Chicago Paws Dog Training Blog

Covers positive reinforcement dog training strategies and tips. Jeff strongly believes that positive reinforcement training is the only option and he is a vocal critic of other methods. You can also find product and book reviews and clicker training tips.

Train your dog to come to you faster

There are many strategies to work on teaching your dog to come to you faster when called. One of my favorites is to work on a distance "stay", and then ask the dog to "come".

What happens very consistently is that dogs will pay attention as the trainer is walking backwards in anticipation of being released. Also, often dogs want to follow but are told they have to stay instead. "You want to come after me? Sorry you have to stay!" Think of it as reverse psychology.

After you get to the current distance, stop and wait for a moment before calling your dog. If he gets up at any point in the process, give him feedback. "Eh! Eh!" and then ask him to "sit or down stay" again. Once a dog does an opposite behavior in dog training, you can ask him to do the behavior again. Normally, you do not want to repeat cues by asking him to "Stay, stay, stay, . . . "

However, be aware that if your dog is constantly breaking his stay, you are moving away too quickly and need to build a better foundation of duration before adding distance.

When you finally ask your dog to come, use a lot of enthusiasm to trigger a fast response.

Also, do not always release your dog from a distance. Come back to your dog occasionally and release him when you are right next to him. If you always call him from a stay, what can happen is that your dog can anticipate the "come" cue after you stop and can jump the gun and release himself on his own.

So, in summary:

  • To get a fast "come" cue, work on a distance stay to build up anticipation.
  • If he breaks the stay, give him feedback, "Eh! Eh!" and ask him to stay again
  • When you ask him to "come" use a lot of enthusiasm to elicit a fast response
  • Do not always release him or ask him to "come" from a distance. Mix it up and release him after going back to him as well

Have fun, and Happy Training!
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