But things don't go according to plan. You let the dog off the lead, but immediately your recognize that devilish look in his eye. It's as if he knows he holds all the cards and if he stays just out of reach there's not a thing you can do about it.
You shout "Come", but instead of running towards you, he takes the command as a warning that playtime's at an end and skips further off. The short work quickly turns into a nightmare as, in the dwindling light, the dog ignores your frantic calls and stays out of reach.
Eventually, you're forced to phone a friend to collect the kids, while you pursue the dog. By the time you do eventually catch him it's fully dark and you're almost weeping with frustration.
Teaching a stubborn dog the art of recall is not as difficult as you might at first suppose. It's simply a matter of tipping the scales in your favor, by teaching the dog that there's a fantastic treat waiting and that he still gets to play afterward.
Start training in the safety of your home or yard, and as the dog becomes more accomplished move the training into public places. If you can't trust the dog to obey, then use a longline while training so he can't run off.
To teach a stubborn dog a good recall you'll need:
We brought Tonga home five days ago and are having some serious trouble introducing basic commands like “come” and “no biting”. We reward her with treats when she does and are never aggressive or harsh with her, but she just doesn’t want to come to us. She will the first few times- and then just ignore us and wander off to do her own thing. We’ve had two Labradors from puppies before, but never had to use treats or repeated training to train them. We’re all frustrated and sad, even hurt- we know that she’s just getting used to us, but surely there should be some willing now? There are five of us in the house- my mother and father, then me (22), my brother (19) and my sister (17). Perhaps she doesn’t have a particular focus for an authority figure as there are so many of us? Maybe I’m just anxious, but I’m desperate for her to be happy, stimulated, and well behaved. She’s very young but very stubborn and strong willed- no bad thing, but she needs to have some training/discipline to be safe with us when she’s walking or out in public when she’s older. I’m devoted to this little dog but it’s as frustrating and tiring as trying to calm a screaming toddler. Do you have any suggestions?
Hello Sophie, First, know that what you are experiencing is completely normal. Retrievers are often highly willing to please and very dependent on their people, so like to come and stick close usually, but it's extremely common with certain personality type puppies and other breeds for pup not to want to come and to be biting a lot at this age. Your new pup probably just has a more independent personality than your previous dogs so your training will need to be done a bit differently than before. Check out the Run Away and Reel In method for teaching Come: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall I would also keep a drag leash on pup, such as a six foot check cord without a handle, when you are home to supervise pup around the home, to ensure it doesn't get caught on anything. When pup doesn't come, calmly walk over to the end of the leash, step on it so pup won't run off, then pick it up, and lead pup back to the spot you called them from. Have pup sit, then release pup back to what they were doing. When they come willingly, give a treat. Expect to need treats for a while with this puppy. Starting today, use the "Bite Inhibition" method. At the same time however, begin teaching "Leave It" from the "Leave It" method. As soon as pup is good as the Leave It game, start telling pup to "Leave It" when he attempts to bite or is tempted to bite. Reward pup if he makes a good choice. If he disobeys your leave it command, use the Pressure method to gently discipline pup for biting when you told him not to. The order or all of this is very important - the bite inhibition method can be used for the next couple of weeks while pup is learning leave it, but leave it will teach pup to stop the biting entirely. The pressure method teaches pup that you mean what you say without being overly harsh - but because you have taught pup to leave it first, pup clearly understands that you are not just roughhousing (which is what pup probably thinks most of the time right now), so it is more effective. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite When pup gets especially wound up, he probably needs a nap too. At this age puppies will sometimes get really hyper when they are overtired or haven't had any mental stimulation through something like training. When you spot that and think pup could be tired, place pup in their crate or an exercise pen with a food stuffed Kong for a bit to help him calm down and rest. Also, know that mouthiness at this age is completely normal. It's not fun but it is normal for it to take some time for a puppy to learn self-control well enough to stop. Try not to get discouraged if you don't see instant progress, any progress and moving in the right direction in this area is good, so keep at it. I suspect this puppy has a stronger personality and you will want more structured obedience over the next year than you may have needed to pursue with your previous dogs. If so, here are a few resources you can refer to between now and a year. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Down-Stay: https://www.thelabradorsite.com/train-your-labrador-to-lie-down-and-stay/ Leave It: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Out - which means leave the room: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ A puppy class with other puppies is a fantastic way to not only work on obedience but also gain socialization, so I do recommend that, but if you want to practice more on your own too, you can follow along with these videos with your puppy at home to help with general basic obedience: Puppy Class videos: Week 1, pt 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnhJGU2NO5k Week 1, pt 2: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-1-part-2-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 2, pt 1 https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-2-part-1-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 2, pt 2: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-2-part-2-home-jasper-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 3, pt 1: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-3-part-1-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 3, pt 2: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-3-part-2-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 4, pt 1: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-4-part-1-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 4, pt 2: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-4-part-2-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 5, pt 1: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-5-part-1-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 5, pt 2: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-5-part-2-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 6, pt 1: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-6-part-1-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 6, pt 2: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-6-part-2-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1-0 Finally, check out the PDF e-book downloads found on this website, written by one of the founders of the association of professional dog trainers, and a pioneer in starting puppy kindergarten classes in the USA. Click on the pictures of the puppies to download the PDF books: https://www.lifedogtraining.com/freedownloads/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Dog is smart. Knows most commands including 'no road' and 'car', first one means no paws on the road and second means to freeze because there is a car coming along the road, HOWEVER, the 'come' command is ignored every time. What am I doing wrong? I've used the long leash, said the command and yanked on the lead. I've made sure I have her attention then said the command and she just smiles and turns away. Short of keeping her on leash at all times, how do I correct this?
Hello Cathy, First, when using a long leash, when you say come and pup doesn't come, instead of just pulling on the leash - like you are giving a correction, reel her all the way into you gently if you are not already doing that - the reel in isn't meant as a correction like a leash pop on a short leash would be - the goal is to show pup by making them coming over to you through reeling them in, that come means come to you. Corrections don't come until way later, if needed at all, once pup is very good at come. Second, when they do get to you, reward with praise and a treat at first, to help them associate coming to you with good things, to motivate them to come. Once they are good at coming on their own, then phase out the treats and only give them a treat when they come quickly without having to be reeled in. Third, when you call them on the long leash, run a couple of feet away quickly, while acting super excited - doing this encourages pup's chase instinct to get them to come toward you. It also motivates pup to come to you in general because they expect coming to you to be fun and not unpleasant. You don't want pup associating coming to you with bad things right now. Fourth, once pup knows what come means really well, and you are ready to phase out treats, start using the PreMack Principle to motivate pup with life rewards instead of only food. Check out the article linked below for details on using the long leash, motivating pup through running away, and using the premack principle once you are ready to phase out treats. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-to-come-when-called/ Start all of this in a calm, low distraction area first, and very gradually add in distractions as pup improves. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Hello, I recently adopted (fostered first) a Dobe from a rescue. We only know she was picked up as a stray, but must have been someone's at some point as her tail is docked.
I'm guessing she was abused at some point as well as she seems overtly submissive. Event trying to teach her "wait" by putting my hand on her neck or gently reaching for her collar will cause her to drop to the ground and roll on her side. She also does this when attempting to lift her into the car (she won't jump in).
Teaching her to come is also difficult - is she doesn't want to come, she will not. Even if I have a tasty treat. If I give a gentle pull on the least she drops.
I'm at a loss for how to handle her training. My last Dobe was extremely attentive and willing, but I had her since a puppy. I do not know this sweet girl's history, so I do not know what she may have been subjected too.
And wondering if I"m handling the car training appropriately. She's frightened of the car. So I've tried to take her out on occasionally rides to the co-op feed store (3xs now). They have bins of bones and other dogs treats, but it's not as busy with animals as the pet store. I always be sure to pick up a few pigs ears that she loves, so she begins to associate that ride with her tasty prize. But it takes two people to lift her into the car and she's white knuckling (or white clawing) it the whole way. I don't want to traumatize her, but I want her to be able to ride in the car without fear.
Hello Angie, For the Come I suggest taking her somewhere safe, like a fenced in area, and practicing running away from her excitedly while calling Come. When she arrives offer her a favorite treat or toy. Another approach is to get her excited about a toy first, like a flirt pole, ball or tug of war toy. When she is excited about the toy, then run away from her with it, wiggling it around, and calling Come. When she arrives, praise her and let her play with the toy. Also, if she is a recent rescue, spending time training her in general to build her confidence and relationship with you should help with the shyness overtime. Running away initiates a chase instinct for most dogs though, so it's more fun and less intimidating. Spending time building her confidence in general overtime should also help though. For the car riding check out the article that I have linked below and follow the "Overcoming Fear" method...Instead of getting her excited about riding in the car though, try to make the experience calming for her and stay calm yourself in the car. Your tone should sound confident and happy, not worried or pittying her. Also, work on her "Down" command in the car while the car is not moving. Riding in the Down position helps many dogs stay calmer and prevents motion sickness. When she is ready for trips, you can also have an assistant work on the Down command with her while you drive, so that you can focus on the road. The method makes it sound like the process of learning to like the car happens in just a couple of days, but gauge how fast you move through the steps by how she is doing. It is normal for this process to take a month or so for fearful dogs. Work on being outside the car, then next to the car, then in the car with it turned off, then in it with it on but not moving (run the car outside in your driveway not in a garage because of fumes though), then going for a drive just down the block, then on going on longer drives. When she is ready for trips, continue trips to pleasant places like you are doing now. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-car-rides Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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