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3 months old puppy. Calling him Denny. I have started with food ("Denny" => he comes => treats). Later I switched to praising him. Always positive welcoming him etc. He definitelly understands his name and that he should come.


But he won't come always. He comes when is feeding time, when I have toy, when he's feeling like playing, when he wants to cuddle. But if there's something more interesting he will ignore calls until he is done with that. Or until I call him 20 times.

I read some articles, but it's basically what was I already doing eg. "dogs to learn that come means something really good will happen to them or that another new adventure may be about to begin".

1) I would like to eliminate situations, when he doesn't come.

2) I would like to also later partly eliminate praising him. As in some situations it's just no time for playing/praising. I would like he to just come, not come and started playing.

Take for example military GSD. When on battlefield I can't imagine that owner has to call him by right tone of a voice, he has to be praised for coming, given his favorite toy and he chooses if he comes or not. How do you do that? Is that just a repetition?
 

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If he's three months old and you got him at 8 weeks old (I assume?), then you've only had him about a month. And you've already completely eliminated food rewards for training a recall?

For one thing, he's WAY too young to expect any kind of reliability, and for another, you've skipped ahead from A to Z without any steps in between.
 

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If he's three months old and you got him at 8 weeks old (I assume?), then you've only had him about a month. And you've already completely eliminated food rewards for training a recall?

For one thing, he's WAY too young to expect any kind of reliability, and for another, you've skipped ahead from A to Z without any steps in between.
Thank you for your reply!

I have him for little bit over 2 weeks.

I started with food. He got it. He understood, that he should come. Since we were past that phase, where I was explaining meaning of the command I eliminated food. Now I tell him he's good boy and pet him.

So should I again mix in more food? Especially in situations when we're outside? Since he understands command I thought he is disobedient. But from your reply it seems, that we have to just work longer on it?
 

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Wow you are going way too fast, and expecting way too much! You have a baby there, and you are expecting adult thinking and behaviours.

Go back to giving treats, set up you puppy for success, treat for the times he comes to you on his own without you asking - you are setting up a mindset that coming to you is always a good thing. That will take a billion repetitions: you just can't cram that into 2 weeks!

Puppies have the attention span of a gnat - expect your pup to be distracted and focused on other stuff than "obeying" (which is a concept your pup won't really understand yet). For now training is fun and games, with always a great reward.
 

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I started with food. He got it. He understood, that he should come.
No, that's exactly my point. There's no way that a 3 month old puppy that has been in training for two weeks fully understands ANY command. He simply doesn't have the attention span and mental capacity yet, and there hasn't been anywhere near enough time to have fully generalized it to all situations and circumstances, especially around distractions.

Since we were past that phase, where I was explaining meaning of the command I eliminated food. Now I tell him he's good boy and pet him.
You're not past that phase, and he's not being disobedient! In addition to teaching what a command means, you also need to teach him why he should care. Developmentally, he's the equivalent of a human infant, so it's important to keep your expectations reasonable and to continue reinforcing the behavior you want.
 

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Thank you very much!

I will slow down than. And fill his childhood with more treats and games.

Obidience class or professional training is unfortunately not an option. Im currently living in a rural area of 3rd world country. (maybe 2.5nd world country). There are no dog schools etc. Im lucky enough that there's a pet store. Otherwise I would have to travel like 100 miles just to buy dog food.
 

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But he won't come always. He comes when is feeding time, when I have toy, when he's feeling like playing, when he wants to cuddle. But if there's something more interesting he will ignore calls until he is done with that. Or until I call him 20 times.

I'm not a trainer or an expert, just a pet owner, but one thing I have learned from all the obedience classes I've taken with my dogs is not to repeat commands. Only say commands once, and if the dog doesn't listen, help them to perform the right behavior.

For now, I would avoid telling your dog to "come" in situations where he may not obey you. You don't want to weaken the command. Just go and get your dog until he is more reliable. Or have him on a long-line so that you can enforce the come.

Our trainer encouraged us to choose a new command word (like "here") if we have worn out the word "come."

Other things I have heard: Never tell your dog to come, then reprimand him for something when he comes to you. He'll be less likely to come the next time. Also, avoid calling your dog to you and then doing something unpleasant to him (like giving him a bath).
 

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It's been a while since I had to teach the 'here' command, but I do remember one tip is
to run away from the dog, they like to chase. I always had a long line on Wiena to help
her when it was necessary, but treats (because she was food motivated) really helped.
She always got treats more than praise, but they were limited (didn't want her to have
a weight problem) Alternating praise with food is a solution too, then they don't know
when they will get the food.
My husband told me that birds will more often come to a place if you don't feed everyday,
because they never know when the food will be there, so they come back more often.

Play a lot with your pup, that's what they want to do!! Include play with the here command,
I wish you much happiness with Denny, what a cute name. Want to him....photos please.
 

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I don't have much to add as you've already gotten some really good suggestions so far. But a couple things I would like to add, sorry if they've been mentioned as I just skimmed thru. First and foremost I have to agree 100% that you need to slow down and keep the rewards coming. Right now I'd be shaping everything with food. If he doesn't perform he doesn't get the treat but no need to get upset or use corrections or anything.

Now that being said I wouldn't train his name to be a "here" command. I wouldn't use the two interchangeably or together. Reason being I want it to be the same word every time and quick to say. Think about this scenario. You're busy with kids or a work call or whatever and you open the door, something intrigues your dog enough that he bolts across the street, and now you're cycling thru different names because you're distracted. He knows "Denny come" means to come but you're calling out your kids names or another pets name or something. "Here" means come, no other words need to be involved and in an emergency this could save your pet.

Another thing I want to add is when my dog was your pups age he got treated and praised just for being near me. I wanted him to associate being near me with good things and still to do this day I'll give him treats just for being near me. The only difference now is it doesn't happen every time. Sometimes he gets a treat, sometimes a pet, and sometimes I just tell him to beat it and go lay down.

It's going to be harder for you since you can't work with an experienced trainer in your 2.5 world country but you'll find that the more time you spend working the dog and bonding with him you'll get better at reading him and you'll get a better idea of when he's ready to add more distractions and proofing etc.
 

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I can't find any info, but police/ military dogs are prob around 2yrs old before being put on duty. They also use some top trainers as well that are pros at what they do. Those dogs have 100% strong recall

I would doubt a 6mo pup would even have 100% recall. You are asking a lot

I'd even say that you need to keep with the treats until you have 100% recall

I started my pup knowing "sit/ stay." Then walk a few feet away and say "come." Treat and praise. Increase the distance as necessary. I've been working on that for over a month. I'm at the point where I can be at the park and walk about 30-40' away and she'll stay sitting until I say "come." I can even do it while still walking. When training specifically, I can get some pretty good recall. However, if I were to have her off leash somewhere else, I'd have little to no recall

So go back to treat rewards and remember you have a little puppy
 

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Take for example military GSD. When on battlefield I can't imagine that owner has to call him by right tone of a voice, he has to be praised for coming, given his favorite toy and he chooses if he comes or not. How do you do that? Is that just a repetition?
And what leads you to believe this?

I have not seen a working dog who's handler did not at the very least offer up exuberant praise when it did a good job. It's usually also followed up with a quick game of tug. I am fairly certain the vast majority of detection programs - be it drugs, explosives, infestations or other are trained motivationally these days, and include a high frequency of rewarding throughout the dog's entire career.

Even for high stakes situations where the dogs are not able to be rewarded on the scene - HUNDREDS of hours of practice and training in controlled situations where the dog IS rewarded takes place.

IMHO people are too anxious to phase out rewards. I personally prefer to reward throughout my dog's entire life. I don't offer the same reward each time - sometimes it's praise, sometimes it's food and sometimes it's a toy. I can't say I have ever been in a situation where I couldn't atleast utter out a Yes! or Good boy.

My guy is nearly 3 and has never failed to recall (he is off leash outdoors daily). I trained his recall by building toy drive and still frequently reward a good recall with play.
 

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Take for example military GSD. When on battlefield I can't imagine that owner has to call him by right tone of a voice, he has to be praised for coming, given his favorite toy and he chooses if he comes or not. How do you do that? Is that just a repetition?
And what leads you to believe this?

I have not seen a working dog who's handler did not at the very least offer up exuberant praise when it did a good job. It's usually also followed up with a quick game of tug. I am fairly certain the vast majority of detection programs - be it drugs, explosives, infestations or other are trained motivationally these days, and include a high frequency of rewarding throughout the dog's entire career.

Even for high stakes situations where the dogs are not able to be rewarded on the scene - HUNDREDS of hours of practice and training in controlled situations where the dog IS rewarded takes place.

IMHO people are too anxious to phase out rewards. I personally prefer to reward throughout my dog's entire life. I don't offer the same reward each time - sometimes it's praise, sometimes it's food and sometimes it's a toy. I can't say I have ever been in a situation where I couldn't atleast utter out a Yes! or Good boy.

My guy is nearly 3 and has never failed to recall (he is off leash outdoors daily). I trained his recall by building toy drive and still frequently reward a good recall with play.
agree, agree, agree. i always reward recall...like voodoo said, praise, food or toy.

I walk my dogs offleash most days. I don't always carry toys, but I make sure to stash them periodically and try not to let the dogs know, so I can sometimes surprise them with something amazing when I call. Well, for my young dog anyway. My old lady never leaves my side to be called in the first place.

When I was actively retraining after our deer problem I did carry his ball on a string every walk. Those first few times i called him off a deer i wanted to make the reward memorable. Now I feel we are in the maintenance phase.
 

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My Aussie is four years old and still gets a reward for recalls. They have evolved into using a whistle, slight hand signal, flashlight and simple “heir” ( German recall ). Occasionally I give a very high value reward. Once in a great while I have to call her and don’t have a food reward but I give her lots of praise. The bottom line is good things happen when she comes to me. I rarely use her name except to get her attention. It’s really a marker that something else is coming.
 

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Keep in mind you have a dog not a robot or a computer. You can't just program and done. I have a very specific recall command. I only use this command when I feel it is imperative that my dog comes to me immediately. I have not had to use the command except to call off of small game or to call my older male to me one day at club when another member threw a ball and my dog thought he may want to have it.
 

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Thank you for so many replies. It's not even possible to reply to every one of you. And all replies were very interesting!

I have one more question - is it really necessary to use words like "here, come". Can't I use his name? I would prefer only his name.
 

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Thank you for so many replies. It's not even possible to reply to every one of you. And all replies were very interesting!

I have one more question - is it really necessary to use words like "here, come". Can't I use his name? I would prefer only his name.
I recommend two different recalls. A come or get over here command and then a command that he only hears when he needs to get back immediately. You may never need the second command but if you ever do you'll be thankful you have it. As far as name. I don't like to use my dogs name as a command. I like my dog's name to just be his name. Nothing that means he has to perform anything just a look like what.
 

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First, I highly advise you use his name to get his attention but use a command such as "here or come" for his recall. Just make sure there is pause between his name and the command so he doesnt' think the command is "Name Here"

I use two commands as my safety commands. Here and Platz. Maybe I don't want him to come back to me but do want him to drop where he is and stay.

As far as recall, play games with him. Make it fun to come back to you. Throw food to send him away, call his name and when he looks at you give the command to return and reward him. When you are out walking, call him back and run away from him so he chases you. Or just call him back to reward him randomly. The reward doesn't always have to be food. It could be returning to you to chase you and play. It could be returning to play tug. But it has to be something motivating to make him want to return to you.
 

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Thank you for so many replies. It's not even possible to reply to every one of you. And all replies were very interesting!

I have one more question - is it really necessary to use words like "here, come". Can't I use his name? I would prefer only his name.
I like having a specific command. My dogs name is for attention. I want him to look at me. Not necessarily come to me.
 
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