Pet Information > Others > Pet Articles > Dog training issues – refusing to come when called

Dog training issues – refusing to come when called

29 13:35:13

Many dog owners fail to recognize the importance of having a dog
that comes when called until there is a problem, such as the
collar or leash breaking, or the dog tearing free to chase a
person or another animal. These situations can be dangerous for
the dog, the owner and other members of the community. In areas
where there is a lot of vehicular traffic, the situation could
even prove fatal to the dog.

Unfortunately, many well meaning owners sabotage this important
part of their dog’s training by allowing it to run off leash and
unattended. Whether the dog is allowed to run in the park, on
the beach, or just play with other dogs, this teaches the dog
that there are many fun things that do not involve its owner. In
fact, from the dog’s perspective at least, these fun times are
often ruined by the appearance of the owner.

Look at things from the dog’s perspective for a moment. You -
the dog – are having a ton of fun running on the beach with all
your doggy friends, and suddenly here comes this human to take
you away from the fun. When you see the dog’s point of view it
is easy to see how the appearance of the owner, and the leash
can be seen as a negative.

This negative perception causes many dogs to delay this outcome
by refusing to come when they are called. From the dog’s point
of view, this makes perfect sense, since every minute of delay
means another minute of romping on the beach or in the park. In
other words, the dog has learned that the most rewarding thing
to do is to ignore the calls of its owner. While this may seem
like a good idea to the dog, it is definitely not a good thing
from the owner’s perspective.

For dogs who have not yet learned this type of avoidance
behavior, it is best to prevent it from happening by supervising
the dog at play, and making the time you spend with your dog as
much, or more, fun, as the time it spends alone or with other

For dogs that have already learned the value of ignoring their
owner, some retraining is definitely in order. It is vital that
every dog respond to the “come here” command, for the safety of
both humans and dogs alike.

One thing to avoid is following the “come here” command with
unpleasant activities. Calling the dog, and then immediately
giving him a bath, clipping his nails, taking him to the vet,
etc. will quickly teach the dog that coming to the owner has
negative consequences. It is best to ask the dog to come and
then play with him, feed him, walk him or engage in other fun
activities. If you do need to take your dog to the vet, bathe
him, etc. be sure to allow some time to pass so the dog does not
associate the “come here” command with the bad experience.

It is important to remember that dogs are constantly learning,
whether a formal training session is in process or not. Your dog
is always learning something from you, whether good or bad. It
is therefore important to make every interaction with your dog a
positive one.

When teaching the dog to come on command, it is vital that the
dog be consistently rewarded every single time he does as the
owner wants. A reward can be as simple as a pat on the head, a
“good boy” or a scratch behind the ears. Of course, treat based
rewards are appreciated as well, and many dogs are highly food
motivated and respond quickly to this type of training. The key
is to be consistent. The dog should get some kind of reward,
whether it be praise, a toy, or a treat, every time he appears
at the owners side when called.