January 13th, 2007, 05:23 PM
Hi, I'm a proud new dog owner and am still working on some of the basics.
I can get my puppy to come most of the time but not as consistently as needed in order for her to be let off leash (where it's safe to do so). Any tips beside just keeping at it?
January 13th, 2007, 05:45 PM
Well, one of the big rules is the word "come" should only be used for good things (treats, pets, praise, play, etc) never for bad things (punishment, baths, etc). Using the word for bad things will make the dog not want to come, there has to be positive reinforcement.
January 13th, 2007, 06:16 PM
Always make sure that the dog will come once you've given the command. You can either use the command once the dog has started moving towards you (and praise her until she gets to you), or keep her on leash and guide her towards you, again, giving priase all the way. :thumbs up
Basically you have to make her coming to your side the best thing ever, so she'll always want to listen.
January 13th, 2007, 06:37 PM
It's important to never give a command that you can't enforce.
If your dog doesn't come EVERY time he is called, He shouldn't be off leash outdoors (barring a fenced yard). Otherwise you will command, "come" when he is off leash and he will chose for himself..."Will I.... wont' I"??? It's this ability to choose that will enforce in his mind, "come is optional".
If you want to increase the distance to test out his responce to distance, us a 'long line' and reel him in if he doesn't come. Reward him when he gets to you ..even if you reel him in... and he will learn, "come is not optional, and "come is a rewarded activity."
January 13th, 2007, 07:10 PM
Yeah, I just came back to mention the long line thing. Also only state the command (any command) once, and make sure that the result you want is followed through, even if you have to make it follow through.
January 13th, 2007, 08:31 PM
For long lines you have a few options. You can buy one at a pet store, but they are crazy expensive. Personally, I like the ones at the dollar store, but if the dog is a real puller you might want to buy some rope and clip at Canadian Tire or something and make you're own. (Just make sure you tie the knots really tight ;) )
January 14th, 2007, 11:32 AM
Thanks so much, these are some great tips... I'll let you know how it goes!
January 14th, 2007, 12:51 PM
VERY good suggestions here!
I just wanted to add that when you ask your dog to leave an exciting situation and come to you, make the reward just HUGE (treat, praise, whatever works), then don't call him again for a while (let going back to play be his second reward). Over training (even with rewards) will make the command less of a big deal, and the dog will likely start blowing you off.