When you have a puppy it is best to keep training sessions short. Always have a period of fun time at the begining and end of any training session.
Training starts in the home, is taking place during playtime in the garden and also whilst on a walk. You have to remember to not allow naughty behaviour just because he is a puppy. This puppy will end up a 25kg – 30kg bouncy out of control dog. So encourage the behaviour you want to have in an adult dog. Remember the puppy pulling on the end of the lead is going to be alot harder work to stop pulling when he or she is nearly fully grown. So start as you mean to go on.
It helps if you have two people initially to start the process, by having the puppy coming from one person to the other and with the pup being rewarded each time it has come to the person who has called the puppy. Whilst crouching down call out “Sam Come” (obviously replace Sam with your puppy’s name!) and have your arms outstretched and your pup should want to come to you. Have an excited sing song voice when praising him.
If your puppy doesnt come to you then you may need to resort to using a long line. So that you may have your puppy off the lead and running about, with you having a means of still catching him easily (ie you can leap on to the end of the lead if you cannot get close enough to catch hold of the collar). To train your puppy to come to you using a long line, you need to leave the lead trailing on the floor. When your puppy is near to the end of the slack of the long line, then give the long line a sharp tug whilst calling “Sam Come” at the same time. Rewarding your puppy with a treat. Repeat this process three or four times with lots of praise. Repeat in the garden as well as on a walk.
If you are confident your puppy will come to you for a treat you can have the pup off the lead for longer periods of time. You can hide behind a tree to see what your puppy’s reaction is. This is a controlled way of finding out if your puppy is likely to scarper!
If you want to have a bit more confidence about letting your dog off the lead you could plan to walk with a friend whose dog is well behaved and WILL come back when called. You recall the older dog then the pup and both should come back!
If your puppy does run in the wrong direction and is not coming to its name then you have two safety net methods to use in an emergencies only. Please note these are NOT training methods. They are ideas to resort to when things fall apart.
1) Providing your puppy does give you a backward glance – walk the other way. Your pup should want to be with you. Keep casually looking over your shoulder to see if he is following you. If he isnt then clearly this method is not right for this occassion. (You may need to resort to plan b!)
2) …otherwise known as plan b. If you fall to the floor dramatically whilst crying out at the same time, as though you are in extreme pain. Your pup should want to check you are ok. Now you may feel a bit of an idiot doing this but it DOES work. (providing you are good at acting!).