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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm reading about teaching a puppy the "Come" command.

Teaching Your Puppy to Obey the Come Command

This article said

"In all training, I believe that a dog should know and understand the action demanded of a command before you ever add human language to it. "

I am wondering if this is agreed upon in the training world, or is it con traversal? What do you think? How do you do it when you're training?


973 Posts
I just finished a basic obedience class with my basset a couple months ago and my trainer used the approach you described. For example, when learning sit, we would get them to sit but not actually say "sit" until their butt hit the ground.

We also learned hand signals to teach. That way should your dog ever go deaf or you are in a place where they can't hear you, they can still follow commands.

9,844 Posts
If the dog does not aready know a behavior what good is it to command the behavior? It is standard practice to teach a verbal cue only after you are reasonable sure you can get the behavior from the dog in the first place. But this is far from universal

Adding the Cue

How to Add the Cue

What Is A Cue?

he understands what his mom is willing to pay for and voluntarily starts to
perform the behavior on his own without needing to be told to do it—that’s
when and only when she should add a cue.​
Huh? You might be asking. You
add the cue after the dog has already learned the behavior? Really? How
does he know what to do?

If it seems totally counterintuitive at first to add the cue last, think of it
this way. Imagine somehow that you grew up so far away from modern cities
that you’ve never once in your life seen a traffic light, but now your family
just moved back to civilization and today is your very first driving lesson.
Unfortunately, however, your instructor only speaks Chinese and so is unable
to tell you what to do in any way you can understand. You’ve never been in a
car before and have no idea even how to work the breaks, gas pedal, door
locks, anything… And right then you look out the window and notice a
strange light turn from yellow to red to green way up high on a metal pole
across the street. What on earth is that all about? You wonder….
Until you have at least learned the mechanics of how to make the car
go, that flashing signal holds very little significance. Similarly, when we tell
an untrained dog over and over again to​
sit…sit…sit…SIT! as we push his butt
down or pull up on his collar until he bends his back legs, not only are we
speaking meaningless gibberish, we are also potentially building a negative
association with that particular stimulus.
Icky, says the dog. When you say that

word it means you are going to push me around

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