How to train your Golden Retriever to come on command


If you have recently received a Golden Retriever it will be vital to teach it to come to you when you call it. Fortunately, Golden Retrievers are highly intelligent dogs so it shouldn’t be too much of a challenge. 

There will be three stages in teaching your Golden Retriever to come to you when you call it. First, you will need to teach it to sit when you tell it to. Then you will need to teach it to stay. Finally, you can teach it to come on command.

To teach your Golden Retriever to sit you can do the following:

  1. Get your Golden Retriever infront of you and have some treats that it likes. 
  2. Use one of the treats to lure it into the sit position by holding the treat above its head. It should sit naturally but you might need to wait for a while. 
  3. Reward it with the treat when it sits.
  4. Continue to do the above until your Golden Retriever sits as soon as you raise the treat.
  5. Now say “sit” before raising the treat. continue to reward it for doing so. 
  6. Now you will start to get it to sit simply by saying “sit.” At first, you might need to show it the treat after a few seconds but after a few attempts it should figure out that “sit” means to sit.
  7. Repeat the above until you only need to say “sit” once.

You can watch the video after the section below to see how to teach your Golden Retriever to sit.

Once you have taught your Golden Retriever to sit it will be time to teach it to stay. If you just want to see how it’s done then just watch the video below.

You can teach your Golden Retriever to stay by doing the following:

  1. Get your Golden Retriever in front of you and have some treats that it likes.
  2. Say “sit” and then say “stay.” 
  3. Wait for half a second and then reward it for keeping its attention on you.
  4. Continue to say “sit” then “stay.” Each time you do it increase the duration that you make it keep its focus on you for. Be careful not to make a large jump in how long you get it to wait for as the idea is to reward it for doing it correctly. 
  5. Now make it stay while it is being distracted by a toy. Start by just showing it the toy. Start by just holding the toy in front of it then build up to actually throwing the toy.
  6. Repeat step 5 until you can get it to stay even when you’re distracting it with the toy. 

You can watch the video below to see how it is done. 

Now that you’re able to get your Golden Retriever to sit and stay it will be much easier to teach it the “come” command. 

If you just want to see how it’s done then watch the video below.

You can watch how it’s done in the section below:

  1. Go to an open area with your Golden Retriever. It can be a park, back yard or even a large room. Bring some treats with you and a long leash if you have one.
  2. Start by telling it to “sit” and “stay” then reward it for doing so.
  3. Now tell your Golden Retriever to “stay” but this time take some steps backward after you say “stay.”
  4. After you have taken a few steps back go back to your Golden Retriever and reward it for staying.
  5.  Continue to do steps 3 and 4 but each time you do it increase the distance that you step back.
  6. Now do steps 3 and 4 again but this time wait for a few seconds before going back to reward it. 
  7. Now tell it to “sit” and “stay” then go back a few steps and say “come.” You might need to entice it to come to you by making hand gestures or by showing it a treat.
  8. Repeat step 7 each time you do it add some distance to how far you go back.

Watch the video below to see how it’s done

Why to teach your Golden Retriever to come on command

There are a number of reasons that you should teach your Golden Retriever to come on command. Below, I will mention a number of them. 

Makes socializing easier

Being able to get your Golden Retriever to come to you when you call it will help you in social situations. This is because you will be able to get it to be better behaved around guests and you will be able to get it to come to you when you need it to. 

You’ll have an easier time walking it

It will make walking it easier because you will be more easily able to get it to come back to you at the park and you will be able to get it to stay still when you need it to.

Prevent it from getting injured

Dogs will often get injured when they run away. By being able to get your Golden Retriever to come to you when you call it you’ll be able to prevent it from getting injured more easily.

It will be more responsive to you

Since the “come” command is one that you can practise regularly it is a good way to keep it responsive to your command. This will help to prevent bad behaviors as it will see you as the leader and it will make teaching it other things easier.

Things to consider

When you’re teaching your Golden Retriever to “come” there are some things to keep in mind to make it an easier process.

Be patient

The “come” command is not an easy one to teach to your Golden Retriever. You will likely find that it will take multiple training sessions to effectively get it to come to you when you call it. 

While you are actually training it it’s important to have patience as well. The idea is to reward it for making small steps towards what you want it to do. This means that you should avoid making large jumps in what you ask of it.

Instead of expecting your Golden Retriever to come to you when you call it after one training session it would be better to take a long term approach to the training and to expect it to take multiple sessions.

Give it lots of exercise

To get your Golden Retriever to keep its attention on you more easily it would be best to make sure that it is getting lots of exercise. If it doesn’t get lots of exercise then it will likely cause it to become hyper active and it will result in it being harder to keep you Golden Retriever’s attention.

Start in easy environments

The environment in which you train your Golden Retriever can have a big impact on how easy it is to keep its attention on you.

With that being the case, it would make things easier on you if you were to start in an environment where there are not so many distractions like a large room or a back yard. Then you can build up to training it in an area where there are more distractions.

Age

You should keep in mind the age of your German Shepherd. If it is still young then it will likely be harder to keep its focus on you but it will be beneficial to train it while it’s young since you’ll be able to get it into good habits when it’s older.

Do it regularly

It’s important to reinforce the training regularly so that your Golden Retriever stays responsive to the “come” command. 

Related questions

Why won’t my Golden Retriever come when outside? If you can get your Golden Retriever to come when you’re inside but it won’t when outside then don’t be upset since it’s not an uncommon occurrence.

When you’re both outside there are a lot of things that can distract your Golden Retriever which can make it harder to keep its focus on you. To deal with this, it will be necessary for you to train it outside again from the start.

Why won’t my Golden Retriever come when distracted? If you can’t get your Golden Retriever to come when it’s being distracted then you should make sure to teach it to stay when being distracted by using the steps above.

When you teach it to come to you on command start out by doing it in a less distracting environment and then gradually build up to teaching your Golden Retriever to do it in tougher ones.

For example, start out by teaching your Golden Retriever to come inside, then in your backyard and then in a park.

If you would like learn everything that you need to know about how to have a happy, healthy and well-behaved Golden Retriever, take a look at this Golden Retriever ebook.

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