Do you own a dog that ignores you and acts like they don’t know their name? I see it more than I should when doing evaluations; the dog wonders off to sniff something while the owner calls the dog’s name. When you say your dog’s name, his head should snap and look at you. When you name your dog, it’s our way of humanizing our pet. We are affectionate when we call our dog’s name. To the dog, his/her name means pay attention. If you constantly call your dog’s name over and over again to no avail, your dog’s name means nothing to the dog. When they are puppies you should say your dog’s name and follow it with a treat. As your dog learns they should be out of site when you call their name and they should run to you for their treat. When you feed your dog call their name and call their name when you initiate game.
If your dog ignores you, you have no control. The most important thing you can teach your dog is the recall; coming when called. First you have to be able to get their attention, “Fido come”.
It’s easier to keep their attention if you use a long line with when working with your dog outdoors. Say their name give a little tug as you say come and reward when dog arrives at your side. When your dog is a puppy you should leash condition the pup by letting them drag the leash around inside and outdoors. Leash conditioning is very important, you want your dog to think that having a leash attached to them is normal. If you do not leash condition your pup, they will learn not to go potty when on a leash. When I work with dogs it’s easy to see when people have not leash conditioned their dogs. The dog with look behind them as they run, thinking the leash is chasing them. If your dog is distracted by the leash you must first get them use to having the leash on.
My wife once used a long line to teach he dog not to go into the woods bordering our property. All she did was have a long line attached to him every time he was out doors and giving him a little tug teach time he approached the woods, it’s all about consistency and persistence. That dog wouldn’t go into the woods even if his ball rolled in there. Once the dog has a clear understanding of the rules they will abide by them. On a side note anyone reading this article can have a free Adams K-9 T-shirt. All you have to do is come into our facility and say you read it on our blog. Offer Expires September, 2015.
Dog training is all about clear communication, consistency followed by reward. Don’t ever give your dog a command you are not willing to follow through on. For example, if you tell your dog down, he/she has to down. Make him/her down if you must, but the dog has to down. If you call your dog to come and they ignore you, you must be willing to walk outdoors into the pouring rain grab his collar and bring him to the spot where you called him/her. If the dog knows there is no other option but to obey your command you will be on your way to a happy, safe stress free life with your dog.