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How to Train Your Boston Terrier Dog to Come

How to Train Your Boston Terrier Dog to Come
Medium difficulty iconMedium
Time icon1-3 Weeks
General training category iconGeneral

Introduction

It’s a Saturday morning and you’re enjoying a peaceful stroll across the fields. With you is your full-of-life Boston Terrier. He’s intelligent, lively and as friendly as they come. But while it is his nature to be friendly, it doesn’t half cause problems on occasion. One minute you’re looking at rolling fields stretched out ahead, the next you’re calling after him as he charges into the distance to say hello to another canine on the horizon. The only problem is there’s a road in-between him and his new friend. Fortunately, there’s no traffic this time. Next time though, you might not be so lucky.

You need to re-assert your control and ensure you can call him over in moments like these. Training him to come when called could save him from serious injury one day. 

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Defining Tasks

Training any dog to return to you when there are distractions around is challenging. What makes it challenging in Boston Terriers is their need to say hello to any human and dog they come across. The trick is finding the right incentive. Like most dogs, they do love their food. If you can lure him away enough times you can build a habit where he comes every time when called. You’ll need to use consistent obedience commands to get to that stage.

If he’s a puppy he should be eager to please and a fast learner. You could see results in just a few days. If he’s older and stubborn you may need a little while longer. You could need up to three weeks before you reach your end goal. Get this training right and you’ll never have to worry when you take him off the leash again.

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Getting Started

Before you start training you’ll need to gather a few things. You’ll need a clicker and a long leash for one of the methods. A friend will also be required for one method.

You should stock up on treats or break his favorite food into small pieces. Cheese is often a wise choice. You’ll need to set aside 10 minutes each day for training. Training can take place in a large yard or when you’re on your daily walk.

Once you have the above, just bring patience and a proactive attitude and work can begin!

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The Backwards Method

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1

Secure him to a leash

Head outside with your Boston Terrier on a leash. All you’ll need is a pocketful of treats. Try not to get him excited at this point. Remain calm so he will stay relatively focused.

2

‘Come’

Issue a ‘come’ command in a clear voice with an upbeat tone. Move backwards quickly as you give the command.

3

Keep walking

Keep moving backwards until he catches up to you. By moving away he’ll naturally want to rush to you. Keep eye contact and encourage him to catch up with you the whole time.

4

Reward

As soon as he catches up with you, say "yes" in an animated voice. Then hand over a treat and give him some attention for a minute. Really show him he’s behaved correctly. The happier he feels when he reaches you the more likely he’ll be to return to you next time.

5

Practice

Practice this for 10 minutes each day. Once he gets the hang of it you can let him off the leash and gradually increase the distance you start calling him over from. You can then also slowly lose the treats.

The Assistant Method

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1

Long leash

Attach a long training leash to his collar. Then head out into the yard with a friend. Also, make sure you have a pocket full of treats. Have your friend stand behind him and hold him by lacing their hands across his chest.

2

Get his attention

Capture his attention by holding a tasty treat in front of his face. Then start talking in animated voice to get him worked up. You want to get him itching to run to you. The fact he’s being held back will only want to make him run to you more.

3

Run away

Start running away from him. Then after a few feet give a ‘come’ command. Give it in a playful voice. You can encourage him by clapping your hands and making noises. Then when he starts pulling, have your friend let go of him so he can run to you.

4

Reward

As soon as he’s caught up with you, give him the treat and lots of praise. Make sure he gets it within three seconds of catching you, otherwise he won’t associate the reward with the behavior.

5

Lose the friend

Practice with the friend for the first few days. At this point he should associate coming to you with tasty food so the friend will no longer be needed. Keep practicing until you can call him to you when you’re in a variety of situations. At that point you can slowly phase out the treats.

The Click & Reward Method

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1

Start at home

Get him used to the clicker at home. Whenever he performs a behavior correctly, click before you give him a treat. This is an effective way to communicate with him. The signal will help him learn quickly.

2

Hold his toy

Start in a room at home. Then call his name in a high pitched and playful voice. You can hold his toy up for him to see. Keep eye contact and really be as animated as you can. The happier he sees you are the more he’ll want to come over.

3

Click & reward

As soon as he gets to you, click and play with the toy as a reward. Keep the playing to just a minute. You can play tug of war and just generally roll around. The greater the reward the more he’ll associate coming to you with positive consequences.

4

Introduce distractions

After a couple of days of practicing at home you can head outside. Start by calling him when he’s still close. Then each day practice when there are new distractions around, such as other pets and people. Remember to click each time he gets to your feet. Keep practicing until you can call him over in all situations.

5

Never punish him

For this method to succeed, it’s vital you don’t shout at or scare him. If he’s terrified of you then he won’t want to run to you when you call him. That’s why you also shouldn’t say his name followed by a ‘NO’ command. His name should only be said in an upbeat voice that will make him feel safe and want to come to you.

Written by James Barra

Veterinary reviewed by:

Published: 12/19/2017, edited: 01/08/2021

Training Questions

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Training Questions and Answers

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raymond

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Boston Terrier

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Five Months

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Question

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its had to stop him from pooping in the house we take him out nothing then sure enough we bring him in then he goes

April 19, 2023

raymond's Owner

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Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

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1133 Dog owners recommended

Hello, Check out the Crate Training method from the article I have linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Since your dog is older, you can add an hour to the times listed there for potty breaks; however, pay special attention to a few details in that article. Most puppies will need to poop 2-3 times a day (if pup is pooping more than four separate times I recommend a trip to your vet. I am not a vet). Generally puppies will poop 15-45 minutes after eating and after a lot of movement. When you take pup potty, take them on a leash, walk them around slowly, since smelling and movement helps pup feel like they need to poop. You can also add a potty encouraging spray, spraying it on the area you are going to take pup potty to, right before you take them outside. Tell pup to "Go Potty", rewarding pup with a treat if they pee, then walk them around again for another 15 minutes to help them poop, telling them to "Go Potty" again, and rewarding with five small treats if they do poop. If they don't poop, take them inside, crate for 30-60 minutes then take them back out again. Repeating this process until you get them to poop outside and can reward and give a couple of hours of freedom out of the crate while they are empty before then next part of the day they may need to poop again, such as morning, afternoon, and evening. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

April 24, 2023

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Frankie

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Boston Terrier

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6 Months

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Question

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I keep catching Frankie eating his poop.

June 22, 2019

Frankie's Owner

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Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

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1133 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kristina, Poop eating also called Coprophagia is common in older puppies. May puppies outgrow it but it can turn into a long-term habit if it isn't prevented from regularly happening. The most important thing to do is clean up all poop right after they go to prevent access. When access is removed most of the time, many pups will out grow it when it's behavioral. Removing access to poop to eat is the most important step whenever you can, but you can also add certain things to his food to make the poop less appealing. Plain, canned pumpkin is the easiest thing to try. It's also good for regulating your dog's bowels. There are also products specifically made to help discourage it, such as NaturVet Coprophagia, that can be added to your dog's food to make the poop less appealing. You can also try adding something unpleasant to the poop after he goes, such as white vinegar, lemon juice, or hot pepper. Be aware that hot pepper can irritate digestion and loosen stools if your does continues to eat the poop and also ingests the pepper. This method doesn't always work though, since taste is not usually the main issue, it is something easy to try though. Finally, if the poop eating continues or their are other symptoms, I suggest a trip to your vet. Poop eating is sometimes a symptom of parasites, such as worms, nutritional deficiency, or allergy such as food allergy - especially when an older dog is doing it or it continues with age despite efforts to remove access and make it less pleasant. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

June 22, 2019


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