Why Your Dog Won't Come When Called?

Why won't my dog doesn't come when called?

Every dog owner has likely experienced the frustration of calling their dog, only to be ignored completely. It might occur in the park when it's time to leave, during a backyard barbecue with friends, or even during regular training sessions at home. Your canine companion turns a deaf ear to your repeated cries of "Come!" and goes about their business as if you don't exist. So why won't your dog come when called? And how can you rectify this issue? This blog aims to shed some light on this common problem.


Understanding the Basics

Dogs are not naturally inclined to obey commands. They don't inherently understand our language and need to be taught what different words mean. The command to "come" is known as recall in dog training lingo, and it's one of the most critical skills for a dog to master for their safety. However, it's also one of the trickiest to teach effectively.

Reasons Why Your Dog Doesn't Come When Called

Several factors can influence why your dog doesn't respond to the recall command:

  1. Insufficient Training: Teaching recall requires time, patience, and consistent reinforcement. If your dog has not been properly trained to understand and respond to the command, they will not come when called.
  2. Distractions: Dogs are often easily distracted by the environment, especially in outdoor settings. Squirrels, other dogs, interesting smells - all these can be much more appealing to your dog than obeying your command.
  3. Negative Associations: If you only call your dog to come when it's time for something they dislike (like leaving the park, taking a bath, or ending playtime), they might associate the command with negative outcomes and choose not to obey.
  4. Inconsistent Cue: Dogs thrive on consistency. If different family members use different words or commands (like "here", "come", "come here", etc.), it can confuse your dog and hinder their response.


How to Improve Your Dog's Recall?

Now that you understand why your dog might not be coming when called, here are some tips to improve their recall:

  1. Positive Reinforcement: Always reward your dog when they come to you, regardless of how long it takes. Use high-value treats, praise, or a favorite toy to make coming to you the best option for them.
  2. Start Training in a Controlled Environment: Begin training in a quiet, distraction-free environment, and gradually add distractions as your dog improves.
  3. Use a Long Leash: Training with a long leash can help in outdoor settings. It gives your dog a sense of freedom while still providing you with control.
  4. Be Consistent: Use the same command every time, and ensure all members of your household do the same. Also, try to maintain a cheerful, encouraging tone - dogs can be sensitive to tone of voice.
  5. Don't Punish: If your dog doesn't come immediately, don't punish them when they finally do come. This can create a negative impact with the command.


The concluding point!

Training a dog to come when called can be a challenging task, but with patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement, it's certainly achievable. If you're having significant difficulty teaching recall, consider the help of a professional dog trainer. Remember, the goal is to make your dog understand that coming to you is the best thing they can do - once they realize this, you'll no longer be left calling out to an indifferent dog. Happy training!