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Old 08-16-2006, 07:14 AM   #11
skunkstripe
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Well this was after he was 'pretty good' with "come". By which I mena he understood it, but sometimes decided that he did not have to come just yet.

The trick is when you are teaching him to set him up so that he ALWAYS comes when you say come. So how do you do that?

a) You happen to say 'come' when he is coming anyway. Don't laugh, it is a sneaky way of getting him to associate the word with the action.

b) You say 'come' and use some other motivator to get him to want to come to you so badly that he does it of his own free will. This could be a treat, or in the case of the hide-and-seek game, the fun and reward of finding you.

c) You can force him. This is the leash method where you have him on a leash and when you say 'come' you tug him towards you. I am not a big fan of this one.

Honestly he way I did it with Zircie was to first get him to master "sit". I used a hand signal at the same time, pointing my finger down. After that I would get him to 'stay' (hold up the flat of my hand) and back away just until he could not stand to 'stay' any longer. At the beginning this was not very far, maybe 5 ft? Then I would say 'come' since he was doing that anyway and either give him a treat or act like he had just won the Nobel prize. I would practice this for about 10 -15 minutes three times a day. Always finish off with something he does well so he does not get frustrated. Training sessions should be fun so doggy looks forward to them.
I gradually increased the distance I could back away until I could be out of sight, in the next room, downstairs. And to him when I finally said "come" it was a relief.

The only hard part was later separating out the three commands because he got used the order 'sit-stay-come'. So I would have to say 'sit' and then do something else, like 'rollover'.

Anyway, that is my I think I had a blast doing it because I am an ex-professor, and Zircon was a lot more motivated to learn than most of the human students I had.
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