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Any dog owner can tell you of a time where their dog did not come when called. Perhaps even a time where the pup stared at them in recognition, but did not move. Why is that? Well, it may be that they are not being rewarded with something they enjoy after they come to their owner! Think back to the reasons you call your dog. Is it to scold them? Is it to leave the park? Is it to receive a much needed bath? These reasons aren’t what your dog considers to be fun, therefore they learn that coming to their owner gives them no positive reinforcement. 

The easiest way to move toward teaching your dog to come when called is to begin calling them for only fun things that they enjoy doing. Call them when it is time to go for a walk, but walk to them and pick them up if it is time to leave the park. When your dog begins to come to you once you have called them, make sure you are prepared with their favorite treats for positive reinforcement. This gives them extra incentive to come to you in the future. 

If your pup is having trouble breaking the habit of ignoring you when you call them, dress them in a harness with a leash in order to guide them to you when you call. Give them a treat when they are close to you. It’s all about rewarding them for the behavior you want them to participate in, and not the behavior you want to break.

Training your dog should be a fun learning experience for you and your dog. If the training sessions are stressful, it will have the opposite effect you are looking for. Always keep the sessions in a time frame where your dog can pay attention to you, if they start focusing on other things, it may be time to stop training for the day and pick it back up tomorrow.

We hope you and your dog benefit from these tips and hope to see you at Dog Tired to participate in any of our various services! If you run into trouble and can’t seem to train your dog, ZE Canine Manners is a wonderful place for local Dogs in Summerville, John’s Island, and Charleston to get proper training in a fun environment. Learn more about ZE Canines here: If interested, Dog Tired customers receive a special offer! Contact us today to learn more! Happy training!


Author: Jessica Carder, Creative Consulting, 2018

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