Dog Training – Resolving Come When Called Problems
Come When Called Does your dog come to you when you call him every time? Even when he is chasing squirrels? If you answered “No” , don’t worry, here are some dog training tips for the Come When Called command that you can do to get back on track!
The most important thing to remember is that COME should be fun and rewarding for your dog. It is very hard for a dog to choose to leave what he is doing (chasing squirrels, playing with a neighbor dog, or simply sniffing something interesting by the edge of the yard) and come when you call him. Rewarding him every time with praise, treat, or some other reward will make you more interesting than that squirrel, neighbor’s dog, or smell! And thus, his choice to “come” to you will get easier and easier each time he does it! If he is scolded every time he comes to your (or even occassionally), he will become less likely to come to you on a consistent basis.
Things to keep in mind:
Correcting your dog when he gets to you – Many times people ask their dog to come, and when the dog arrives they correct him for not coming quickly enough or correcting him for a behavior he was doing before you called him to come (i.e. digging, or chewing on something of value) This type of training will teach him to avoid yo in the future. ALWAYS reward your dog for coming when called – even it he is slow about it, or was doing something he wasn’t supposed to be doing! If he comes when called, you must reward!
Calling your dog to do something unpleasant — A very common error is calling your dog to come and then asking them to do something unpleasant or that they don’t want to do, such as getting a bath, being put in a crate. By doing this, your dog will be wary when you ask him to come, always wondering whether he will have to do something he doesn’t like! Instead, just walk over to him and attach a leash to his collar and loose leash walk him to the bathroom for example to get a path.
Waiting too long for the dog to respond — Everyone does this at first. What usually happens is you call your dog’s name and then say “come”. At this point, most dogs will look at the person who asked them to come. If your dog does not respond, he is probably trying to decide if you are “fun enough” or “interesting enough” to come near you! At this point quickly turn the tables and make this activity into a game! Try squatting down or taking a few quick steps backwards away from the dog while clapping your hands and sounding happy. This should entice your dog into playing a game of chase, where he is chasing you instead of the other way around!
Forgetting to PRACTICE daily — Being able to come when called is an invaluable skill for your dog. And just like all skills, they only get better with practice! Spend 5 minutes with your dog every day and play little games that require your dog to come when called, like Hide & Seek! Have friends and family participate in sessions… This will only solidify the command more.
Schedule practice sessions – Use a long leash and go to the park, or a school yard and practice “come” The more places you practice the better chance your dog will come to you off leash when you really need it!
If you incorporate these simple rules into your every day routine with your dog, you will have a dog that consistently comes when called!