Many dog owners successfully train their dogs to Come. However, it’s not unusual for dogs to become unresponsive to the request. Here are the three most common reasons your dog might not come when called.
For example, you’re moving from the couch to the bedroom because it’s time to go to sleep and you say “Come” to your dog because you want him to follow. Come should only mean “run towards me at top speed.” If that’s not what you mean, find another phrase to say to your dog, such as “With Me” or “Over Here.” When your dog hears the word Come casually used throughout the day, it loses its intended meaning of “run towards me at top speed.”
2. You are being the Fun Police
Are you calling your dog to Come and in doing so ending his good time? Then you’re being the Fun Police! If you are at the dog park and you call your dog to Come and then snap on the leash and leave – well, you’ve just ended his play session. Same applies at home: your dog is playing in the yard and you call him to come and put him in his crate for 3 hours while you go run errands. It will only take a few repetitions of these scenarios before your dog realizes what you’re up to and chooses not to come when called. In these circumstances you can say “Let’s Go”, “This Way” or “With Me”.
3. Incomplete training
If you haven’t perfected Come in a similar environment that you are asking him to Come in now, he won’t be able to do it. If you have only worked on your recalls inside on a 6-foot leash, that does not translate to being able to come when called while off leash 30 feet away from you and a squirrel runs past. Coming when called has to be practiced at various distances and with a variety of distractions present. If you haven’t done the training, your dog might not do the recall.
By Pampered Pets Lead Trainer Valerie Balwanz PMCT, CPDT-KA
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