Teach my dog to come? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-13-2012, 01:19 PM Thread Starter
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Teach my dog to come?

Our GSD Koa is a 1 1/2 yr old female. We're having a hard time teaching her to come. When off her leash at the beach or on trails she will run along side of us and will not run off or away. When called she will come near us. But if we bend down and say "come" (the goal to come right up next to us) she will try to play the come and get me game or act like she doesn't feel like it. Not sure how to get her to do this...
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-13-2012, 01:27 PM
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Always use "come" as a good command, use it to call the dog to you for lots of praise and treats. Make sure you grab the collar gently so she doesn't do a "hit and run" where they run and get the treat and then take off

You can also make it more of a game like "find it" where you hide in other rooms and call her to you. Lots of praise and treats again

She'll quickly realize that "come" means big time rewards when she listens. Don't ever use it when you're angry or calling her to you for punishment, if she's misbehaving then simply go get her rather then have her come to you

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-14-2012, 10:28 AM Thread Starter
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Great advice! I will definitely try that out...tonight lol I'm excited. Thank you =)

-Ashley-

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Koa - GSD 12/01/2010


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Obi - Lab/GSD mix 12/10/2011
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-14-2012, 10:41 AM
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Having your dog come to you right away is the biggest command. Be patient. When she is coming toward you, back up a few paces. Make it fun for her to come to you. Hide and seek works so well. Even if it's in the house. Double or triple the reward when she responds and comes right to you. Hope this helps.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-14-2012, 11:28 AM
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When my boy was a pup (still thinks it works for any age) I used a long line to teach come. I would stand at the other end and could give a little tug to direct him, of course lots of praise and a treat for complying.

I used the line at first because I didn't want him to have the opportunity to blow me off and not listen.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-14-2012, 11:55 AM
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The key to a good recall is to work, based on success. Only call them when you know they can do it. As they grow older they can better focus and are less easily distracted.
Also use random treats and a friendly, exciting voice.
No matter what they have done before, when they come when you call, reward them big time and deal with the chewed up shoes later.
Another reason dogs won't come easily is being leashed after they came to you and then go home from the park. Even in the dog park, on the beach or on the trails, lots of practicing recalls, leashing and unleashing them again. They should have their focus on you or at least know that you are there as well.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-15-2012, 08:02 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for the advice. I'm very excited to work w/my dog and will try each and every step listed!

-Ashley-

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-15-2012, 09:15 AM
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There's a great dvd by Patricia McConnell called "Lassie Come".
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-15-2012, 09:16 AM
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What everybody else said and also, if she's really not going to come to you, try running away from her - usually this does the trick.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-15-2012, 09:34 AM
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Doing a lot of practice with a long line (and terrific high value treats AND praise) really does work. Everytime you fish the dog gently toward you with the long line, be effusively happy in your praise, when the dog reaches you. My trainer's advice with the long line was not to practice any recalls without the long line until the dog is really understanding what the word means and enthusiastically running to you -- that way, the dog never gets in its head that ignoring the recall is optional. It's already well conditioned and automatic before you start practicing off lead. That sets the dog up for success.

BTW, my mom (who had never trained a dog) was housesitting for me once and accidentally opened my front door and let my two goofballs out -- she's older and couldn't possibly chase them down. It didn't occur to her to use my recall word (COME), in the panic of the moment. Instead, she had a flash of inspiration that only a grandma would have -- she yelled COOKIE! They both came tearing back into the house for her to get the treat. Whatever works!
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