Training a puppy to come back to you is probably one of the most important commands you'll ever teach your cocker and some day it could even save his life! Read on to learn how to teach your puppy the recall command.
When you're training a puppy I recommend you begin as early as possible before he has a chance to pick up bad habbits. Lots of early obedience training almost guarantees your Cocker Spaniel will grow into a well-behaved adult dog.
Teaching a puppy the recall command is probably one of the most important (and perhaps difficult) commands you'll teach your Cocker Spaniel.
At some point, this command may be used to remove your puppy from potential harm and it could even help to save his life!
Your objective is to get your puppy to come to you each time you call him, no matter what he's doing, or where he is, as long as he's able to see or hear you.
Training a puppy to come to you when you call him may not always be as straightforward as it sounds, particularly with Cocker Spaniels or other scent driven dogs.
He's more likely to want to sniff around in the undergrowth, following the scent of rabbits or foxes, but don't let that stop you. Keep at it!
Patience and regular puppy obedience training will help you achieve your goals.
Begin this exercise indoors, but when you can be sure you won't be disturbed and you're certain there's nothing lurking that could distract your dog.
Practice these training exercises several times during the day.
When your Cocker Spaniel has mastered the 'Come' command indoors, it's important to practice outdoors, in a well-fenced, secure garden.
Especially as most of your recalls will be outside where there will be distractions such as birds, exciting smells, or next door's cat!
When you're confident he'll come back when called, you might like to take him to the local park.
But beware! The last thing you want to happen is that your dog begins to associate the 'Come' command with being put back on his lead and taken home.
If your puppy links the two actions, he may be reluctant to come back to you when he sees his lead in your hand.
To avoid this happening, the next time you walk your puppy let him off his lead and call him back after a few minutes and put him back on his lead.
Walk him for a minute or two and then let him off again.
Practice calling him to you and putting him back on his lead several times during your walk and you'll find it won't be too long before he trots merrily back to you, despite your holding his lead in your hand.
There are a few tips I can give you to help your puppy to be successful, for example:
Puppy obedience training isn't just for puppies; it also works for an adult dog who's never been trained or who's manners have lapsed. However, with adult dog training you may need to be more patient and it may take you a little longer.
Puppies are usually happy to come to you when called but, as they get older, they become a little more inquisitive and independent. Trust me, they will try to test you!
If your puppy won't come back to you when called, try waiting a little longer. He may eventually come to you in his own time. When he does, or even if he begins to come back to you and then gets distracted, make a fuss of him.
However, don't reward him with a treat. Only give treats when your puppy responds immediately.
Training a puppy in this way, ie., rewarding good behaviour and ignoring mis-behaviour, will be much more effective and your puppy will learn more quickly.
Whether you're training a puppy, or simply out in the park with your dog, if your Cocker Spaniel won't come to you when called and decides to run off instead, don't be tempted to chase him.
All dogs love chasing games and if you go running after him he'll think it's fun and will carry on running away from you.
Instead, turn around and begin to run in the opposite direction; he'll soon turn around and begin running after you.
I understand that while watching your puppy running away from you, turning and running in the opposite direction may seem like the wrong thing to do and could be a very difficult decision to take, but trust me, it really works.
Training a puppy to respond to your commands is a very important part of his development; a well-trained puppy is a well-behaved puppy.
Once your Cocker has learned the recall command, and readily responds to it, you'll feel more relaxed about letting him off the lead.
If you've followed the advice given here in this training a puppy article, he should now come to you when you ask him to and without too much (if any) hesitation.
When training puppies, if you devote plenty of time, energy, patience and perseverance to their training, you will be rewarded with a loving, well-mannered little puppy!
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