Let's take a moment and discuss recall, or the "come" command. Many owners express frustration at a lack of reliable return on command of their otherwise faithful Fido. Why do dogs ignore recall commands?
More exciting stimuli! If it's your dog's day at the park and he has ducks to chase and butts to sniff, of course he isn't going to come screeching to a halt and run to your side! He has higher motivation to do what HE wants-and he doesn't have a leash to hold him back!
Prior punishment when coming. Some owners make the mistake of asking their dog to come when they are in trouble. The dog comes, then gets punished! I wouldn't want to come either! Even recalling a dog to send to the crate can build mistrust with a come command. The goal is consistency!
Let's improve! Practice recall on a long leash in low distraction. (in your backyard or in your living room) Wait until your dog is slightly distracted, then Say their name and Come, in a strong clear voice. As soon as they turn to you give a verbal reward like yes in a happy tone! (tone is crucial!) when they reach you reward with more verbal praise, each time you say yes, give a treat. Then move on to working on a 15 ft leash (NOT a retractable leash but a proper training long leash) in your front yard, at the park, etc. If you introduce new distracting stimuli too fast, you're setting your dog up for failure. This command needs to be built slowly and consistently with consideration and time put in before adding any new distractions.
The most important thing to teach your dog is the BEST place to be is beside you. Even when you call your dog away from something they aren't supposed to be doing, it's crucial to mark the behavior of recall as a GOOD thing.
We also want to work on the 3 d's - duration, distance, and distraction. Proof your dog for any situation while you have control- on leash! Off leash obedience takes time and should be done under the supervision of a knowledgeable trainer for best results.
Work on obedience! Join a group class to reinforce training and the bond between you and your dog. Training should be structured but fun- never train when irritated or upset. Have fun and happy training!
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