Shih Tzu Charlie and the Come command

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Shih Tzu is a breed of active, alert toy dogs originating in Tibet centuries ago. They stand from 8 to 11 in. (20.3-27.9 cm) high at the shoulder and weigh from 9 to 18 lb (4.1-8.2 kg). Their double coat consists of a soft, woolly under layer and a long, dense, luxurious topcoat that may be any color. A probable descendant of the Lhasa Apso, the Shih Tzu was sent as a gift by the Tibetan Dali Lamas to the Chinese emperors as early as the 16th century. In China it was crossed with the Pekingese, both breeds being referred to there as “lion dogs.” In its relatively short history in the United States, the Shih Tzu is gaining in popularity as a house pet and watchdog.

Charlie is about 2 years old. One moth ago he was adopted for the third time. After one month his new owners decided to start obedience training with Charlie because he had started trying to rule the new home and to show some attitude towards new parents – probably why he was abandoned by his other owners.

charlie Shih Tzu Charlie and the Come command


Charlie is a very bright, active, playful and well socialized but dominant little dog.

Lack of obedience training was making his situation even worse. No one was in control of him. Very fortunately his new owners, although tempted giving up on him, decided instead to start training with Charlie to learn how to control him.

Charlie started coming regular for training and his parents practice with him a lot at home.

He is making big progress and has already learnt a lot.

At first Charlie didn’t respond to the ‘Come’ command at all – but now he is an expert!

Coming When Called

Start by teaching the recall on a long line, in a place where there are not many distractions -  for example the garden.  To start with, keep hold of the long line.  Once he gets the idea you can start to trail the lead and only pick it up and reel him in when he doesn’t respond.  Until you are confident of your dog’s response, keep him on the long line on all walks and gradually remove the lead when there are fewer distractions

charlie2 Shih Tzu Charlie and the Come command

Charlie learning the 'come' command

Touching the collar prevents a dog from developing the annoying habit of playing “catch” (coming towards you and after taking the treat running away)

Here are two mistakes owners make with the COME command:

  1. They yell “Come” to their dogs when the dogs are running away.  Some owners yell “Come” in a very angry voice, which causes the dog to slink back in a submissive gesture.  When the dog does get to the owner, he or she spanks it and yells “You bad dog!  You come when I call you.”
  2. They teach their dog to ignore your commands by calling him when he is unlikely to respond, e.g. playing with another dog.  Gain his attention first and then recall.  One command is sufficient. Otherwise your dog will associate the word ‘come’ with the act of going away.

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Wolfie is a 10 month terrier mix

 Terrier mix Wolfie – and how to give obedience commands to your dog


Wolfie is a friendly, gentle Doggie. He was adopted by a very nice young couple about six weeks ago. Wolfie and his new parents are a perfect match. For the last three weeks Wolfie has been coming regularly for *obedience training. It’s very easy to train him because he is cooperative and responsive. He has learnt almost all commands so now he and his parents are starting prepare for the AKC CGC test.

 Terrier mix Wolfie – and how to give obedience commands to your dog

Wolfie Training

It’s very important how you give a  command for a dog.

Attract your dog attention by speaking its name, and then give your command with hand signals.

Speak in a deep tone of voice – except for the come command when you should use a high –pitched voice.

Avoid repeating a command – it will confuse your dog.

Use your body language:

  • Welcoming-smile, use a friendly and exiting tone of voice, open your arms to receive the dog.
  • Stern – Look angry and use a deep tone of voice
 Terrier mix Wolfie – and how to give obedience commands to your dog

Wolfie with Dad

Dachshund Zoe and the the "Come" command

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Zoe is a 9 month old Dachshund

 Dachshund Zoe and the the "Come" command


Zoe is very energetic & playful but disobedient because she never went with her mum through obedience training. Biggest problem for Zoe’s Mum is that Zoe never* comes to her if she calls.

We have just started training with Zoe. She is a very good student and already making big progress. Her Mum is also learning a lot and practices with all of the exercises regularly with Zoe.

Tips for teaching the ‘Come’ command

When you start to practice the ‘come’ command keep your dog leashed so that he will not learn to ignore you when you cal. If the dog doesn’t come to  you ,very gently pull it toward you with the leash

Whenever your dog comes to you, be nice.

Use a happy tone of voice and not a threatening or high pitched one to encourage the dog to come.

Never call a dog to come for anything it sees as unpleasant – such as cleaning its ears or clipping its nails. In this situation, Go and get the dog. Otherwise the dog will think it’s being punished for coming to you

 Dachshund Zoe and the the "Come" command

Zoe Training

Back up or run in the opposite direction when calling your dog.

After your dog comes to you, touch his collar first before you reward him with a treat.

Otherwise the dog may develop the annoying habit of playing catch – coming towards you and then moving away, just out of reach!