Training Your Dog to Come When Called

By: Sam Kanouse

Published Date: August 2, 2017

Vinny is a eight-month-old Jack Russell puppy who lives in Omaha with seven-year-old German Shepherd Heidi. Their guardians set up a dog behavior session to help the dogs listen to commands and stop resource guarding.

When I chatted with the guardians I noticed that Vinny was not respecting personal boundaries; he would jump up and invade my personal space. I taught his guardians our Petting with a Purpose technique. This is when you only pet Vinny for good behavior. If Vinny is jumping up and you pet him he thinks that you want him to jump up. After teaching the guardians this method, they will ask Vinny to sit before getting attention.

The guardian’s main dog behavior concern was Vinny resource guarding the bedroom at night. Vinny didn’t resource guard the bedroom at any other time period during the day. Because of this, I wasn’t able to directly work on this behavior issue with the guardians but I gave them several tips on how to help Vinny stop resource guarding in his Roadmap to Success video.

Another dog behavior issue that Vinny and Heidi had was listening to commands, especially when they are off leash on the guardian’s large wooded property. All animals, including people and dogs do things that they are motivated by. To help Heidi and Vinny listen to commands I suggested that the guardians use a food reward each time they ask the dogs to do a behavior.

In the video below, I show the guardians how to get their dogs to come back to them when they are outside and off-leash.

As you can see in the video, the dogs started to come over to me when they could see. It will be important to get your dog’s attention on you so you can use the hand gesture I demonstrated in the video above. To motivate your dog you need to have a reward that is better than what they are doing. If you are in the house a low-value treat will work just fine. Outside, or with more distractions, a high value treat or toy is needed to motivate your dog to listen to you.

By the end of the session the dogs were listening to commands, coming when they were called outside and respecting their guardian’s personal space. We wrapped up the session with Heidi and Vinny’s Roadmap to Success video, which you can watch below.

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This post was written by: Sam Kanouse

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