Come & Seek Game- Teaching Come

Come and Seek Game.

Come and Seek is a fun game for teaching your dog to come to you. This game can be just as much fun for your dog as playing ball. When playing ball, the dog runs to get the ball and then returns it to you for another round. With Come and Seek, you can train your dog to come to you with the same enthusiasm as playing ball. Come and Seek is the foundation for teaching your dog to come on command in any situation.

Come and Seek is an indoor game. Once your dog understands the game, the leash is removed. The game is only played indoors where there are no distractions like rabbits or squirrels that cause your dog to lose focus on you and the game.

To begin, stand close to your dog while holding the leash in one hand and a delicious treat in the other. In a cheerful tone, say "come" and gently give a light pop on the leash to cue your dog to move toward you while you simultaneously take a few steps backward. Use the treat to guide your dog into a close sitting position in front of you. Repeat this exercise several times while keeping your dog on the leash.

When your dog is almost beating your light pop to move, remove the leash. If your dog is familiar with commands "wait" or "stay," use a command to keep your dog in place as you move a little further away before calling. If your dog is not familiar with these commands, have a helper hold the collar while you move away and get in a position to call. Once you call your dog, your helper lets go of the collar so the dog can run to you. Again, use a treat to draw your dog into sitting close in front of you. When your dog is sitting in front, reward it with a treat and lots of praise.

Every time you repeat calling your dog, move a little further away when you say “come.” The game can also turn into a round-robin for all members of the household to play. For instance, after your helper lets go of the collar and your dog has come to you, your helper moves a little further away from you and the dog. As you hold the collar, your helper calls the dog and backs up to invite the dog to sit close in front. The game goes back and forth and each time the person calling the dog moves further away.

As your dog learns to run to you, make the game harder and hide behind something, graduating to hiding in different rooms and even closets. When the hiding places are harder for your dog to find you, call his name repeatedly until he gets close, using his name like a sonar beacon to track you. When your dog is close, say “come” and use your treat in the same manner as above to get your dog sitting close in front. Often the dog will use his nose to find you, and that can lead to a bunch of new fun games for you and your dog.

Discover how to train your dog by understanding their motivation and thought processes, without using force, fear, or bribery.

Gail Clark

K9 Shrink

Canine Behavioral Psychologist

Come & Seek

come & seek with helper

Come & Seek-Hide