First work on “collar touches”. Give your dog a treat as you touch his collar…..give a treat, touch his collar. you want your dog to associate you reaching for his collar as something wonderful. This will help when you call him to you and are reaching for his collar. He will be less likely to try and get away. Play the “Name Game”…..Say his name and give a treat. This will help establish in your dogs mind a good thing attached to his name. Now do collar touches and the name game together. Say his name, tug his collar, give a treat.
NEVER use a harsh tone of voice when calling your dog to you, (no matter how long it’s taking or how many times you’ve called him) it will only make him afraid to come to you. ALWAYS use a happy tone, no matter how mad you are at him. Never punish your dog for finally coming to you…….be happy and praise and treat. Coming to you should be a good thing and should be rewarded no matter what!
Here are some ways to reinforce coming to you as a good thing:
- Stash treats around the house (on the TV, on a dresser, on a kitchen counter) and go stand by the TV, call your dog in an excited tone, when he comes praise him and give a treat. go in the kitchen and call him. give him a treat. Do this all over the house.
- Have a person at each end of a hallway or room (each with treats) one calls the dog and gives a treat, then the other person calls the dog and gives a treat. Do this back and forth a few times.
- Play hide and seek. When your dog is busy doing “his thing”, go and hide on him (easy places at first, like behind a door) call him in an excited voice and make a big deal of it when he finds you.
- Have a handful of treats, call your dog and as he gets near you, toss a treat a little ways to your right…as he eats the treat call him to you again and toss the treat a little to the left, as he gets the treat call him to you again, but this time coax him into coming up to you and reward him.
- In the yard play the “COME GAME”. Call your dog and as soon as he starts towards you, turn and run in the opposite direction clapping your hands as you run. When your dog comes after you, praise and reward him. If he still has a problem coming when called, place a long line on him in the yard, let him wander around and when he’s distracted, call him. If necessary use the line to pull him to you, praising all the way. Do this a couple of times a day for a few weeks, then switch to a lighter line.
- Use the come command in the house whenever you are going to offer him something good. (a toy, a treat, his food).
If your complaint is your dog does not stay at home or won’t stay on his own property….A dog should never be allowed to run free. It’s against the law and very dangerous for your dog.