Let's start with the "Come Command"
The "come command" is perhaps one of the other most important commands that you want your dog to know and one of the most difficult for him to learn.
When you need to use the come command it might be when he has ran out of the house or when he is in a dangerous situation.
Therefore, in order for the come command to be effective, you need to stay calm, no matter how frightened you may be for his safety. If you run after him in a panic, he will only run faster and farther away. If you stay calm, your dog will more likely move towards you.
The come command should only be given for a very positive experience and you should praise him lavishly when he responds correctly.
For example, if you say Rover, come and then you give him a bath, he will associate come with a bad experience (if he doesn't like baths.)
Or, if you say Rover, come and point out an accident that he made three hours ago and you scold him, he will associate the come command with a scolding.
Therefore, every time you use the come command there should be a positive reward and lots of praising words waiting for him. He should want to come to you no matter where he is or what he is doing.
The best way for your dog to learn the come command is through practice, practice, and more practice. Start by standing on the other side of a room from your dog. Say Rover, come. As soon as he comes all the way up to you praise him "yes Rover, good boy!" and give him a treat.
Repeat this as often as you can. He will quickly realize that you have a hand full of treats and will sit right by you so try different things. For example, go to another room and say Rover, come. If he comes, praise him and reward him.
You could also try practicing this exercise down a long hallway or from another side of the house. Have another family member help you and you can make a fun game out of it, sort of like hide and seek.
There are many ways that you can practice this command, but the key is to practice it often and always have a positive reward waiting for your dog. It doesn't have to be a treat; it could also be a toy, a walk, a belly rub, etc.
If you are in a situation, for example you are out in your front yard, your dog is loose and he does not respond to your come command, he might not fully understand it yet. In that case, you could try a couple of other options.
First, you could offer him a treat. Rover, do you want a treat? Be sure to say it enthusiastically and will hopefully come running to you in excitement.
Second, you could try to ignore your dog. For example, he may want you to chase him. But if you ignore him instead, he will wonder what it is you have found that is more interesting than him, so he may come up to you.
A loose dog can be a frightening situation, so the more you can practice this exercise, the more your dog will trust that you have a wonderful reward waiting for him!
It would be worthwhile you take some time and help your dog learn this exercise properly.
I also suggest, if you haven't already done so, to invest in a dog training guide. There are plenty of the market and well worth the small cost. I would recommend SitStayFetch @ http://largedogbreedz.com/housetrain.htm for dog obedience and commands.
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