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Of all the behaviors a dog owners desires from their dog, the ability to command your dog to come to you is at or near the top of the list. A dog that ignores this command is not a bad dog, they simply have not received the correct training a dog to come on instruction. You do not need to be a professional dog trainer to teach this highly valued behavior to your dog. Read on for how to accomplish this training with no fussing or loss of temper on your part.
Training a dog to come when told to do so means you must make it worth the effort for the dog. He or she needs to learn their will be less than desirable consequences if they ignore your command to come. Speaking of the command word, keep it a simple one syllable work such as “here”, “come”, or I have even used a finger snap, but this is only applicable when the dog is close by.
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I strongly suggest that if you are interested in having your dog off-leash then you put the time and effort in learning “whistle” recalls. This is a technique used most often with hunting dogs and you will also find it more in the UK. There is an excellent book to help with the process: “Total Recall” by Pippa Mattinson published by Quiller.
This technique recognizes that dogs operate fundamentally through their olfactory (nose)senses and it has nothing to do with alpha status or hierarchy. If your dog is distracted by the smell of XYZ (doesn’t matter what it is, could be a cat, squirrel, other dog) he will prefer that smell over your presence because catsquirreldognovelsmell is much more rewarding than you UNLESS you take the time to TEACH them that it is better to be with you. This will usually mean a higher value, small amount, treat on a variable schedule.
If you know how to use the clicker then you can use the whistle the exact same way…it’s just used over a distance.
My dog definitely will come on command—-except—-if she sees another dog, cat or animal. Then you are commanding in the wind. Do you have any ideas to train after this point. Thanks.