Exploring is a natural instinct for dogs. They have a drive to find out what is around them. In the wild this was to find food, and procreate. In modern times there is no longer a need for dogs to roam, and the world we live in poses a large risk to your dog’s safety. It is important to train your dog to come home. Follow these steps to train your dog to come home:
Provide the essentials
Your dog must have a reason to come home if it gets loose. So the first step in training your dog to come home is to provide the essentials. Plenty of food, water, and love will suffice here. If your provide these things your dog will want to come home.
Take frequent walks
A huge part of training your dog to come home is making him familiar with the neighborhood. Often when a dog gets loose he is not paying much attention, and is overwhelmed by the world. Most dogs can follow their sent home if they get lost, but all the new experiences may be too much for some to find their way back.
Walking your dog frequently teaches your dog the neighborhood so he can find his way home based off memory instead of his senses. Also if he gets loose he may run his walking route, and then come home.
Off Leash Training
Using treats, teach your dog to come to you on command off a leash. Do this at an approved dog park, or other location approved by your local authority for off leash dogs. To train your dog to come to you while off leash you must teach him to stay. Teaching him to stay is easy using simple positive reinforcement techniques.
Tell your dog to stay, walk away and act disinterested. If he stays reward him. If he tries to follow you lightly scold him, and continue to walk. After you have trained him to stay start training him to come to you.
Tell your dog to stay and walk away. When you are a comfortable distance turn around and tell your dog to come. If he runs to you give him a treat and repeat the process. Once he becomes an expert try to trick him by using other words in the same tone. Teach him that come is the only word he gets a treat for. By teaching your dog to come to you on command he may come home if you call for him.
If you provide your dog with a healthy home, and lots of exercise he will be more than willing to come home. Make sure he has all the tools to get home on his own, and when you call him.