My Dog Doesn’t Come When Called- How You Ruined Your Come Command

– Hi guys, it’s Ken
Steepe, and Kayl McCann from McCann Professional Dog Trainers, and welcome to another
episode of our dog walk and training talk. I want to welcome– we had
a pile of new subscribers since our last dog walk and training talk, and I want to welcome you guys. If it’s your first time with us, if you’re on your computer, you can click the little heart dog and
subscribe to the channel. If you’re on mobile, you can click the little subscribe button. Firstly, we want to talk about the value of your come command, and how you can quickly sort of wash– it’s important to weigh with your dog. I would argue that your come command is simply your most important command because it’s a lifesaving command. It’s the command when
your dog’s chasing a bunny out towards the road, and you call come, and in an instant, they turn
and run right back to you as quickly as they can. It’s the kind of skill
that– it can really save your dog’s life. All too often, I see
people using come command in all the wrong places. So, maybe your dog’s a few
feet away from you in the house and you tell them to come. Or, they move out of
position from their side, and the person will call come. Essentially, you’re
untraining that come command. Your dog’s hearing the word so often that it really loses all significance. To have a really solid come command, you need to be able to reinforce it. – In addition to that,
what we suggest that you do is choose two types of commands. We ourselves use our come command for that emergency, get here right now, no if, ands or buts
about it, kind of recall. Then we have another sort
of informal type of recall where we use the command here or sometimes just their name, or something very casual, and that’s what we would use sort of in our everyday situation. If the dog sniffs a bit on the way, or if I call my dog in from
the backyard informally and he has one last quick
pee before he comes in, I’m not gonna be really upset about that. If he’s running towards the road, or he decides we’re in the field and he sees or spots a deer and takes off, I do not want him to even consider whether he should turn
around and come back or not. I need him to come right away. So, having two types of commands, a more informal one that you use everyday, and then that special recall that you keep really sharp all the time, can be really helpful. – For sure, and I think one way to do that is setting your dog up to be successful. Why don’t we talk, just for a second, about making sure you set
your dog up to be successful. – Yeah, all too often, we
sort of give our dog freedom before they’re really given a chance to show us that they deserve
it or they’ve earned it, and sometimes, what happens
is we let the dog be free or off-leash, and we don’t really know whether our recall has been
tried and tested and proven. So, it’s really important
that, before you give your dog the freedom, that you
might even transition by having them drag a
leash or drag a long line, so that if you call them
and they make a poor choice and don’t listen, you have
a way to follow through if they’re not paying attention. What you don’t want to do is
put yourself in a situation where your dog’s really distracted, or maybe very stimulated. Maybe there’s other dogs at a park, or maybe you’re running
in an agility field, running around with agility equipment. If you’re calling your dog
to come in those scenarios, and your dog is choosing
not to listen to you, you’re basically telling them it’s okay to decide to ignore you, and that’s not the kind of
message we want to send them. We want to set our dogs
up to be successful, so that we’re not constantly
saying you’re wrong, you’re wrong, you’re wrong. So, I’m gonna try to make sure that I put my dog in a scenario where they can make good
choices and I can reward. If they make a bad one,
I’m able to help them and show them what I want differently instead of just being mad at them. – For sure. So, use your come command sparingly, and when you do use it, make sure you can
followup to be successful. Thanks again for watching
our dog walking training and talk from Ken Steepe and Kayl McCann. Happy training. Bye for now. – Bye.

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6 Responses

  1. A Pickle Behaviourist says:

    Love the things you have to say. For similar reason mentioned in this video, I have previously let my puppy run off without calling him back, simply because it would not have been fair to call him and expect him to listen when I knew that he wouldn't. It would do no good and would only serve to teach him that coming back was not important if there was something he liked better. I already have a great recall, but any tips for improving the strength of the command? I know that my dog comes back every time I ask, but I am not confident in his abilities in certain situations. He is still a pup in training, so there is no better time to get a better grip on his commands. At the moment I always grab his collar and feed him the best treat when he comes back. The collar grab is so that he expects this every time he comes (I always let him go again) just in case of an emergency. I also praise him, but I am aware that if he wants to chase something more than he wants to come back, he won't care about a treat or a toy. I usually choose to call him when he is distracted, to make sure he knows to come back every time. I have seen him instantly stop playing with a friend and gallop to my side, but I have also witnessed the same dog spring into action, racing across the park because he saw a dog he hadn't met before.
    I have also noticed that his once bombproof stay has become rather lackluster, to the point where he will now get up and sneak away when I test him in the house. However, when I drop his leash and ask for a sit stay on a walk, he WILL. NOT. MOVE. Then when I release him, he comes back every time without fail, even though I never ask for this. He also does perfect sit stays in public spaces, such as Cafes. I am wondering if you have any ideas about why he may not want to stay indoors, even when he knows I always release him after a few seconds. I plan to increase rewards for staying in the meantime, and see if this helps.

  2. Lilia says:

    I didn't think of that concerning using "come" regularly at home because I've noticed my puppy not wanting to always come unless I have something to offer him, inside. However, last week at his foundation agility class, he came to me 100% of the time the first time I called him every time he would wander off after some sequence practice (previous weeks he would go up to other people, usually, for attention rather than come to me). I'll try out really just using things like "here" or just his name to not associate it with being ok to not absolutely come to me the first time I say "come".

  3. Pentax Fotog says:

    No advice on how to teach these commands.

  4. RED Diamond Realty says:

    uhm, I went on here to learn what to do when my dog doesn not respond. Not learn that my dog does not come on my command. This I learned very well today.

  5. Michelle Johnson says:

    Makes sense. From what you've said though, I think I've already ruined the come command for my dog. Would you just make the here command the more important one at this point?

  6. Jackie Gamache says:

    This all makes sense but now I hope it's not too late. My dog Rosie is almost a year-and-a-half old and I just recently started letting her off the leash. I figured it was okay because my older dog never leaves the property and we have a lot of land (plus Rosie's naturally a very shy dog and gets scared easily) so at first she was too afraid to leave my side but she's getting braver. She does not respond to me when I try to get her to come back to me. I say "come here Rosie!" or just "Rosie!!" and she completely ignores me. And just recently she was out of my sight for a minute which felt like forever and now I am desperate to train her to come to me when I call her because I live on a busy road and even though I avoid being near the road with her, like you said in the video she could get distracted by a bird or a rabbit or anything… is it too late to train her since she's a year-and-a-half-old and has already been off the leash for over a month now?

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