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How Not to Teach Your Dog to Come When Called: Common Methods and Their Pitfalls

How Not to Teach Your Dog to Come When Called Common Methods and Their Pitfalls

Charlotte Bryan

Published On Feb 14,2024

Teaching a dog to come when called is a fundamental aspect of obedience training. However, not all methods are created equal, and some common approaches can actually hinder your dog’s ability to respond reliably. In this article, we’ll explore several common mistakes dog owners make when attempting to teach the “come” command and discuss why these methods often fail to produce the desired results. Plus, we’ll introduce you to an upcoming webinar that will provide you with expert guidance on achieving reliable recall and off-leash reliability.

  1. Using Negative Reinforcement: One of the most prevalent mistakes in recall training is relying on negative reinforcement techniques. This may involve punishing or scolding the dog when they fail to come when called. However, using fear or intimidation to elicit a response can have detrimental effects on your dog’s willingness to obey. Instead of fostering trust and cooperation, it can lead to anxiety, avoidance, or even aggression.
  2. Inconsistency in Training: Consistency is key in any training program, yet many dog owners fail to maintain a consistent approach when teaching the “come” command. They may only practice in controlled environments or use the command sporadically, leading to confusion and inconsistency in their dog’s response. Without regular reinforcement and practice in various contexts, the dog may not fully understand or internalize the command.
  3. Lack of Positive Reinforcement: Positive reinforcement is a powerful tool in dog training, yet it’s often overlooked or underutilized in recall training. Instead of rewarding the desired behaviour with treats, praise, or play, some owners may assume that the dog should come when called out of respect or obedience. However, without a clear incentive for compliance, the dog may have little motivation to respond consistently to the command.
  4. Overuse of the Command: Another common mistake is overusing the “come” command, especially in situations where the dog is unlikely to comply. Calling the dog repeatedly without ensuring they can or will respond can desensitize them to the command and diminish its effectiveness. Additionally, using the command in situations where the dog is distracted or engaged in other activities can set them up for failure and erode their trust in the command.

Teaching a dog to come when called requires patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement. By avoiding common pitfalls such as negative reinforcement, inconsistency, lack of positive reinforcement, and overuse of the command, you can set your dog up for success and build a strong foundation for reliable recall. And with our upcoming webinar on achieving reliable recall and off-leash reliability, you’ll gain expert guidance and practical strategies to ensure success in your training efforts.

Remember, effective recall training is about building trust, communication, and cooperation between you and your canine companion.

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