Teaching your Lab puppy the “come” command may take some time, but it’s achievable as long as you remain consistent throughout training. Don’t make the mistake of being inconsistent: your dog will think he or she doesn’t always have to obey. This will make future training more difficult.
Follow these four steps to stay on the right track while teaching your Labrador puppy to “come” on command:
1. Let your Labrador puppy explore
The first thing you need to do is place a collar on your Lab puppy with a long line (25 ft.) attached to it. Let your Labrador roam freely in your home for a while so that they get used to wearing these accessories.
2. Start training your Lab puppy at home
Next, you want to practice saying the “come” command while giving the leash a gentle pull. If your puppy comes, reward them with a treat and praise right away. If your dog refuses to come or pulls on the leash, patiently wait until your puppy relaxes and try the command again until he or she obeys.
The most important thing to remember while doing this is to remain calm. Reacting in a way other than relaxed and positive only sends your Labrador puppy the wrong message. They will either think you’re dissatisfied with them or react to your emotions negatively.
3. Take your Labrador for a walk
Once your Lab puppy is confident with the leash and lead at home, it’s time to take training outside. Take your Lab on a 15 minute walk, allowing them to explore their surroundings and get used to being in a different environment while wearing the long line.
During the 15 minutes, you need to give the “come” command at least 3 times. As you say “come,” gently tug the line and run in the opposite direction from your dog. Your pup should naturally follow; when he or she does this praise them and give a reward. Once your puppy is familiar with the command, you will no longer need to run away or tug at the line to get them to obey.
4. Repetition is key in Labrador training
Even when your Labrador has mastered the “come” command, regular enforcement is necessary. It’s also a good idea to practice the command in different environments so that your Labrador knows he or she is to obey no matter where you’re at.
Here, Gentlemen, a dog teaches us a lesson in humanity. – Napoleon Bonaparte