Teaching a Puppy to Come


Does anyone have any ideas on training a puppy to come when called, after she accidentally gets out without a leash on? When I run after her she runs away.
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Carla from Harrisburg, PA

Answers:

Teaching a Puppy to Come

Chase is more fun that anything. Work on teaching your puppy the recall. That is to come when you call. Start on leash, in your hall with doors closed to limit distractions. Say "puppy, come", use this command, reel her in and praise lavishly. Do this everywhere keeping her on lead so you can step on it if necessary. When she is responding, back up and keep her eyes and, using the command, call her to you again and again. Praise, praise, praise. Do this repeatedly and briefly 3-5 times a day. It will take several days. Do it outside in the yard on a long line, working up to 25 or so feet. But, never give a command you are not in a position to enforce.

Teach her "puppy, wait" at the door. Teach that command and praise for compliance. You can have someone holding the long line behind her, setting her up to dash out the door. Give the "wait" command and when she dashes, have them instantly pop the line for a good correction. As soon as she is stopped, praise. Set ups are excellent teaching moments. If she bolts toward the street, and you are desperate, never chase, but flop down on the ground and act noisy and crazy. She will come to investigate. As you are grabbing her collar, say "puppy come". When you've got her, praise. You will have taught her coming to you is good. I know this works, as I have done it to my embarrassment, but my dog was safe. (01/05/2006)

By Vicka

Teaching a Puppy to Come

I agree with Vicka. Never give a command you can't enforce. If the pup gets away off leash, you can also try running the opposite way or even at a right angle to your puppy. Do not use the same command you use on leash, use another phrase, like "Come on" or "Get your ball," or whatever sounds like it would be fun to follow you. (01/05/2006)

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By Jewels955

Teaching a Puppy to Come

Instead of using just a verbal command, you might want to use a visual command as well. With our dog, we always drop down to one knee and hold out our arms wide. Our dog has decided that to get the treat for this, she has to touch her nose to our left hand, which coincidentally puts her across our bodies in grabbing range. :-) We used clicker training to reinforce this and it works pretty well, although sometimes you have to do it a couple of times because her "touch" is so perfunctory. Also, never use the "come" command to punish her. "Come" should always be a positive thing. (01/06/2006)

By kathykl

Teaching a Puppy to Come

The old ringing of the bell works for us. Start by ringing the bell and immediately give a piece of cheese, or anything your pup likes a lot and does not get often. We have many acres and that bell can be heard for a long way. Our dogs always come running. I've even stopped them from chasing rabbits with this method. And believe me, they were focused on that rabbit! (01/06/2006)

By suzanne

Teaching a Puppy to Come

Has your dog had any obedience training? You might want to check for a reliable trainer in your area. If this problem isn't resolved, your dog could run out into the street and be hit by a car. We stopped this behavior in our dog by having one person hold the dog on a leash while someone else called him and enticed him to run. The person holding the leash gave the command to "Stay". This must be practiced over and over until your dog can stay without the leash. Chasing in dogs is a natural instinct. If wolves didn't have that instinct, they would probably have starved to death and be extinct today. If your dog won't respond to verbal commands only, the last resort is to use a training collar with remote. The one we have has tone and mild shock with ten levels. We use the tone for training and a mild shock for lunging towards other dogs and cats. Use the verbal command along with this and always praise your dog when it obeys the command.


If you are in a fenced in area and your dog runs away from you, you can run in the opposite direction and call its name. When it comes to you, praise it. Never ever punish your dog for running. The more you yell, the more stressed the dog becomes and the more it will want to run from you. I only use positive enforcement in training my dog and it makes him want to learn. At the end of the training session we play. That is his reward for being obedient. Be patient, give praise and don't over work your dog. Dogs have a short attention span and will tire after ten or fifteen minutes. Just like a small child. Good luck! (01/09/2006)

By Anonymous

Teaching a Puppy to Come

Suzanne's advise is called, 'Pavlov's theory'. He proved that by association, a dog would salivate at the sound of a ringing bell because he taught the dog to associate getting a treat with the sound. All these suggestions are great and it's important that your dog "come" each and every time you call it. (01/22/2006)

By Anonymous

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