Sit Instead of Come
Have you ever tried to call your dog off of a squirrel?
It's hard to train a dog to come when called when they are in an aroused play/prey state of mind. You are literally asking the dog to shift gears from high acceleration to reverse. In these situations, I use “sit” instead of “come”.
I’ve learned to assess the situation before I choose a command to give to the dog. I don’t like to dilute the impact of “come” by saying it when the dog is unlikely to be able to interrupt their excited behavior.
I start by getting as close to the dog as I can. I say their name in a tone of voice that meets or exceeds their state of excitement. Very high pitched tones works for some dogs, while loud, firm tones work for others.
Once I can get the dog to notice me, I ask for a “sit” instead of “come” so I can walk right up to the dog, take them by their collar and walk them away. But, you can only do that if your dog has a really fluent “sit”. Remember to do it before you start repeating the Come command. And once you’ve said it, you must see it through to the end.
Lastly, work on “sit” in many different scenarios and with the dog on a leash so you can manage the outcome. Reward the sit whenever possible. Do the same with “come”.