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Why won't my

Dog Come Back

when I call it?

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Why Dogs won't Come when Called

If you have a dog you have almost certainly been there at
one time or another. You know, that moment when you are
trying to call your dog to you and he gets that gleam in his
eye and takes off in the other direction. You have to wonder
what is going through their minds when a dog does that. Are
they just playing with you or is it independence and
deliberate self-will? In any event, it is dangerous behavior
and you need to stop it.

The best way to curb this behavior is to teach your dog to
come on command. This is a simple command that you can teach
to your dog usually in a few sessions, although for safety's
sake you should reinforce the training every so often to
make sure that the dog remembers and will respond

One key to consistent obedience, however, is that your dog
never associates the "Come" command with only negative
experiences. If you only use this command when you are about
to do something such as grooming, locking the dog up or
giving it medicine, your dog will be much more likely to
selectively disobey the command.

If the "Come" command always brings something negative it is
far less effective, so make sure you are balancing it. You
should use the command to call the dog for both good things
such as a petting session or a treat and for things the dog
may not like quite so much. The best way to teach this
command is with positive reinforcement.

Teach your dog the "Come" command in stages. Start training
with the dog on a leash and under control. Wait calmly until
the dog gets interested in something and then use the
command. If it comes to you, give it a dog treat. If it doesn’t
come right away, gently pull the dog to you and reward it
when it arrives at your feet. Once the dog understands what
"Come" means, in stage two you increase the difficulty. Use
your dog's favorite food or toys as a distraction and then
practice the command.

Once your dog has made it through both stages and comes
consistently you can start to just reinforce the command
with verbal praise and the occasional treat as the two of
you go about your daily business. Use the command in
increasingly challenging circumstances such as when a
strange dog is distracting your dog or when a tasty snack is
within nose distance.

The "Come" command is one of the dog obedience commands
that might save your dog's life one day. If you find yourself in
a situation in which your dog is in danger you can get it
back by your side quickly. You should have no problem in
finding opportunities to practice having your dog "Come, as
you go about your daily lives together.

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