Training Tips Help this Corgi Puppy Learn to Come When Called

By: David Codr

Published Date: April 20, 2017

Gracie is a eight-month-old Pembroke Welsh Corgi puppy in Omaha, Nebraska. Her guardian scheduled a puppy training session with us to get her to stop barking, stop jumping up on people, stop mouthing, nipping, chewing, teach her to come and train her to stop pulling on the leash.

Gracie was all kinds of excited when I arrived for the session; jumping up on me, barking, running around in circles and having difficulty listening to her guardians attempts to stop this excited dog behavior or calm her down.

I tried to sit down with her guardian and her mother who watches Gracie during the week. Gracie kept jumping up and barking so after a few minutes I pulled out a leash and gave her a leash time out. As soon as I put her on the leash and stepped on it to prevent her from running about, the barking stopped.

During my conversation with the guardians, I learned she had almost no rules, was fed people food, petted whenever she demanded and nipped or mouthed when the person stops petting her.

Fortunately, Gracie is still a puppy so these unwanted behaviors haven’t been going on very long. Usually behaviors and habits that have been going on a long while are hardest to stop.

I suggested the guardians start introducing rules, boundaries and limits to help Gracie see them as authority figures and help them practice being a good guardian. Just like a young child, puppies often want things that are not good for them. Additionally they don’t always know what they need at the time. If you have ever seen a parent argue with a child over weather or not its time for a nap you know exactly what I mean.

Later in the session, I was showing the guardians how to train a dog to come and noticed that Gracie would get up and move away instead of letting the guardian scratch her under the chin. This is a result of the guardian snatching Gracie up at times she didn’t want to come or cooperate. While sometimes you have to do this, repeatedly trapping or snatching a puppy can erode their trust in us. While its clear Gracie loves her humans, I knew I needed to show her how to fix this problem.

I had the human hold out a treat between her thumb and forefinger then let the dog chew little pieces off. We tried to touch under the chin while this was going on, but this proved too much or too early for Gracie. We kept at it, and after some patience, the guardian was eventually able to touch her under her chin. It was only a second before Gracie moved away; but still, progress.

I shared instructions on how the human should continue this exercise and gradually get Gracie comfortable with the human touching her. If the human practices this a few times a day and goes at Gracie’s place, she should be able to build back up the trust and stop the dog from running away.

The good news is once we changed the command word from “come” to “here,” Gracie picked up on it right away. With a little practice at the come exercise and total avoidance of snatching, it shouldn’t be long before Gracie comes a running to anyone who calls her.

We wrapped up the session by going over Gracie’s roadmap to success which you can watch in the video below.

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