It can be quite embarrassing and even a bit dangerous if your dog doesn’t come when called, especially at a park or on a busy road. This leads to owners becoming frustrated and not knowing what to do when their dog doesn’t come. Chasing your dog doesn’t always help and can worsen the situation. You are not alone since many dog owners face this exact same issue. There can be several things triggering this behavior that should be addressed to ensure the safety of your dog and others around you. So, how do you get to the root of this canine behavior and solve the problem?
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The Root of the Behavior
One of the things that may be causing this behavior of not coming when called is that your dog may not be picking up on the right cues or the ‘come’ command properly from you. This could be a result of not enough training for younger dogs. It could also be because the command has become irrelevant due to of lack of positive reinforcement or your consistency with using the command. You have to be consistent in training in order to have your dog respond properly. Another cause of this behavior could be because your dog may have a fear of you when you are angry and he does not want to come because he knows he did something wrong. Dogs do not like to be disciplined any more than a human does. Fear can make dogs do things that may put them in danger. So, be sure that you are not training them to be afraid of you.
This disobedient behavior may also come from your dog knowing that the fun is now over and, just like children, they still want to play and run. We all hate it when we have to leave after having a great time. It is no different for a dog. Being at the park is one of your dog’s favorite places. It is not hard to see why he does not want to leave.
It does not matter what the underlying reason is that may be triggering this behavior in your dog, you have to understand that dogs aim to please their owners and if you figure out what is causing the issue, it can be remedied quite easily. In fact, with the right training, reinforcement, and consistency you will have your dog coming on command every time. It is just a matter of proper training, patience, and consistency.
Encouraging the Behavior
As a dog owner, it is important that you encourage the right behavior in this situation. Because, without the right response to the ‘come’ command, your dog could get into a situation that is quite dangerous. If your dog has not been trained properly to come or has not had enough training, this will lead to problems with him coming when called. Take some more time to do more ‘come’ training exercises. Make it fun and rewarding for your dog to want to come to you. When using the ‘come’ command, be consistent. Do not use several different words such as ‘here’, ‘home,’ or just calling the dog’s name. Be firm and forceful without creating fear. Always follow up with positive words or treats. As stated above, you should reward your dog with positive words such as, ‘good girl,’ ‘good job’, ‘that a boy,’ or whatever positive words you say when your dog has done a good job following your commands. You may also follow up with a special treat if you like. Positive reinforcement will teach your dog it is good, and even fun, to follow commands. If you discipline your dog too many times after saying come or you say no too many times after their name, this has a counter effect on your dog. Try to stay positive while training. And praise your dog often. Try a new command word for come if you think it has become a negative word to your dog.
Other Solutions and Considerations
Always keep in mind that dogs do not deliberately disobey their owners. Dogs typically always aim to please their masters. Often times, it is a miscommunication or some other reason triggering your dog’s behavior that has to be understood before you can properly solve the problem. Disciplining a dog who didn’t understand the command properly will only make the issue worse. Be patient with your dog and train him more thoroughly on the word ‘come’ or ‘come here.’ This is the best way to get your dog back on track. Sometimes all you need is a little love, patience, and some training.
With some patience and training, you can fix the broken lines of communication between you and your dog so that he will always come when called. Stay positive, give your dog love, and make his training fun. If you take out the stress and negativity that sometimes comes with teaching or retraining the ‘come’ command, your dog will start coming every time you call him.