How to Train Your Barn Dog to Come

Medium
4-8 Weeks
General

Introduction

If you are planning to use your dog around the barn and your livestock, it is imperative that he learns the basic commands. This includes the all-important 'come' command. Your barn dog needs to know that when you give him the 'come' command, you expect him to stop what he is doing immediately and come to you. No time to hesitate or run away--the ability to obey this command could save your dog's life or that of one of the other animals you have on your farm.

Remember, the younger you start working with your pup on basic commands such as 'come', the faster he will learn them and the more useful he will become as a barn dog. This a vital command as you never know what could happen. His leash might break, a gate or a door might be left open, who knows? But if you have successfully taught your barn dog to come, you will probably be glad you did at some point in the future. 

Defining Tasks

The plan is to teach your barn dog to come to you immediately after you give him the "Come" command. It is important he learns to do this as it can help him avoid being injured by other animals around your farm or cars going past on the roads near your farm. It is a relatively easy command to teach your pup, but it can take several weeks for him to master this skill to the point at which he will obey your command at any time in any conditions.

Some breeds are more naturally inclined to come when called than others, but with the right training, you can teach virtually any dog to come when told to. You can start training your pup at a very early age, in fact, the earlier you start, the easier it will be for your pup to learn this important skill. Bear in mind that most dogs will never learn this skill to the point where they will respond to the 'come' command 100% of the time. 

Getting Started

Since 'come' is considered one of the basic commands, you don't need much in the way of training supplies to get the job done. However, there are a few things that might make your training sessions go more smoothly. These include:

  • Treats
  • Leash
  • Quiet
  • Patience and time

Getting your dog to come doesn't sound like it should be that hard, after all, your pup should want to come running up to you when you call his name and tell him to come. Unfortunately, it never seems to work out that way. You will need to invest a significant amount of time and patience to teach your barn dog this trick. 

The On the Level Method

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Step
1
Start with a leash
Start by putting your dog on his leash and collar.
Step
2
Get down
Get down on your hands and knees in front of your pup.
Step
3
Gentle pull
Give your dog the 'come' command and pull gently on the leash.
Step
4
Reward time
When he comes to you, be sure to praise him and give him a treat for a reward.
Step
5
Remove the leash
Once he masters coming to you on the leash, take the leash off and practice until he will come to you whenever you call.
Step
6
Practice
The rest is all about spending lots of time practicing with your pup and you will soon have a barn dog that will come anytime you call him.
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The Irresistible Method

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Step
1
Find the right lure
Choose a toy or treat that your pup will find simply irresistible. You will be using it as a lure and a reward. Choose a quiet time when no one else is around to start the training process.
Step
2
Get his attention
Call your dog by name to get his attention as you walk up to him and show him the training lure.
Step
3
Now run
This time, call out his name and say "come", then turn and run away. If he follows you, give him the toy or treat and praise him when he catches up with you. Repeat this step for several days in a row.
Step
4
Stand still
Stand in place, show your pup the toy and call his name along with the 'come' command. When he comes to you, be sure to give him the toy and praise him when he does.
Step
5
New locations
Try getting him to come when called in a variety of locations around your farm until he will come to you every time he is called. Keep the training sessions positive and fun and your pup will always come to you.
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The Long Leash Method

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Step
1
Attach the leash
Attach the leash to your dog's collar.
Step
2
Your assistant
Have an assistant stand behind your pup with his hands placed under his chest to him in place.
Step
3
Hold out a treat
Fold a treat into your hand and hold it out in front of his nose while talking to him using an excited voice.
Step
4
Run away
Run away from the spot where your assistant is holding the dog. Call your dog to 'come'. You can encourage him by clapping your hands or making approving noises.
Step
5
When he runs to you
When he runs towards you say "Yes!" and praise him. When he gets to you, be sure to give him a treat.
Step
6
Repeat
Repeat this training, moving further away each time until your pup will come to you every time you call his name and tell him to come.
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Success Stories and Training Questions

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