How to Teach Your Puppy a Come To Me Team: 12 Rules by Victoria Stilwell
Ekaterina Kastritskaya, psychologist, specialist in animal therapy, consultant on animal behavior and well-being
The “To Me” team is the most important team in the life of any dog, the key to its safety and your peace of mind. How to teach a puppy to the “To me” team?
12 rules for training a puppy team "To me
One of the most famous Victoria Stilwell trainers offers 12 rules for training a puppy for the “To Me” team:
- Start training your puppy or adult dog the moment they get into your home. Do not wait for the puppy to grow up. The sooner you start training, the easier and more efficient the process.
- Use a variety of ways to promotewhen the puppy runs up to you: praise, a treat, a toy, a game. Every time you pronounce the puppy’s name and the “To me” command, and he runs up to you, turn this into a fun and joyful event. Let the team come to me! will become a fun and valuable game for a puppy. In this case, the puppy will adore when you call him.
- At the beginning of training go down to puppy level. Do not hang over it - crawl on all fours, squat or kneel, tilt your head to the ground.
- Do not make the huge mistake that many owners make - don't be boring or scary for the puppy. The more you motivate the dog, the more willing it will be to run towards you. Puppies adore following people, and only improper training can discourage it.
- When the puppy runs up to you, be sure to grab it by the collar or harness. Sometimes dogs learn to run up to the owner, but not close enough to reach them. This happens in cases where the owner calls the puppy just to take him on a leash and lead him home. Dogs are smart and quickly learn that in this case it is better not to get too close to the owner. Teach your puppy to run close to you, grab him by the collar or harness, reward and release again. Then your dog will not know why you are calling her: take on a leash or reward royally.
- Call your puppy for fun and never scold a dog if she runs up to you. Even if the dog ignored you a hundred times, but came a hundred and first, vigorously praise her. If your dog learns that when she finally comes up, you get angry, you teach her to run away from you.
- Use an assistant. In turn, call the puppy so that he runs from one person to another, and each vigorously praises the baby for the fact that he ran to the call.
- Remember that puppies quickly get tired and lose interest, so classes should be short and end at the moment when the baby is still ready and eager to learn.
- Use a signal (gesture or word) that is clearly visible or audible to the dog. Make sure the puppy can see or hear you at the time of the call.
- Gradually increase the difficulty level.. For example, start at a short distance and increase it gradually after making sure that the dog performs the command “Come to me!” at the previous level.
- When difficulty increases, the value of the reward also increases.. The more irritants, the higher should be the motivation of the dog. Use what your dog loves the most to reward her for obedience, especially in the presence of irritants.
- Say the command "To me!" just one time. If you repeat the command because the puppy does not obey, you teach him to ignore you. At the training stage, do not give the team, if you are not sure that the puppy is able to fulfill it, and if given, then do everything to attract the attention of the pet and encourage him to run to you.
You can learn more about raising and training dogs with humane methods and learn how to train your dog yourself by becoming a participant in our video course on dog training using positive reinforcement.