Training a Goldendoodle to Come When Called

By: David Codr

Published Date: December 13, 2017

For this Omaha in home dog training session we taught 1 year-old Goldendoodle Penny to come when called, stop barking at guests or stealing food off the counters.

Penny was quite upset to have me inside her home. She showed a lot of insecurity through her movements and actions; barking then backing away, leaning way over her body when approaching and looking to her family members for reassurance.

I spent the first 30 or so minutes earring Penny’s trust by going slowly, offering soft body language, avoiding eye contact, moving slowly and tossing a plethora of high value training treats. After a half hour, she settled down enough for me to offer her a bully stick which she took into the other room to chew on and decompress.

While Penny was in the other room, I shared a number of tips and suggestions to help build up her confidence and reduce her anxiety. The family had been unintentionally reinforcing some of her unbalanced behaviors by petting her when she was anxious, nervous or reactive.

But anything your dog is doing when you pet it is what you are rewarding and reinforcing. To help the family avoid this sort of interaction in the future, I shared a way to add structure to petting her. This will stop them from reinforcing the wrong thing while simultaneously building up her confidence and self esteem.

I also showed them how to reward Penny for doing things they like. This is one of the easiest ways to train a dog, it just takes a month or so to get into the habit of doing so.

Next I went over ways to help Penny adopt more of a follower mindset to reduce and eventually remove the stress and anxiety she was experiencing by thinking she was in charge of protecting and looking out for the humans in the house. By consistently enforcing rules and boundaries, the dog will see the humans actively taking on the leadership role in the home. Penny will push back for a bit to confirm that the actions are genuine. Once she realizes they are, she should feel a great sense of relief.

To address Penny’s habit of not coming when called, I showed the family a simple recall exercise. This positive dog training method helps motivate a dog to want to come when called.

This is a far more effective technique than using force, leash corrections or shock collars. All of those methods get the dog to come because it fears a punishment or pain for failing to do so. But teaching a dog to come is far more effective when the end of the action results in a reward or affection for the dog.

I usually suggest a family train a dog to come by practicing this exercise a few times a day for a week or so, while progressively increasing the distance. If the family uses this approach a few times a day for a week, the dog will come when called right away and with glee. Having a dog with a strong recall is a very handy command to have in the bag.

To help the family remember the in home dog training tips I shared in this session, we shot a roadmap to success video which you can check out below.

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This post was written by: David Codr

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