This video shows us how to teach a dog to come to you when called. To guarantee success, the dog trainer suggests to start the training step by step, progress slowly, and use different principles.
The first step is to introduce the behavior and the cue. Start teaching this behavior to a dog in an environment without distractions. You can for example choose a room in your house to do this step. As shown in the video, you can toss a treat and let the dog get it. As the dog comes back to you, introduce the cue “come here” and reward him. Do this repeatedly and the dog will start to associate his action of going towards you and the cue “come here.”
Once the dog gets the general idea of responding to you when you call them, it may once again become a challenging task if he is introduced suddenly to an environment with many distractions. Therefore, foundation exercises are important to work on the dog’s attention.
Exercise #1. Check-ins. Let your dog do whatever he wants in an environment with distractions (for example parks). However, you should be prepared to mark and reward the dog the moment he makes an eye contact with you. The distractions could be other dogs or people around the park, so just let your dog look at them. Your patience as a dog owner or trainer is also needed in this exercise.
Exercise #2. “Watch Me.” Cue and reward the dog when you ask him to look at you or make eye contact. You can gradually increase how long the eye contact is sustained before rewarding the dog.
The next step is to start practicing drills with your dog. You can use a leash or not based on the attentiveness of your dog or how comfortable he is with the drill. Let your dog do whatever he wants. Call your dog and give him the cue “come here.” Once he comes to you, release the reward. Repeat this drill to increase your dog’s attentiveness and obedience.