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Adventureweiner Club (TM) of Seattle & Western Washington Message Board › Please Help! My Dog Won't Come When Called

Please Help! My Dog Won't Come When Called

Jessica Rhae W.
Group Organizer
Seattle, WA
Post #: 90
One of our members, Lorrie, wrote me with this questions. Do you have any suggestions?

Last summer I took my four-month-old dachshund, Izzy, to Luther Burbank Park and met such nice people and friendly dogs there and wanted to take her to the Meet Up today but decided not to because she doesn’t always come when I call her. She comes only if I have a treat. She’s almost a year old and has been through the Puppy 101 and 102 classes at River Dog but still is very unreliable when I call her to come, so I’m afraid to let her play off leash unless it’s in my own fenced back yard. I would love to take her to Meet Ups but don’t want her to run away. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to teach her to come?
Jessica Rhae W.
Group Organizer
Seattle, WA
Post #: 91
Hi Lorrie -

As you probably learned in class, building a reliable recall is always a work in progress...especially with Dachshunds who have a strong drive for distraction. Training recall is just a matter of practice, practice, practice.

I am sure you learned this in the classes you took, but get the yummiest, most special treats you can. These treats should be high value and not something your dog has ever had or gets regularly. Suggestions might include cheese, hamburger (raw or cooked), cooked bacon (yes, the real stuff), sliced steak, etc.

It sounds like your dog may have a "pretty good" recall. If that is the case, start where there are no distractions, like in your backyard. Let your dog go outside and each time he (she?) gets half way across the yard, call him back. Keep practicing until he consistently comes to you. Don't forget to use a clicker or "marker word" such as a sharp, fun "yes" as soon as he comes back and before you give him the treat.

Then you want to move some place with more distractions like other dogs, people or birds. Most people, myself included, don't trust my dog to be unleashed in public. I suggest getting a really long lead (about 100 feet of cord) to attach to his collar. If you ask at a pet store, they will know what you are talking about.

This will allow him to get far enough away but allow you to gently suggest he come by giving a little tug on it if he doesn't. It will also allow him to not totally get away from you. Do the same exercise as in the back yard with this setup. Eventually you can move to some place even more distracting or keep the distraction level the same and try it off-leash.
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