Puppy won't come when called without treats - German Shepherd Dog Forums
  • 3 Post By thegooseman90
  • 1 Post By Armistice
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-02-2018, 01:49 AM Thread Starter
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Puppy won't come when called without treats

My 3 month old puppy (her name is Ursa) will not come if I call her and she does not see treats in my hand. Even if I do have treats, she still sometimes does not come if she has found something particularly interesting. On top of that she has a bad habit of grabbing things and trying to play keep away. What can I do to get her to come when I call her and to stop trying to get me to play keep away?
Also, I've been able to teach her several tricks. She knows sit, down, shake, drop it (only if I have something to trade), some times leave it, and play dead. I know she is trainable but for some reason no matter what I try she will not come when I call her reliably.

Thank you for any help
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-02-2018, 02:00 AM
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she's pretty young, so don't let your expectations get in the way. Find something she really likes,
get her interested in it, then run away with it. She should want to come after you.
My Wiena was very food motivated so I didn't have any trouble with recall, we played hide and
seek too, that helped her come fast. Dogs want to be with you if you have established a bond.

Wishing you luck

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we'll do High 5's when next we meet
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-02-2018, 02:30 AM
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As mentioned she's still really young so you'll need to taper your expectations some. Try to work free of distractions. Not when she's more interested in sniffing around or chasing a butterfly. Something I've really found helpful is to never give a conmand that you can't enforce. For one all you're doing is getting yourself frustrated and for two you're teaching her she doesn't really have to listen. Try luring her indoors a foot or two at a time. Every time she comes to check in give her some sort of reward. Lots of love, treats, etc whatever you have at the time.

For her playing keep away here's the plain, maybe hurtful, truth. You're boring to play with. She finds the toy itself more fun than you. Liven up a bit. Be exciting. The toy shouldn't be the reward, the time spent playing with you is. This is where I started out and trust me I messed this up more ways than one.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-02-2018, 02:36 AM
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She's still very young. I think you're expecting a bit much

My pup is just over a week from being 6mos and she will 95% come to me at home, but if we're outside at the park forget about it. I'd say my pup is 95% on sit (sometimes needs to be told again), but at home if she's fixated on something, or I'm trying to get her to sit to get calm, I'll be forced to make her sit. At the park, she'd rather sniff the grass than listen to me at the moment

A pup her age still needs treat rewards to solidify good behavior. Again, my pup is almost 6mos and I will still give her treats now and then for Sit or Lay Down to keep that recall solidified. I don't treat every time, but will do a treat now and then

Also, if you were amped up on coffee or energy drinks, would you sit still for long? Puppies are full of energy and I've read, and found out for myself, that a tired puppy will do commands better, especially Stay. If they're too tired to move, then that's the perfect time to train Stay. Increase distance and time slowly. A pup will rather lay down to rest, so training is super easy. My pup does better with leash training if I've run her a little so she's not so hyper on our walk. A tired puppy is a good puppy

Also, like people, some pups will get some commands better than others

Just be vigilant and you're pup will get it. Some tricks just take some time and persistence
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Last edited by Armistice; 02-02-2018 at 02:39 AM.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-02-2018, 02:51 AM
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The best way to get a dog or puppy to do what you want them to is to make it their idea. Stop calling her, make her chase you for a treat, make her find you as a game, play with her with toys, then run away acting all goofy and make her chase you to get the toy. The more you try to force her now, the more difficult training will become in the future.

If you feel you really need to train at all (which I personally don't think is wise at this age), as @thegooseman90 said, don't ever give her a command you can't immediately enforce, and don't repeat your commands. Say it once, if she doesn't do it help her, then praise and/or treat. Just remember a puppy this age has the attention span of a flea, don't over do it, and whatever you do don't ever punish her for not complying - if she's not paying attention she is either distracted by something more interesting, or tired. Or maybe you aren't making yourself interesting or fun for her. At this age it should all be about play and exploration!
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Last edited by tim_s_adams; 02-02-2018 at 02:56 AM.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-02-2018, 11:48 AM
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Even adult dogs don't always come of the first call, too. Granted, we all want 100% recall and for very good reasons but sometimes you have to read between the lines.

If I've been playing in the yard with my pair, after a good romp I go to the house I tellthem to "go home". It is not unusual for one of them to balk and not come to the house but just stand there. It is their only way of politely asking, "can't we play just a little bit more?". Typically I just go into the house and get some treats. When I return to the door the dog is usually there waiting. That was my way of saying, "no, sorry, we are done". And yes, I still give them a nice treat for coming in since it was so much fun outdoors and I know being indoors can be pretty boring sometimes.

so even with a pup, if coming back to you always means the end of fun and games, why would they want to come back? So break it up a bit. When they come back, play a bit so that they don't think...darn, well back to just laying around with nothing to do.
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