1. Pay Attention Continued...

Exercise 1.7 - Come & Get It!

As the name implies, this exercise combines “Get It”, as in - get the treat, with a super motivating ‘Come’ and is a really great foundation exercise.


It’s perfect as a warm-up exercise to begin training, as well as an exercise to motivate, condition and maintain speed and accuracy in many areas of training. 


Play this one very thoughtfully with young puppies as you don’t want them turning sharply – make sure they have eaten the treat and have gently turned around to face the new direction before you break away and toss another treat.


Traditionally, this is an exercise beloved by dog sport enthusiasts particularly competitive obedience as it instils a fast run for recalls, retrieves and other obedience exercises. The goal is to get the dog to start running from a standstill, like a horse coming out of the starting gates so we are looking for the dog to start running on his first stride.


  1. First, make sure your training area has good footing where you and your dog can quickly turn around without slipping.
  2. Have your dog casually by your left side, a treat in your right hand and set your stance as though you were going to race him with your knees slightly bent and your body is bent forward a bit.
  3. Then say ‘Come’ (assuming this is your recall cue) and break away into a fast run with your dog by your side running in a straight line.
  4. Run a few strides and then toss the treat ahead and say “Get It!”.  You dog should naturally chase the treat.
  5. As soon as he eats the treat, say “Come!” and do a breakaway run in the opposite direction, tossing another treat just ahead after a few strides and say again “Get It!”.
  6. Your dog should run past you and grab at the treat as it lands on the floor.
  7. Again, as he is just finishing the treat say “Come!”, turn around 180 degrees and break away in the other direction with your dog running ahead to another treat.
  8. Before very long your dog will start to run on his own each time as he turns and you will end up standing and turning to face him in the same position and not running with him.
  9. Your treats will be thrown in the opposite direction of each other alternately, with your dog running in the same line, and you turning after each throw. 
  10. Throw the treats underhand and make sure your dog is always running in front of you.

Top tip: experiment with the colour, size and consistency of the food treats you use for this exercise depending on your training floor as they need to be easily visible to your dog and easy to chew.


I have found Canibit biscuits work really well on dark surfaces / grass as long as the grass is fairly short.  They are a decent size and white (think a flat sided malteser before it's covered in chocolate!).  According to the blurb they contain hearty Ostrich meat. I doubt there's much meat in them but they do work really well and no upset tummies with my dogs. They are very light but don't crumble in the pocket and according to my doggies are very palatable and can be easily scoffed in quick succession hence they are ideal. I get them on zooplus: