How to Train a Cairn Terrier to Come

Easy
1-4 Weeks
General

Introduction

Despite his small stature, your Cairn Terrier is probably intelligent, fearless, and active, as is their nature. He also makes the perfect companion for snuggling up on the sofa with after a long day. Guests are always quick to say how cute he is and he’s always sociable and eager to say hello. However, take him outside of the house and it’s a different story. As soon as you let him off the leash he runs for freedom. He’s overwhelmed by all the sights and smells, so getting him back to you is challenging to say the least.

Training him to come will put your mind at ease when you’re out and about. It will mean if you are a near a road, you can call him over and not have to worry about him being involved in a traffic collision. It will also assert your position as pack leader, making it easier to teach him a range of other commands too.

Defining Tasks

Training your Cairn Terrier to come can prove challenging. However, the younger he is when you start training, the quicker you will see results. The biggest hurdle is finding the right incentive. Once you have that, you just need to get him in a regular habit of coming when called. It will, of course, require consistent and rigorous obedience training.

If he’s a puppy he should be a fast learner. Therefore, you could see results in just a week. If he’s older and stubborn, then you may need a while longer. It could be a month or so before you see consistent results. Succeed and you won’t need to worry about him bolting when he sees another dog on the horizon. In addition, if you are in a rush to get out of the house, calling him over will now be quick and stress-free.

Getting Started

Before you get to work, you’ll need to gather a few bits. The main component will be treats. Alternatively, you can break his favorite food into small chunks. For one of the methods, a clicker will also be needed.

Set aside 10 minutes each day for training. You can practice inside and in your yard, before finally training when on your daily walk.

Once you have all the above, you just need patience and an optimistic attitude, then work can begin!

The Treat Lure Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Start close
Take him into a quiet room where you won’t be distracted. Make sure you have a pocket full of treats with you too. Then lean down so you are closer to his level and capture his attention by holding out a treat.
Step
2
‘Come’
Stand just a few feet away from him and give a ‘come’ command. You can use any word or phrase you like. Cairn Terriers can learn hundreds of different commands. Just give it in a playful tone. He will learn quickly if he thinks he is playing a game.
Step
3
Reward
Encourage him to come to your feet by holding out the treat and patting your legs. Once he is at your feet, hand over a tasty treat and give him some verbal praise. The happier he feels, the more likely it is he will repeat the behavior again.
Step
4
Build up the distance
Practice this for a few minutes each day. However, gradually increase the distance you stand from him when you call him over.
Step
5
Lose the treats
Once you can call him over even when you are out on walks and there are distractions about, you know he’s got the hang of it. At this point, you can slowly phase out the treats.
Recommend training method?

The Ping Pong Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Setting up
Head for a quiet room with your Cairn Terrier, a friend, and a toy. You are going to encourage him to run to you by holding him back slightly. Sit down and face each other, leaving around 10 feet between you.
Step
2
Hold him back
Have your friend hold him by the collar gently. You don’t want to hurt him, but make sure he can’t run over to you until called.
Step
3
‘Come’
Look at him when you give the 'come' command and give it in an upbeat tone. You can also hold up a toy and pat your legs to further encourage him to run towards you. After your friend has held him back for a couple of seconds, he will come charging towards you. Simply holding him back will make him want what he can’t have.
Step
4
Reward
When he does come bounding into your lap, make sure he gets a generous reward. A treat or a minute playing with his toy will do the trick. The greater the reward, the more eager he will be to play again.
Step
5
Make it harder
Practice this for a few minutes each day. However, start sitting further apart from each other. Also, you can then lose the friend and just call him over when there isn’t anyone holding him back. Keep practicing until he comes running up to you even when there are distractions around.
Recommend training method?

The Click & Reward Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Clicker friendly
A clicker is a fantastic way to communicate with your Cairn Terrier. It’s your way of letting him know he has performed a behavior correctly. So, give a click after he performs any instruction, such as ‘sit’, ‘wait’, etc.and follow with a treat or other reward.
Step
2
‘Come’
Once he is familiar with the clicker, stand a couple of feet away from him and hold up a toy. At the same time, give a ‘come’ command in an animated voice. You want him to think he is playing a big game.
Step
3
Click & reward
As soon as he comes running towards you, give a click and then hand over the toy. Spend a minute or so playing tug of war and making him happy. This will make him want to play again.
Step
4
Different room
After a day or so of standing close to him, start giving the command when you are in a different room. Again, make sure you click when he arrives and reward him. Once he’s got the hang of that, start practicing when you are out on walks too.
Step
5
Never punish him
It is important you never punish your Cairn Terrier. Positive reinforcement is the most effective training technique. If you punish him, he may become scared of you and then less reluctant to come when called.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers and Success Stories

Question
ANGEL
AnimalBreed object
10 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
ANGEL
AnimalBreed object
10 Months

He seems to have extreme separation anxiety when he isnt near me but at the same time he doesnt respect me at all...how can i help get the separation anxiety to go away and get him to respect me at the same time

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
673 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kayla, First, pup needs to be crate trained to help build independence. Check out the Surprise method from the article linked below and work on that method to get him used to you being out of the room while he is crated. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate There are a couple of routes you can take with the separation anxiety. He also needs to build his independence and his confidence by adding a lot of structure and predictability into his routine. Things such as making him work for rewards like meals, walks, and pets. Working on "Stay" and "Place," commands while you move away or leave the room, and teaching him to remain inside a crate when the door is open as well as closed. Give him something to do in the crate or on Place during the day while you are out of the room (such as a dog food stuffed Kong to chew on). Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Crate manners: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Another protocol involves teaching the dog to cope with their own anxiety by making their current anxious go-to behaviors unpleasant, giving them an opportunity to stop those behaviors long enough to learn something new, then rewarding the correct, calmer behavior instead. This protocol can feel harsh because it involves careful correction, but it tends to work much quicker for many dogs. If you go this route, I suggest hiring a trainer who is very experienced using both positive reinforcement and fair correction to help you implement the training. Building his independence and structure in his life will still be an important part of this protocol too, and has the benefit of building trust and respect for you too. First, check out this video from SolidK9Training on treating anxiety. It will give a brief over-view of treating separation anxiety more firmly. This trainer can be a bit abrupt with his teaching style with people but is very experienced working with highly aggressive, anxious, and reactive dogs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5GqzeLzysk Make sure you are implementing what he teaches there in other areas of pup's life too. Second, purchase a Pet convincer. DO NOT use a citronella collar, buy the additional unscented air canister if the collar comes with the citronella and make sure that you use the unscented air. (Citronella collars are actually very harsh and the smell lingers a long time so the dog continues to be corrected even after they stop the behavior). Next, set up a camera to spy on him. If you have two smart devices, like tablets or smartphones, you can Skype or Facetime them to one another with your pup’s end on mute, so that you can see and hear him but he will not hear you. Video baby monitors, video security monitors with portable ways to view the video, GoPros with the phone Live App, or any other camera that will record and transmit the video to something portable that you can watch outside live will work. Set up your camera to spy on him while he is in the crate and leave. Spy on him from outside. Leave however you normally would. As soon as you hear him crying or see him start to try to escape or destroy the crate from the camera, quietly return, spray a small puff of air from the pet convincer at his side through the crate wires, without opening the door, then leave again. Every time he barks or tries to get out of the crate, correct, then leave again. After five minutes to ten minutes of practice, as soon as your dog stays quiet and is not trying to escape for five seconds straight, go back into the room where he is and sprinkle several treats into the crate without saying anything, then leave again. Practice correcting when he barks or tries to escape, going back inside and sprinkling treats when he stays quiet, for up to 30 minutes a session at first. After 30 minutes -1 hour of practicing this, while he is quiet, go back into the room and sprinkle more treats. This time stay in the room. Do not speak to him or pay attention to him for ten minutes while you walk around and get stuff done inside. When he is being calm, then you can let him out of the crate. When you let him out, do it the way Jeff does is in this video below. Opening and closing the door until your dog is not rushing out. You want him to be calm when he comes out of the crate and to stay calm when you get home. That is why you need to ignore him when you get home right away. Also, keep your good byes extremely boring and calm. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5GqzeLzysk Also, for longer alone times give him a kibble food stuffed Kong into the crate/room with him. Once he is less anxious he will likely enjoy it even if he didn't pay any attention to it in the past, and that will help him to enjoy alone time more. First, he may need her anxious state of mind interrupted so that he is open to learning other ways to behave. Once it's interrupted, give him a food stuffed Kong in the crate for him to relieve his boredom instead of barking, since he will need something other than barking to do at that point. Regularly practice him staying on Place and in the open crate while you are home and leave the room as well. Finally, teach pup the Quiet command to make communication with him clearer. Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark For most dogs I recommend using the Pet Convincer or similar more mild corrector. Some dogs need to be corrected remotely so that you aren't giving extra attention. If you find that to be the case with your pup, I suggest hiring a professional trainer who is very familiar with e-collar training and can use low level, working level, e-collar training the correct way to interrupt pup's state of mind, for you to then be able to reward for calm responses afterwards. Structure and obedience like Place is just as important for that training as well. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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