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Training my dog to come when called...

January 15th, 2011, 03:48 PM
I got a dog in the end of August this year. I've tried training her how to come when called because that is an important thing that she doesn't know. It doesn't seem to work.

What are your theories on training a dog to come when called?

January 15th, 2011, 05:06 PM
You could try positive reinforcement. Keep using her name, act enthusiastic when you're calling her, when she finally comes give her treats and lots of praise. She'll associate coming to you with all sorts of good stuff. Eventually you can give her less treats as she learns and is consistent with her recall.

January 15th, 2011, 09:10 PM
I don't know how old your dog is but my trainer says she doesn't trust her dogs to come at all times, under any circumstances until they are at least 1.5 years old.
Everytime I go for a walk I work on "come" with my dog. So I have a 30 foot leash I let her go out a bit then say come - she comes back and gets a treat. I do this over and over and over.
Never ask the dog to come unless you can make them come. Otherwise they learn that they dont' always have to come when you call.
We also work on 'stop" so at least if I see her heading somewhere dangerous I can get her to stop so I can catch up.
Sometimes they hear you say it so much that they will tune you out. I had to go back to using treats to get her to come because she started to tune me out.
As for teaching come at a really basic level, at first you have them on a say their name and move in opposite direction..they treat...then once they can do start using the word Come when they are in the process of coming toward you..treat them and then start increasing the distance.

Or just go to some basic obedience classes. It was worth every penny.

January 15th, 2011, 11:21 PM
A video you may find useful:

January 16th, 2011, 08:01 AM
My dog is 5 years old. I like your ways of training them! The youtube video was very helpful. I'll get some real treats. I usually just give her her food. She loves it soo much!

January 16th, 2011, 12:27 PM
For training, high value rewards work best, especially if it's before dinner time when appetites are strong. If using treats, we feed liver or cheese and don't give it to them at any other time. If your dog has a favorite toy or loves to play tug, you can reward with it but only for the particular training. Put the toy away at any other time. One of our dogs is not as highly food motivated when outdoors as the others but goes nuts for some squeally praise and a belly rub. Use what your dog loves best.

January 16th, 2011, 01:20 PM
Yeeaaah, it probably would be a lot easier to train my dog if my dog actually liked toys. She only likes dusters and only at very rare times. Most of the time the only thing she likes to play with is other dogs.

January 18th, 2011, 01:34 PM
For this, a long with a few other commands, like sit, I have always done the same thing. Before I ever brought the word "come" into the picture, I constantly reinforced the pup/dog who came to me by themselves. If you're standing on the other side of the room and your dog walks over to you...PRAISE. I like to reward them for deciding to do behaviors on their own, instead of asking them to do something and expectign them to understand what I Want from them at first. Once they know that by coming to you, whether it be across the room or anywhere, you can then start using the command "Come" and HUGE praise/treat for that. I find with some dogs, especially more independant thinkers, it helps in the sense that they THINK they are choosing the behavior themselves and being rewarded for it, rather than being told what to do. Either way, the end result is the same. You want your dog to associate coming to you at any time as a positive thing. "Great things happen to me when I go to Mom" sort of thing. NEVER ever call your dog to you to scold him. If you have to stop a behavior like chewing, etc...GO TO HIM. Once a dog has been called to you and scolded it loses the positive association and gives them a good reason not to want to come to you. Makes sense right? Like I said, I use the same thinking for training things like sit and down. They're automatic, natural behaviors that all dogs do. Rather than try to lure them into it and reinforce, I reinforce EVERY time they do it naturally. Makes asking them for behaviors much easier in my opinion.

January 19th, 2011, 05:26 PM
Thanks! this is helpful...:)

January 19th, 2011, 06:14 PM
Thanks jenn n luke for your input,:thumbs up I am having trouble with Buddy's recall and your method will work really well with him. He will come when I call..hmmmm maybe 30% of the time. I used your technique with him last night and today and I saw surprise in his face everytime he came to me and got a treat. It was "like" wow my Mom is a treat dispenser:lovestruck:...more,more.....patti

January 19th, 2011, 07:16 PM
You're most welccome. I hope you see some improvement every day. I remember the first time I thought of that idea, I think I was twelve and we had this GSD/lab mix. OMG that pup was stubborn just for the sake of being stubborn. Mom was the old school, make em listen kind of training and I just thought...well maybe if we somehow make her think she's making the decision on her own,she'll do it easier. It worked lol, so I've used that theory ever since. With some things of course you have to lure, because they're not natural behaviors, but for basics, it's much easier I find.