Uh-oh, Your dog won’t come when called… A Different Perspective.
Your dog isn’t exactly Lassie, and can be a stubborn SOB when you’re in a hurry. We’ve seen it, we’ve fixed it. (Although it can be tricky if they’ve been outsmarting your for far too long.) If you’re really stuck, we can help with recall and all those other things… but first, let me explain it from a slightly different perspective, Recall from the dogs’ point of view. Sometimes changing YOUR perspective is what needs to be done.
Let’s start with the basics: How do you call your dog?
What tone of voice do you use to call the dog?
- Are you happy?
- Are you gruff?
- Is there a chance that the dog might get to go and do something really fun if he complies?
- What is in it for the dog if he comes to you?
- Does play time end?
Usually by making one or two simple adjustments to your routine, you can fix the problem. Dogs aren’t robots… They’re thinking creatures with hopes and desires, just like YOU. If your dog comes some of the time or to another family member all of the time; He knows what is wanted and expected of him. He is simply choosing NOT to do it. We see this all the time.
Typically the dog wants to please us. Loves the sound of his human’s voice, but over time, being inconsistent, not thinking it through, and via busy lifestyles, we have “Broken” the “Here” command. As a Nation, we have a very nasty habit of training our dogs, not to come to us when called. Sometimes we’re in a hurry. Other times we are angry at something else and use the wrong, “tense and scary,” tone of voice, or we don’t take 4 or 5 minutes to play with the dog when they do willingly, immediately and happily, come when called. That’s a blatant, 6th Letter of the Alphabet, screw up. You pay your contractor to work for you, therefore, you MUST, reward your dog when he works for you too.
I have a hunch that if you think about what I’ve just told you, you can probably fix the recall issue all by yourself. But just in case you still don’t understand… Read on. The next paragraph has been an epiphany for Dozens of training clients.
Think about how you feel when your boss is all gruff and calls you into his office. You don’t want to even be near him. Stress is radiating off of him like radiation from cans of Fukashima Tuna.
Change of pace now: Annual reviews are up. you’ve busted your toushie all year long and deserve a honking, big raise. Think about how you feel when it’s review time and the boss is smiling when he calls you into his office.
The reward doesn’t have to be anything more than spending a few minutes throwing a ball or petting the dog, or giving a treat, taking the dog for a walk, or maybe just excitement in your voice… the dog needs to learn that coming to you is a good thing… and when he complies, good things happen! Try that on for a week and see if you have some changes.
If it’s still not working, we can schedule a free training consultation. Our board and train package for one week, one dog runs $800. We typically only take one dog per week, and we can’t tell how much time & effort it will take without meeting the dogs.
Please remember, always vary the reward schedule. It’s far more exciting if he never knows exactly what he’s going to get. (Our attention is also currency that dogs will work very hard for…. so is praise.)
Dog training is not rocket science. It’s building a life long friendship with your dogs. We build trust through communication. Reward the behaviors you want to see repeated and ignore or redirect the ones you don’t like.
An example: if your dog tends to jump on household visitors: Rather than let the dogs jump up, we would train an alternate behavior like sit, or go to your place… but there has to be a reward for compliance… and don’t forget to be happy… dogs love it when we smile.
Hoping this helps to solve a lot of issues and help a lot of dogs and their people, learn to trust one another a little bit more, even when they’re stressed out or simply in a hurry…
So long for now,
The Alpha Dog’s wife.