My Dog Doesn’t Come When Called – What Should I Do?
Does your dog always ignore you whenever you call him to you? If so, you’re not alone.
However, the tips in this guide will shed some light on the subject, and hopefully, help you to change your dog’s behavior in full. So let’s begin.
To start with, if your dog refuses to come when you call, then it really helps to discover the cause.
Why Does Your Dog Ignore You?
Some of the reasons why your dog doesn’t return include: They haven’t bonded with you enough to want to come back, they’re bored, they have too much excess energy, they want to play with other dogs in the area – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
All of these things and more can have an effect on what your dog wants to do, and if you’re not more appealing than your dog’s other options, you may struggle to make them listen to you.
And remember: You should never use the ‘come’ command to call your dog to do something they don’t like (such as a have bath) because you will cause them to associate the command with a negative experience, and this works as a form of ‘negative’ reinforcement which may train them to not come as eagerly when called.
Young dogs in particular tend to have lots of energy. If you have a young dog or puppy, make sure that they’re well exercised before you teach him the ‘come’ command, otherwise the boundless energy can easily become a distraction by itself – especially if there’s plenty of smells and sights that are new and interesting all around.
If you’re worried that they might not come back at all, then keep them on an extending leash while you’re training or walking them outdoors. Remember, you should only train your dog to ‘come’ outdoors when they have successfully completed the same command indoors – because you need to be in full control of your dog whenever they’re off the leash.
Nearly every dog can be temporarily distracted by something exciting – and if that ‘something’ is more interesting than you, then you’ll struggle to keep their focus.
If you’re having difficulties with holding your dog’attention, then enthusiasm can go a long way towards fixing this. You can try calling their name in an enthusiastic way, and making sure they’re looking at you before issuing the command to ‘come’.
Be energetic and enthusiastic when you call your dog back to you, get down low to the ground and open your arms wide in a welcoming way.
Also, make sure to give your dog lots of praise when they do return. All of these things should go a long way towards making you more appealing to return back to from your dog’s point of view.
Reinforcing The Command
If your dog simply isn’t very receptive to the command itself, then giving them some additional training sessions should help. You can reinforce the ‘come’ command by holding your dog gently by the collar upon returning, and giving them a food reward.
This is basically a way to repeat and reinforce the basic obedience training, and it will also help to associate the ‘come’ command with positive experiences.