How To Train Your Dog To Finally Come… Every Time You Call His Name
Dog not coming when you call?
If so, then I've got good news...
Not coming when called is the number one issue we help our clients overcome.
Its actually one of the easier problems to fix with your dog too.
As long as you first realize the real reason behind WHY your dog's not coming in the first place.
You see, here's the misconception...
You may THINK your dog is ignoring you when you call him, but in reality...
He's simply making a choice.
A choice I can show you how to manipulate like a true pied piper here in a minute...
But for now, what you need to realize is that when you call your dog he is making one of two choices:
A Dog Who Won't Come Is Deciding Between...
It's really that simple.
Your dog will do things that bring him the most fun and enjoyment, more quickly then things that take away fun and enjoyment.
So the DIFFERENCE between dogs that come when you call and dogs that don't is that those dog's that do NOT come when you call think CHOICE #1 is better then CHOICE #2.
Now, pay attention to this, because this is important...
The MISTAKE most dog owners make when they try to train their dogs to come is that they ONLY work on making themselves more fun to come to for their dog.
Now don't get me wrong, this is a good strategy and, and there's some great tips below for doing just that... yet the problem is that even if you get all that stuff perfect, the instant something MORE exciting then you comes into your dog's life (like another dog), he'll stop listening to you again if you don't do this second step.
I'll cover more about that second step here in a second, but first lets cover some of the big mistakes you might be making that are making your dog less interested in coming to you.
How many of these mistakes you're making?
5 Reasons Your Dog Isn't Coming When You Call
#1: Are you Double-Calling his name?
Most people don't realize this, but there's a scientifically proven way to get your dog to forget to come when he hears his name...
Simply call his name enough, without having anything good or bad happen and you will have trained him to forget that it means he's supposed to come.
That's the honest to God truth.
So you NEED to be honest with yourself here.
Think of the last time you called your dog and he didn't come?
Did you call him more then once?
If so, then what you REALLY accomplished was to train him that his name has no meaning. And to fix it you need to retrain him to come, with a different word.
Don't worry, we can show you how to re-train him to come when you call his name later, but the first step is to stop Double-Calling him. Or Triple, or Quadruple ;-)
Every call you make where he doesn't come is actually making his problem worse!
#2: Do You Punish Him When He Comes?
Have you ever seen anyone calling their dog out of frustration?
Maybe because their mad because he's bothering another dog, or their dog is peeing on a neighbors yard and you don't want anyone to notice.
What do those people do if their dog does end up coming?
Maybe they grab their dogs caller and drag them in the house, or they swat their dog and tell him "NO" in a very stern voice.
You've seen stuff like that right?
Yet, let me ask you a question...
What do you think the dog (in that scenario) thinks he's being punished for?
Does he think he's being punished for peeing in the neighbors yard?
If so, think again...
You see, dogs don't have that same ability to think back about what they may have done wrong between the time they did it and the time they get punished.
Instead they simply think they got punished for the thing they were doing the INSTANT they were punished.
Can you guess what that was?
That's right... the dog thinks its being punished for: COMING WHEN CALLED!
And because any living creature becomes less likely to do things he's punished for in the future... you've just trained him to be even WORSE at coming when he's called next time.
Instead, if you want your dog to listen in those situations you need to train him to listen a different way.
#3: Have You Trained Him That Coming = Containment?
This one is a lot like the previous mistake, but because its usually done on accident, folks don't realize they're making it...
Here's what I need you to do...
Take a few seconds to think of the last 3 times you put your dog away.
This could be someplace like:
- His Crate
- Back in the house
- The Garage
... or any other place you put your dog that he might not really want to be in at that moment.
(go ahead. Take a minute to think about it. It'll be helpful)
Thought of the last three times you did this yet?
Now here's where you have to be REAL honest with yourself.
I need you to think back to exactly what you said right before you put him there.
Did you happen to call him by name before you put him in containtment?
If so then this is important.
If the place you put your dog, was a place he would really rather not be, then what you just did was PUNISH your dog for coming when you called.
Now you might be thinking...
"Well I have to tell him to do stuff he doesn't want to do sometimes. I can't always just ask him to do stuff he wants to do.!"
If you're thinking that, you're ABSOLUTELY right!
In fact you're getting closer to understanding why so many people struggle to train their dogs to listen to them when they have to do things they don't want to do.
Its easy to ask your dog to do something like come for dinner.
Its training your dog to still listen to you when you ask him to do UNPLEASANT things that takes a little more work.
#4: You're not using EXTINCTION Bursts
Check out this fascinating story...
Its how a Marine wildlife trainer, Karen Pryor, discovered how extinction bursts could un-train LAZINESS out of a dolphin.
Use this on your dog and he'll be nearly twice as motivated to come when you call him within less then a week of training.
Here's how it works:
Karen was working with a dolphin and training it to jump through a hoop.
Yet she was running into a problem.
The dolphin was only wanting to give 70% effort on each of his jumps and it just wasn't impressive enough to put into a marine wildlife show... she needed 90% effort or more.
Here's what the problem was...
The dolphin had become used to getting a fish for every jump.
So what Karen decided to do was to use what's called an EXTINCTION burst to get the animal to try harder.
What's an extinction burst?
An extinction burst is what happens when an animal who has been previously trained to do something for a reward, will try nearly TWICE as hard the time AFTER you withold a reward from him.
Hopefully that doesn't some complicated.
What the animal is basically doing is saying...
"Oh, I must have not gotten my reward because I did something wrong. So I'll try harder to see if I can get it right next time."
And when Karen did this with the Dolphin, the Dolphins effort went up to above 90% almost instantly.
Plus you can use this on your dog with the same results.
This "Coming When Called" training will teach you a couple of rules to follow if you want it to keep working, but the end result is awesome.
You end up with a dog who will try MUCH harder to come faster when you call him... and you end up not even needing to have treats on you 90% of the time.
Its a Win-Win!
#5: Your don't yet know how to make The Forbidden Fruit Phenomenon work for you... Instead of Against You.
You've heard of this one right?
Sort of had everything to do with the fall of mankind from God's Grace?
Well guess what?
It's probably behind why your dog's falling out of your Good Graces too.
Using this principal the right way and you'll have a dog instantly less motivated to be naughty. Its that SECOND Choice stuff I talked about earlier in paragraph 11 that nobody focuses on.
Here's how it works.
Its a simple principal that I call the Forbidden Fruit Phenomenon.
Write it down and commit it to memory.
The Forbidden Fruit Phenomenon states that your dog will want to MOST do, those things which you most STRONGLY forbid it to do.
So if you don't want your dog to:
- Go say hi to other dogs
- Not bark at strangers
- Get on the couch
- Hope in the car
... or dozens and dozens of other annoying behaviors... the second you try to forbid your dog from doing those things you make him want them more.
This is especially problematic when it comes to training your dog to come when he's called, because you usually are calling him AWAY from someplace you don't want him to be.
And unless you get clever, its just down to the two choices again, that naughty fun thing he wants to do, or YOU.
So here's a trick for how to use this Forbidden Fruit phenomenon as a tool that works FOR you instead of against you.
I call it giving Permission to Misbehave.
At first it may sound crazy, but trust me, this works like crazy.
- Pick the Forbidden Thing That's Causing All The Problems
- You put 'Playing With That Thing On Cue'
- And every now and then you actually go give the cue to be naughty
RESULT = Your Dog No Longer Wanting To Be Naughty!
So here's an example of how this works...
I used to have a Golden Retriever who was a water HOUND. I literally couldn't get him out of the water.
So what did I do?
I trained this Golden Retriever to jump in the water on my command... and only on my command.
And when I trained this something VERY interesting happens.
When you train your dog to do the one thing that is most annoying on purpose... what you'll notice is your dogs motivation for being NAUGHTY goes WAY down.
Because its no longer Forbidden Fruit!
It sounds crazy, yet...
I've seen clients cure their dogs barking by simply putting barking on cue...
I've seen dogs stop getting into the garbage because they put getting into garbage on cue...
I've seen dogs who wouldn't stay off the couch, stay off the couch by putting it on cue...
To try this on your dog I have one suggestion...
Go sign up for this video training series that I've created that shows you how to Properly train your dog to learn to listen and obey cues like these.
There's a right and a wrong way to teach these skills and getting it right can save you a whole lot of headache.