Your little dog knows 'come'. You know this. You’ve spent so much time working on it, along with all the other basics like 'down' and 'sit'. When you call, your little dog comes running like hearing her name is the best thing that could happen. You’re not worried about bringing your little dog to the park for the first time.When you are ready to go home, you are so embarrassed to have to chase your very quick little dog all over. Anyone would think she had never been called to come in her life! All those longs hours of training... wasted.
Your training isn’t wasted, and although it seems like your little dog has forgotten everything, really she hasn’t. It’s just that with distractions, it is so much more difficult for your little dog to obey. This may be because she hasn’t yet developed the self-control to overcome her impulses, or it may be because your dog doesn’t understand your command in this new setting of a park, or it could be because your little dog is testing what she can get away with.
Little dogs that are bred to follow their nose or chase down game, like Dachshunds and Yorkshire terriers, may have a harder time dealing with distractions than little dogs bred to be companions. It will take a lot of patience to train your little dog to come no matter what, and having your little friend run off on you can be extremely frustrating. There is no point in losing your temper though. Your little dog is not refusing to come because she doesn’t love you, but because of many factors beyond her control. Work gradually with your little dog while using external controls like barriers and long leashes to keep everyone safe.
Training your little dog to come with distractions is similar to training her to come without distractions. You need something to motivate your little dog, like treats, toys, and of course, your affection. If your little dog is already coming without distractions, you already know what your little dog likes best. Bring these same tools to the distraction training.
Some additional tools are great in teaching your little dog to come even with distractions. A distinct attention getter, like a whistle or horn, can cut through distractions. Long lines with some elasticity are useful both for having control of your little dog and for nudging her into paying attention. An elastic line is good because it prevents a sharp pull to your little dog’s delicate body. If your little dog is really struggling to break out of their focus on other things, an electronic collar can be a useful tool for getting their attention.