I want my dog to come to me when I call him!

Probably the biggest question or request I get from am owner is “I want my dog to come to me when I call him!”. “Yet he just looks at me or he runs the other way when I call.”

Once a dog stops coming, it is not quite as simple to correct it. There are a number of reasons why this happens. Hopefully, these steps or tasks will improve the situation.

Never call your dog to you and punish him. What better way to lose your dog’s trust by correcting him when he obeys you. If he has done something worth punishing him for, go get him and correct him. If you call him to you, you have to praise … and forgive.

In the beginning, never call your dog to you unless you are 99.9999% sure he is going to come to you. How do you do that? He is playing with you or coming to greet you (physically moving towards you) and you give him the “Come” command at the last second before he gets there. And follow that up with praise.

Have him “Come” to you indoors for a treat, then praise him. I hesitate to tell you about treats as some of you will think the treat is the only reason he comes. It is used as a motivating factor only … when he is hungry.

As that works, begin the “Come” command indoors with a leash. Do not use a treat and make him “Come” if he does not obey. Follow that with praise. When he comes 9 out of 10 times indoors move outside WITH THE LEASH.

By being consistent, your dog will improve. Results will not be overnight, but it will get better. Then if you really want to make it automatic, invest with a good, results oriented trainer.