Four Lifesaving Training Games To Teach Your Dog


The lifesaving ability to teach their dog to come when called must be prepared for puppies and older untrained dogs by owners. However, perfecting this command’s response takes time, especially with dogs who become frightened or sidetracked easily. If a dog flees while still learning to come when called, I teach these training drills as a precaution.


You’ve probably witnessed this scenario and perhaps even been in it yourself: A dog will be running on a leash, and just as the owner is about to grab his collar, the dog will take off running again. To help prevent this potentially dangerous situation, teach your dog the “Gotcha” game.

Step 1: Show your dog a very enticing goodie while holding it in front of your body. As soon as he approaches and starts nibbling, use the cue phrase “Gotcha” before reaching slowly and softly for his collar.

Step 2: Hook your finger beneath his collar and extend your hand to give him the real treat.

Step 3: As training progresses, the grasp shifts from a single finger to the entire hand and from slowly to quickly. Treats help your dog understand that saying “Gotcha” is fun and rewarding.

Extend your hand and tell your dog, “Gotcha,” if you need to catch him. If he has a strong foundation in this game, he’ll be happy to come back to you and let you hook a finger in his collar. He’ll be expecting a reward, so don’t forget to give it to him.

And what is that?

To play this game, your dog must be skilled at the aforementioned “Gotcha” game and have a quick response to his name. Start by performing this in your house or backyard with your dog on a leash. As he becomes better, start playing the game everywhere and play it on a long leash, especially when you think he could try to flee from you, as when you’re getting out of the car or at the front door.

Step 1: Call your dog’s name loudly while holding him by the leash. As soon as he turns away from you, go on one knee, drop three highly desirable treats (something your dog can’t resist), and wait for him to devour them. Asking enthusiastically, “What’s this? “, start tapping the ground. Explain this.

Step 2: Say “Gotcha” once your dog has run and eaten two of the treats, then give him the final treat. He must wait to grab his collar until he’s finished eating the first two treats.

Please only use valuable treats in this game. If you need to play this game in an emergency but don’t have any treats on hand, play a couple more rounds of the game using treats during the next 24 hours. Never allow your dog to think of this game as an opportunity to gain or lose goodies.

“Go for a Ride”

When your dog runs away while you’re on a walk, you can use a car to play a game to get them to respond by coming back to you.

Step 1: Start by asking your dog, “Wanna go for a ride?” before you take him along if he enjoys car rides. Try using a different command like “Car time!” if your dog despises riding in the car. Use this phrase exclusively while playing this game, not whenever you are driving.

Step 2: After saying it, run him to the car by the leash.

Step 3: When you get there, do a “Gotcha,” then throw a “party” next to the car. Give him lots of treats, play tug-of-war with him, and stroke his belly as you try to persuade him that running to the car with you was the best idea ever.

Step 4: Eventually, play this game with a second leash. After the “Gotcha,” the double leash should be tied to his collar because that is most likely what would happen if he ever escaped. While you’re out for a walk, play this game with him, running to any parked car to ensure he understands that your vehicle is not necessary for the game to work.

If your dog manages to run his leash while you’re out for a walk, call out your order and sprint to the closest car.

Observe Me

Dogs adore playing chase, so you can use this game in an emergency if you can make your dog believe that fantastic things happen when he comes to you.

Step 1: While walking your dog on a long leash or in a safe area, call your dog by name and say, “Catch me.” Then, run from him while closely observing him see whether he is following you.

Step 2: Encourage your dog to chase you by enthusiastically cheering and praising him.

Step 3: Stop when he is right behind you. Give him praise, food, toys, or anything else that will make him believe that you are more fun than anything he could discover on his own when he approaches you and do a “Gotcha.”

If your dog escapes, please refrain from running after him because this would only cause him to run away faster. Call out, “Catch me,” and start backing away from him if the space between you is safe for him to traverse. Since he’ll remember the game, he’ll try to catch you.

It’s important to remember that these games will help you if your dog gets lost, but you must teach them for them to work. Calling out “Who wants to go inside?” in an emergency won’t help if the dog doesn’t understand what it means. And even if engaging in these games could be a short-term fix, it’s still critical that you concentrate on telling your dog to “come.”