What You Don’t Understand About Your Dog Coming When Called
I’ve said it before and I will say it again….
There is NOTHING MORE IMPORTANT THAN HAVING A DOG THAT COMES WHEN CALLED!
Life with and for dogs can be dangerous.
One dropped lead can lead to disaster and death.
The only way to guard against that is to teach a reliable recall or “come” command.
But we as people and humans don’t understand the intricacies of your dog coming when called.
It seems easy, you call…your dog should come…immediately.
After all, when we call our children we also expect a quick response.
Our children learn pretty quickly that avoiding us brings punishment or at least some kind of negative repercussion.
Dogs, well… dogs aren’t like that.
Dogs do not have the intellectual ability to realize there will be trouble and so they should come immediately.
If you sound angry, your dog is convinced he can stay away from you, forever.
Think Like a Dog
So, you must think like your dog in order to teach your dog to come every time he is called!
Everyone loves games!
Kids love games!
Adults love games!
And, dogs love games!
Dogs are a lot like toddlers, dogs LOVE games!
So by making your dog think that coming to you when called is a GAME you are ensuring that he enjoys the idea and the process.
We know that coming when called is anything but a game but I, personally, want my dog to think that this is fun!
So from the moment I bring my puppy’s home, I am running backward and calling them to COME!
When they get to me, I provide treats and/or toys and more games.
I also ask friends to hold my dog as I dramatically dart away from him and when I have deemed that I have gone far enough, I call him to come.
This frustration, at being kept away from me with the added excitement of my calling him, solidifies and conditions my dogs that coming when called is FUN.
You Have to Be Better Than Everything Else
After all, you have to be better than everyone and everything else that is possibly going on in the environment.
You need to be better than the squirrel that is taunting him.
You have to be better than the neighbor kids that are racing up and down the street on their scooters.
You have to be better than the loose dog in your front yard, or the cat down the street.
Your dog doesn’t choose not to come to you because he doesn’t love you. He is simply distracted by what he thinks is BETTER than you!
You must convince him from an early age that coming to you is the best decision that he can make, in any given circumstance.
#1 Mistake With Getting Your Dog To Come When Called
Don’t! I mean DO NOT allow your dog to run free off leash if you don’t already have an impeccable recall!
Honestly, I want you to be the most fun thing in his life.
But, let’s face it there are things in this world that your dog could find more fun… if he were to get the opportunity of interacting or playing with them.
Running free and off leash rewards a dog for doing whatever HE wants whenever HE wants it; and nothing is more contrary to coming when called than allowing a dog to please himself however he desires.
You see, I know that I am not the most exciting thing on earth, but in order to keep my dog happy and stimulated and under my control, I want him to believe that I am!
I have been a professional dog trainer and pet sitter for over 20 years. I am a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, through the international Certification Counsel of Professional Dog Trainers. I have trained and worked with police, Schutzhund and personal protection dogs. I trained Assistance Dogs in a men’s prison and ran my own nonprofit organization to take adult dogs from shelters and to train them to assist children and adults with disabilities, at no charge to my clients. My nonprofit organization and I were nominated for several awards of merit and even made the front page of the Denver Post. I was a veterinary technician for many years, where I learned about all aspects of health and preventative medicine. I have trained and worked with exotic animals and cheetahs. I introduced a temperament testing program in my local shelter and sat on the board of directors. I volunteered with my dog “Mr. Snitch” and helped local children learn to read. I have attained obedience titles and several blue ribbons. I am constantly in search of ways to continue my education and excellence when it comes to animals, their behavior and their health.