So many clients ask me why their dog doesn’t come to them when called or¬†why¬†there’s a sudden decline in the dog’s response rate.
The dog’s response may¬†be more dependent upon word association than anything else. After all, think of¬†the number of¬†unpleasant experiences that tend to follow the command:
Come¬† away from that interesting smell on our walk.
Come¬† into the house I have to leave you alone to go to work.
Come¬† I need to put you in your crate for the night.
Come¬† into the vet’s office for that painful vaccination.
Come¬† away from chasing that squirrel.
Come I need to punish you for something you did.
Come¬† onto the groomer’s table for that painful toenail clip.
Come¬† away from that hole you’re digging in the garden, and so on.
It didn’t start out this way. Most puppies learned early in life that coming to¬†their owners¬†was jolly good fun. For example, what fun it was that exciting first week in¬†their new home when family members called¬†them¬†only for the purpose of receiving kisses, treats and petting.¬†But then something changed.¬†Owners began using the¬†recall only when they needed it … usually with a disappointing consequence.¬†
If you think this¬†may be responsible for your dog’s poor recall,¬†here are my top¬†tips that may improve¬†his/her reliability.
By following some of these tips you may be able to improve upon the reliability of your dog’s recall¬†as well as train in¬†one that’s associated with more positive experiences.
Karen Fazio, CDBC¬†is the owner of¬†The Dog Super Nanny¬†professional dog training and is the Director of Behavior at¬†Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital¬†in Monmouth County, NJ. She may be reached at 732-533-9376 or¬†firstname.lastname@example.org