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Old 02-18-2011, 05:58 PM   #1
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Default I don't get it -- Come!

Ruger follows me all over the house. He sleeps with me and plays with me. So, why won't he come when I call him?

The other day I was at my girlfriend's house and he figured a way to get outside. We live at a resort, so people are walking all over the place. He kept running up to people and barking, then he would run up to someone else and bark. No matter how many times I called him he wouldn't come. I even tried running -- the other direction -- and he wouldn't follow. Eventually he calmed down a bit and followed me back to her place. He knows her place and she has a dog he's friendly with.

What am I doing wrong?
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Old 02-18-2011, 06:26 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ziggy925 View Post
Ruger follows me all over the house. He sleeps with me and plays with me. So, why won't he come when I call him?

The other day I was at my girlfriend's house and he figured a way to get outside. We live at a resort, so people are walking all over the place. He kept running up to people and barking, then he would run up to someone else and bark. No matter how many times I called him he wouldn't come. I even tried running -- the other direction -- and he wouldn't follow. Eventually he calmed down a bit and followed me back to her place. He knows her place and she has a dog he's friendly with.

What am I doing wrong?
Recall training using the "COME" command is very hard for a dog because you are asking him to give up his fun. So, you have to make coming to you more fun than the fun he is having. That means meat as a reward. We trained using a food lure and walking backwards. You have to gradually increase the distance until the dog reliably comes to you. I would never allow mine off leash anyplace that was not secure and they have good recall skills (they just have better bolting skills and I'm just not that fast!). Good luck!
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Old 02-18-2011, 08:33 PM   #3
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Thanks for the help. FYI, the little guy went out the door to take a leak in her yard and we didn't realize the snow removal people had piled the snow up so high against the fence he had a ramp he could use to bolt the property. We've corrected the situation, and he's normally never off leash. When I do let him go he's usually dragging his leash with a roll of poop bags on the end -- pretty easy to grab. When he can feel the leash I think he thinks I'm on the other end.
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Old 02-19-2011, 07:29 PM   #4
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my mee ling only hears what she wants to hear and COME is not one of the words she wants to learn and it drives me crazy

but love her sooooo much she is also very lazy
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Old 02-19-2011, 07:34 PM   #5
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Coming when called is sooo super important and probably one of the hardest things to teach, to a terrier anyways. That's what I've found.

I am still working with Jackson continually.

I try to use a REALLY rewarding treat like hot dog, cheese, chicken, steak, etc when practicing coming when called. I bought a 50foot training lead (Petsmart has these for around $10-$12) and I let him go all the way out 50 feet and then call him to me... so it's almost like he's off leash, but IF he happened to run off, he's still safe at the end of that 50 feet. I also found he responds better to "here" than "come". I don't know why. So you can try different words and phrases.


I'm lucky that my dad has a big fenced in yard and we also have a nice dog park. Both are nice places to practice recall. I always keep a few treats in my pocket at the dog park and will randomly say "Jackson, here!" and he responds REALLY well most of the time now at the dog park (with lots of distractions). It's been a nice place to incorporate training. As well as agility class.

Basically: Practice, practice, practice! Don't use the word "come" or "here" if you know they are NOT going to come. Set them up for success. If you overuse any word, they become 'immune' to it and don't really understand the meaning behind the word. If you keep saying "Come! Come! Come!" and they're not coming... that word is worthless. ONLY say 'come!' when you know they are going to, or after they do.


The key is making YOU be exciting. Make it so your dog wants to come to you, and has fun while doing it. There's also a few things you can do in emergency situations like get on the ground, so that your dog looks at you and is curious as to what you are doing and comes over to explore. I saw this on It's Me or the Dog.


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Old 02-21-2011, 04:37 PM   #6
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Thanks, and good video. Part of my problem when training is I miss that fraction of a second when he either stops, or looks at me, or whatever, and I should be reeling him in with a treat or a kind word. I just have to keep at it BEFORE he gets away.
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Old 02-23-2011, 12:17 PM   #7
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Yes, and reteach the "Come" rather frequently during the year. I use cooked hotdogs, peanut butter, whatever is Tibbe's latest weakness and once he "comes" we have a "circus party" with much praise and dancing and "Yessss!" "GOOD boy" etc. Every time he comes in the door from outside I praise him. Yes, I have had the little guy over 2 years and I still greet him coming to me with praise and happy sounds every time he comes to me from outside or from any distance. I want the word "come" to be associated with great, good times and so far it has worked with him. Plus, I train him outdoors in the front lawn at least 1x every two weeks or so not to step out of our yard and gently push him back when he tries and praise him when he steps back. I use the word "uh uh" or "uh oh" if he nears the boundary line if I am sitting on the porch when he's out front and gets close to the boundary and he turns back. When he turns back he gets praise. If I am out there with him in the yard, he is bolder and I get outside the boundary and walk along it, watching him as I do. If he tries to cross the boundary, he is turned back with the word "uh oh" and praise as soon as he backs off or turns around. He's never been out of the front yard yet and have had him over 2 years. For someone disabled and on a cane it hurts to do this and it is not easy but it is WELL worth it. My sister lost her little dog years ago when the little Silky terrier was run over trying to cross the street to get back home after running off and I never want to have to see my little Tibbe struck down like that so I train him not to leave the yard. Not sayin' it will work forever but so far it has! The other day Tibbe had a real trial of this when 4 teenagers came by the front yard walking home from school and were punching, laughing and grabbing at each other and he began to run after them all the way across the front of the lawn. I didn't want to call attention to myself standing there on my cane by calling out "UH OH" and wondered if Tibbe would listen anyway - so involved was he with these young guys teasing each other and laughing. Tibbe was enthralled and just running after them with gay abandon. But wait - once they crossed my driveway and the space of yard beyond - our yard boundary, my little Yorkshire Terrier turned on a dime and came running to me full speed. He brought up before me panting, "smiling" and jumping around, just exhilerated by all that had happened. Mind you I had said nothing to him, just held my breath and prayed that I wouldn't have to start chasing him all the way down the street. Yet, here he stood in front of me - proud as punch of himself and life in general. In his moment of fun and abandon chasing those boys, he had come to his boundary and smartie that he is, he knew what to do and did it! I lost it - grabbed him up and hugged and kissed him and praised him, some tears probably dripped and got up and danced around with him on my cane, cooing how "goooood" he was. It was a "moment" with my dog. A time when over 2 years of the training paid off in spades and we came inside the house and continued the "circus party", with much praising and hugging and a treat or two or four. I am SO proud of him!
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Old 02-23-2011, 12:47 PM   #8
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That is so awesome. When I am feeling like I am getting no where fast with my training I will try to remember your story so that I can feel encouraged.

Thank you for sharing it.
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Old 02-26-2011, 09:24 AM   #9
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We were definitely having the same problem with Linus. If we had a treat, he'd come right away, but if we didn't, there was no way he was going to come. A dog trainer friend of mine told me it could be that he was getting spoiled and thought he was in charge. She suggested that we stop allowing him to just jump up in our laps and if he did jump up, we push him back down, wait a few seconds, then ask him to "come," and greet him with kisses and a belly rub when he did. She also suggested that we try to spend a little less time with him in our laps for a while, so it's a real treat when he does get to "come."

It's definitely a hard technique to go through, because I love when he jumps up to say hi and I love nothing more than to have that little furbaby all curled up in my lap while I'm working or watching TV, but it really has helped. Now, when we say "come," he's right there because he wants that attention!

It's still difficult outside, because all the stuff to explore is sometimes more exciting than my attention, but it's definitely improving.

Hope that helps!!
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Old 03-03-2011, 06:17 PM   #10
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Great advice, Having some issues with corky, He and I are going in the back yard tomorrow.
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Old 03-03-2011, 06:26 PM   #11
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Default Teaching to Come

I sent Lola to a trainer who taught her to come with a squeek ball.
She LOVES that ball. She can be anywhere....if we squeek that ball she comes running and will wait for the ball until I can get her leash. I then give her the ball and she will walk w/us with the ball in her mouth for a few minutes and then gives it up w/o any problem.
It has been a god sent!!!
She loves the squeek so much I bought a dozen of them so I am never without them!!
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Old 03-04-2011, 03:09 PM   #12
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The reason I train Tibbe in the front yard off leash is a preventative but it is risky so if you do decide to try to train your dog to not dash out of the front yard, do it only if you have taught your dog some basic obedience and it is used to obeying commands. Start out in the front incrementally with the dog leashed, starting with just letting them come out on the porch, then the sidewalk, etc., and be very watchful of your surroundings while he is out there. A squirrel/cat/ dog, a car coming down the street or people can totally distract them - as those kids did Tibbe. I was distracted by getting the mail when those kids appeared and boom, there I was with Tibbe in a possibly dangerous situation. Tibbe was a "dasher" when I got him and I was/am always scared he would some day some how scoot out the front door as I was distracted with some delivery situation at the door. This time the training worked but it will always be a work in progress. And I continue to work on his "Come" command when his ardor to come running begins to wane a bit.
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