Dear Miss Behavin’:
What is the best way to get my dog to come to me when I call him?
That is a great question! There are several things we can do to set our dogs up for a successful recall. Here are a few suggestions that work to get everyone off on the right foot.
Coming to you must always be positive or reinforcing as far as your dog is concerned. Don’t call your dog to you and then pair it with something they view to be unpleasant or negative such as a bath, ear cleaning, brushing or nail trimming.
Bring out the high value treats; you know the ones your dog will do anything for and use them for this exercise.
Every time you say the cue “Come” make it happen! This may mean that you need to go up to your dog and encourage them to follow you back to where you originally asked them to come to. Be selective on what you are calling your dog away from. We want to set them up for success, so don’t start your training program by calling your dog away from play or other really fun stuff.
If you are using your leash with this exercise, make sure that you are not using the leash to pull the dog into you or to get their attention. You should be the party they want to come to!
I also suggest that you gently grasp onto your dog’s collar to encourage them to come in close enough to be caught. I have seen many dogs perform a beautiful recall and then when their owner tries to put the leash on or grab for the collar the dog takes off again.
If you have further questions or need further help, I suggest that you schedule a 1:1 Consultation with one of our behaviorist or sign up for one of our training classes.