Monday, November 1, 2010

Teaching a Young Dog to Come to You

An easy way to get a dog to come to you is to ask him to go with you. The best time to begin is when your dog is young. At about five months old, you may notice that your pup is harder to pick up after a run. Your pup used to always come to you when you called him, but now he doesn’t want to come to you at all. This is a normal stage in your pup’s development, when he learns to become independent from his dam.
When your pup reaches this independent stage, try to avoid calling him to you if you know he’s not going to respond. If you do, you are teaching him not to listen. Instead, ask him to go with you. Turn and start walking in a new direction. He doesn’t want to be left behind or miss anything, so when he sees you leaving, he will run to get in front of you. As he gets close, turn toward him, bend down, and call his name. If your timing is right, he should almost run right into you. Pet him up and let him know how happy you are with his behavior. You are working with his instinct to be in front, and at the same time, you’re building cooperation.
As your pup matures, there may come a time when he no longer wants to go with you. At this stage, you need to stop running him until you introduce the e-collar, so you can stay in control. Once the e-collar has been introduced, try to avoid the temptation to use it to make him come to you. It’s easy to make a dog come to you with an e-collar, but the dog will always resent it. Instead, ask him to go with you, and if he refuses, use the e-collar to ask him to bend and go with you. It’s all right to use the e-collar in this situation, because your dog was bred to be in front; he’s not going to resent it because you are asking him to do what he was already bred to do.
As he runs to catch up, bend down and call him. You will find him becoming more and more cooperative, and eventually you will be able to call him to you when he is farther away, and he will come running. By going slowly and working with your dog’s instincts, you are building cooperation, and you and your dog are becoming a team.