Training your dog to obey basic commands gives you a chance to interact with your dog and bond with him. In addition, training your dog to come when called is a basic command that every dog should know. By training your dog to come when called, you will have more control over your dog's behavior.
Fortunately, training your dog to come when called is simple with a little patience, a little time and some treats that your dog enjoys.
How to Train Your Dog to Come when Called
To train your dog to return to you on command, you will need to start working with your dog in a calm environment where your dog is unlikely to be distracted. Do not attempt to teach this behavior if your dog is excited or barking.
When your dog is calm and relaxed, step a few feet away from your dog and call him toward you. Do not move far away. Move just far enough that your dog is likely to follow you when you get his attention. Use a command such as "come here" and reward your dog with a treat when he comes to you. If he does not come, do not punish him. Simply do not reward him.
Work with your dog in this fashion for 10-15 minutes a few times each day. Do not make the training sessions long and try to make them as fun for your dog as you possibly can.
When your dog is responding consistently to your command to come at a distance of a few feet, try moving a bit farther away from your dog and repeat the exercise. Always reward him with a treat when he comes to you.
Training Your Dog to Focus on You
Make a habit of placing the treat right in front of your face before giving it to your dog. This trains your dog to look at and focus on you when you command his attention.
When training your dog in this fashion, always reward positive behavior and never be stingy with the treats. Never punish your dog if he does not perform properly. Simply try again later and reward him appropriately when he does obey your command.
Soon, your dog will be coming to you regularly when you call him and will be focusing intently on you once he returns to you.
Once your dog is responding to you consistently in an environment without distractions, you can start working with him in other situations when you would like to be able to call him back to you as needed, such as when another dog is approaching in an aggressive fashion or when your dog is exhibiting unwanted barking behavior.