that way though, as it’s actually quite easy to train your puppy to come to you at your command. It’s not some great secret that only the best dog trainers can master – anyone can train their dog to do this.
You do have to know the right way to do it in order to achieve success though. You need to approach it in the right way or you’ll never get anywhere. Luckily the way you do it is quite simple, so let’s take a closer look at how to train your puppy to come to you at the park…
Don’t Chase Your Puppy
The first thing to note is very important – don’t go running after your puppy if they run away from you. Whatever else you do, don’t do this; it really is the last thing you want to do because then you’re making you chasing after them a fun game for them.
Yet, so many people make this mistake. They call their puppy to come but their puppy ignores them and moves away from them, so they follow and move closer to their puppy. Before they know it, they’re running madly around the park after their dog, shouting their name. This is great fun for your dog, but not for you!
So what do you do then?
A Few Simple Steps
Well, one thing you can do is to make sure you keep your puppy on a long line until you’ve trained them to come when you call and you’re sure they’ll respond. That is, you don’t let them off the leash until you know they’ll come back when called. Of course, all the time they’re on the long line you should be training them to come. It’s also very important not to get angry with your dog if they don’t come when called – positive reinforcement training is by far the best way to train your dog.
Secondly, when they’re at the stage where you’re starting to let them off the lead, don’t call them if you don’t think they’re going to respond. If they’re running around excitedly or have just found a really interesting new smell, they’re unlikely to come. Indeed, they may not even hear you calling them. So wait until they’re calm and relaxed before calling them.
Another useful tip is to know how to get your puppy to chase after you instead. Master that and getting your puppy to come to you is easy!
So how do you do this?
Simple – just turn away from them and move the other way. This encourages them to follow you and return to your side. If you do the opposite and move towards your puppy as you call them, you’re actually giving them mixed messages. Your call is saying come here, but in dog language by moving towards them you’re telling them to stay where they are. The next time you get a chance, watch some dogs playing together. You’ll soon notice that this is how a dog gets the other dogs to chase after them – they move away from them.
When your dog does come to you, it’s important to reward them with treats and praise so that they learn that this behavior is what you want from them.
One other thing to note is that it’s a good idea to make sure you don’t only call your dog to come to you at the end of your visit to the park. If they learn that every time you call them they’re going to be getting in the car to go home and the fun is over, they won’t be keen to come to you. So call them to come to you at other times during your visit and reward them when they obey. In this way, they’ll start to associate answering your call with good things happening, not bad things.
Follow these tips and advice on how to train your puppy to come to you at the park and you’ll soon have a well-behaved dog that’s a pleasure to take out. Not only is this safer for your dog, but it’s also much better for your mental health too – no more stress and anxiety!