Help! My Puppy Won’t Come When Called

Adorable puppy responding to 'come when called' command - Overcoming 'my puppy won't come when called' challenge with effective training strategies

Let’s embark on an exciting journey as we delve into the challenging task of teaching our adorable puppies to come when called. Do you think your puppy has selective hearing? Have you ever felt like your puppy is blowing you off? Are you frustrated because you stand outside in your pajamas calling your puppy to come to no avail? It’s a skill that often leaves us scratching our heads, wondering why our puppies simply won’t listen. Well, fret not, for I’ve got some insights to share with you! Let’s dive into one the biggest things we hear at the other end of the phone… Help! My puppy won’t come when called.

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First and foremost, it’s essential to understand that coming when called is not a natural instinct for puppies. They don’t come pre-programmed knowing how to run to you because you want them to. Puppies don’t have a Merriam-Webster dictionary and a deep understanding of human language. So, expecting them to respond to a simple word like “come” right off the bat might be a tad unrealistic. You might know what the word means and what you expect your puppy to do when you say it, but… your puppy has no idea about the foreign language you speak.

We can’t fault our puppies for not grasping the concept right away. It’s crucial to remember that they are learning, just like we did when we were young. Patience and understanding are key components of successful puppy training (and if you are reading all my other blogs, you have heard me say this common phrase over and over again). Instead of getting frustrated, let’s take a step back and approach this as a skill that needs to be taught.

Repetition is the name of the game here. Puppies learn through consistent practice and positive reinforcement. We need to create a solid reinforcement history by rewarding our puppies when they come to us. Treats, praise, and playtime are all fantastic ways to reinforce this behavior positively. The more we reward them for coming when called, the more they’ll associate it with a positive experience.

Distractions: When Your Puppy Runs Away Instead of Coming When Called

Now, let’s not forget the importance of incorporating distractions into our training sessions. Teaching our puppies to come when called in low-distraction environments is relatively easy, but the real challenge lies in preparing them for situations with enticing distractions. Picture a scenario where a squirrel dashes by or another playful dog catches their attention. These situations can be quite tempting for our little adventurers, causing them to not be able to do what you’ve asked.

To put things into perspective, imagine yourself trying to concentrate on a task while a parade of dancing unicorns passes by. It’s a bit tough, isn’t it? Well, that’s how our puppies feel when faced with captivating distractions. The key is to gradually expose them to different distractions while reinforcing the “come” cue (the modern phrase for obedience commands) consistently. This helps them understand that coming to us is rewarding, no matter what appealing distractions are around.

The Negative Impact of Scolding Your Puppy for not Listening

Now, I want to highlight an important point: puppies should never be punished for not coming when called. Punishment can create fear and confusion in their minds, ultimately hindering the training process. Remember, puppies learn by association, and if they associate coming to us with negative consequences, they’ll be less inclined to do so. Think about it, why would your puppy want to come when called if they are punished verbally or physically? Just as we can create a positive association and a fun game for the word “come” with positive reinforcement, we can create a negative association by using punishment.

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Additionally, it’s crucial to avoid turning coming when called into a game of chase. As fun as it may be to chase after our lively puppies, it can have unintended consequences. When we chase them for a playful game, they may misunderstand our intentions during emergency situations. Walking or running towards them might trigger their playful instincts, causing them to run away thinking it’s all part of the game. It’s important to help them differentiate between playtime and serious situations.

Teaching my puppies to come when called is actually one of my favorite things to teach them. It doesn’t have to be an arduous task. You don’t have to look at it as your Everest. Teaching puppies to come when called can actually be an incredibly enjoyable and rewarding experience for both us and our furry friends. Turn it into a fun game! Incorporate treats, toys, and a playful tone of voice to make it a delightful adventure. By doing so, we create positive associations with the cue and reinforce their understanding of the behavior we desire.

Summing Up “How to Get My Puppy to Come When Called”

So, dear puppy parents, remember that teaching your puppy to come when called is a skill that takes time, practice, and plenty of patience. Embrace the journey, celebrate the small victories, and enjoy the bond you’re building with your four-legged companion along the way. With love, positive reinforcement, a sense of adventure, and fun games, you’ll have your puppy responding to your call in no time!

Happy training and may you sing sweet praises with your puppy’s recall being music to your ears!

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