How to train a dog or puppy to come when called. Learn how to train your dog to come when called today. #raisingyourpetsnaturally

Come When Called/ Recall Training

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Teaching A Dog To Come When Called, Dog Recall Training

Learn how to teach your dog a reliable come when called behavior.

 

How to train a dog or puppy to come when called. Learn how to train your dog to come when called today. #raisingyourpetsnaturally
How to teach a dog to come when called

 

Imagine your dog sneaking out of the house and running toward the busy road. You burst out “FIDO, COME!” Fido immediately stops in his tracks, does a fast U-turn and runs right into your arms. You whoop it up with him, give him lots of treats, and have a good time jumping around with him. Whew! You just potentially saved your dog’s life.
 In order to get this response, your dog must not think twice about what you are asking him to do. He must be able to stop on a dime, and immediately run back to you, ignoring everything else in his environment. This means that when you teach a reliable recall or come when called, it must always be fun, exciting and novel. Remember, you will eventually be competing with some pretty challenging things in his environment (squirrels, dogs, cats, etc.).I often hear dog parents complain that their “dog doesn’t come when called.” When I ask them what they have done to train and practice a recall, almost 100% of the time, they tell me “I call him in from outside and give him a treat.” That’s not training a behavior. That’s hoping he will do it, and if he does, giving him a pretty low reward, usually not valuable enough to get him to come off of something more exciting than a random dog treat. AND, to top it off, in the dog’s eyes, they are actually being punished for coming when called. How? Well, if the dog wanted to play in his yard and was enjoying sniffing around, and he came when you asked, and you took him inside the house….you ENDED his fun. Very likely in the future, he will think twice about coming, and will probably blow you off because sniffing in the yard is more valuable than that treat.

So, where do you start when you want to teach your dog a really reliable recall? I always start with The Name Game and build that behavior up through distractions. The Name Game teaches your dog to turn to look toward you when you say his name. You must work through varying degrees of difficulty in order to get a reliable Name Game. That said, in reality, my Name Game IS my COME WHEN CALLED! Dexter’s name is so valuable, he comes when I say it.

OK. Let’s start the come-when-called training. Here are the basic steps I take to teach the behavior. First, I try really hard for it to not feel like a dog training lesson. In other words, when you are grabbing your dog’s favorite toys and treats, don’t let him see you do it. You will want the behavior to feel real, not set up.

Recall/Come When Called Training Level 1

  • Work in a non-distracting, large, or open environment. Great rooms, hallways, and garages make nice areas to work in.
  • Have your dog’s favorite dog treats and motivational dog toys on you as his reward. You are not going to show him his prize first as a lure; he will come first, then receive his prize.
  • Say your dog’s name in an upbeat, fun tone. If your Name Game is primed and functioning, this will make him come! Right after his name, when he turns his head, make novel sounds, smooches, and happy talk. High-pitched, repetitive sounds make dogs want to come and move. This novel sound will eventually be replaced with your recall word (Come, Here, Now, etc.), so it’s important to make the noise.
  • As your dog is running your way, encourage him to come with your body language (tapping your legs, squatting down, etc.), and YOU move away from him. Moving away from him as he is coming, will encourage him to come faster. Speed is what you are going for. The faster he comes, the less likely he will be to get distracted along the way on a real come-when-called session.
  • When he arrives, to you, have an AMAZING PARTY! Food, play, jumping around, whatever it takes to have him SUPER excited he came to you. You should be thinking Disney Land. Even though this should be easy for your dog (remember, no distractions), your payoff needs to represent coming off those big distractions in the future. You are setting the foundation. If he doesn’t think it’s exciting, he won’t be coming when called away from any distractions.

Practice Level 1 for at least a solid week (5-10 different times a day) before even considering moving to Level 2. What your dog must be able to do reliably and consistently is come as fast as he can without any hesitation, and without seeing his reward first. As he continues his success, change the room locations you are asking him to come. Asking at this point is still Name Game, Novel Noise, Body Language and Running Away. All taking place inside the house, without any distractions.

Recall/Come When Called Training Level 2

  • Repeat the same set up as Level 1. This time, you will fade the running away part. So, it will be his Name, Novel Noise, and Body Language.
  • Repeat his AMAZING PARTY!

Once again, practice Level 2 for at least a solid week, maybe 2 (5-10 different times a day). Varying rooms, and still looking for speed and reliability.

Recall/Come When Called Training Level 3

  • It’s time to add some mild distractions. This time, when you are walking your dog on his leash, randomly allow him to sniff at the end of the leash. After about 5 seconds of sniffing, say his name, and novel sound. HOPEFULLY, it’s not too distracting, and you can reward with his AMAZING PARTY! After your party, run with him to the sniffy spot, and encourage him to sniff and investigate.
  • Wow! A win-win for him. He came off the sniffs, had a party, then got to go sniff (with you) again. Lucky boy. ***If he does not come off of sniffing, it is too hard. Shorten his leash, slowly walk away from the sniffy spot, and try again. When he does then come, it’s still his AMAZING PARTY! But, you should practice Level 2 more.
  • Practice Level 3 for at least 2-3 weeks (5-10 different times a day). Varying controlled distractions. Controlled distractions mean that if your dog chooses to blow you off, he cannot get the thing he was distracted by. So, he can be on a leash, you can have a friend help by holding a distraction, etc. Continue to look for speed and reliability. If you move too quickly through the levels, and your dog is barely able to do it, you will stumble in your training. You want him solid at each level.

Recall/Come When Called Training Level 4

  • At this point, I like to add the come when called word (come, here, now, etc.).
  • This time, it will be his Name, Novel Sound, then his new RECALL word. Over time, you will start to fade the Novel Sound, and just use his Name, followed by his recall word.
    There you have it. The basic foundation of come when called. As your dog progresses, you will start to add controlled distractions. Good luck!

Quick Tips:

  • Do not EVER call your dog and punish him. If you have in the past, you need to change your recall word. He has already associated that word to mean bad things are going to happen if he does come.
  • Coming to you is ALWAYS fun and enjoyable.
  • Do not chase your dog. This goes for the kids too.
  • Do not use your recall word unless you are SURE your dog will come. At first, this should be on leash or when your dog is already coming to you. What you do not want is to call your dog, and he does not listen to you, this just reinforces him to not pay attention to you or your recall word.
  • AMAZING PARTY-BIG IMPRESSION-EXPENSIVE BEHAVIOR-This is the behavior that could save your dog’s life! Remember that every time you work on this lesson.


How is your dog’s come when called? Tell me in the comments.

How to train a dog or puppy to come when called. Learn how to train your dog to come when called today. #raisingyourpetsnaturally #dogtraining #comewhencalled #positivedogtraining
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Tricks to teach your dog. How to teach a dog to hand target. This fun dog trick has many practical uses. Learn why it's one of my favorites. Bonus Video. #raisingyourpetsnaturally #dogtricks #cooldogtricks #easydogtricks #handtarget #teachadogtricks

Cool and Helpful Dog Tricks | Teaching Dog Training Behaviors: Dog Hand Target

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Teaching Dog Training Behaviors: Dog Hand Target, Teaching a Dog to Touch Hand

Dog Training Behaviors: Hand Target

Tricks to teach your dog. How to teach a dog to hand target. This fun dog trick has many practical uses. Learn why it's one of my favorites. Bonus Video. #raisingyourpetsnaturally #dogtricks #cooldogtricks #easydogtricks #handtarget #teachadogtricks
Fun dog tricks

Teaching a dog to place his nose on the palm of a hand is one of my favorite behaviors to teach a dog. In my humble opinion, I think hand targeting or touch is one of the most useful dog training tools we can have. There are so many practical ways we can use this simple behavior to our advantage. I will go over just a few that I actively use, but there are much more uses of a hand target.

Some useful ways to use a hand target or touch behavior include:

  • Polite greeting or not jumping
  • Saying “hi” when nervous, confidence building
  • Moving your dog from one spot to another
  • Distracting your dog from something else
  • Using your TOUCH as a lure to teach new behaviors in place of using a food lure
  • Once a cue (word) is attached to the touch behavior, you can use it to have your dog touch other things, like a ball, vacuum cleaner, sticky note, etc. to teach new behaviors and tricks
  • Come when called behavior
  • Helping your dog not mouth hands or feel uncomfortable around hand movement
  • A lot of dogs LOVE doing it

As with all dog training behaviors, there are a variety of ways to teach your dog what you want. Of course, in my opinion, and in the eyes of animal behavior scientists, the only way is through positive, gentle methods. Here are two techniques I often use when teaching a dog to hand target.

Teaching a Dog to Hand Target: Way 1

  • Present your open palm to your dog, as you slowly move you and your hand away from your dog in a smooth motion to pique your dog’s interest to follow. Allow your dog to catch up to your hand. He either will touch your palm, or get close to touching it. This is when you say, “YES!” and toss a food treat away from you so your dog leaves to go eat it. He will then turn around and start to approach you again. Once again, use the palm of your hand, and gesture to encourage another touch of the nose. YES! and toss a treat. Repeat about 5-10 times.
  • Once you are confident that your will actually touch your palm as he is going in for the touch, say your target word just before. Touch, Push, Nose, Target, etc. It’s important not to use a word until your dog is reliably doing a behavior.
  • Now that he is becoming increasingly more reliable, you can increase the difficulty level by making your hand higher, or lower, or add a small distraction.

Teaching a Dog to Hand Target: Way 2

  • Get about 5′ away from your dog, drop your hand to your dog’s nose level and wiggle your fingers. Allow your dog to sniff your fingers, and when he does say, “YES!” as you pick them up and toss him a treat away from you. Remember, tossing a food treat away from you allows you the opportunity to do the behavior again. Repeat this exercise about 5-10 times.
  • Once you are confident that your will actually touch your fingers, it’s time to change your hand position from fingers to an open palm. Repeat the above exercise, but with an open palm.
  • Now that your dog is actively touching his nose to your palm, just as he is going in for the touch, say your target word just before. Touch, Push, Nose, Target, etc. It’s important not to use a word until your dog is reliably doing a behavior.
  • Now that he is becoming increasingly more reliable, you can increase the difficulty level by making your hand higher, or lower, or add a small distraction.

When you get to the point that your dog is reliably touching his nose to your palm, you can use it in various applications. Below you will see the two ways to get started, along with some dog training students using a hand target for polite greeting.


Does your dog know how to hand target? Tell me in the comments.

Tricks to teach your dog. How to teach a dog to hand target. This fun dog trick has many practical uses. Learn why it's one of my favorites. Bonus Video. #raisingyourpetsnaturally #dogtricks #cooldogtricks #easydogtricks #handtarget #teachadogtricks
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Learn how to teach your dog the value of his name. Come when called, not barking at the windows, they all start with a reliable Name Game. #raisingyourpetsnaturally

Name Game-Barking At Windows

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Teaching a Dog to Come When Called, Stop Barking, Stop Running the Fence

Teach Your Dog the Value of His Name: Name Game

Learn how to teach your dog the value of his name. Come when called, not barking at the windows, they all start with a reliable Name Game. #raisingyourpetsnaturally
Teaching your dog his name

Intro to teaching your dog his name and how to use it to curb barking at the window.

Dogs bark. Barking is a pretty normal dog behavior, but one that can be quite annoying. If you have a dog who seems to bark all the time in the house at everything that moves, or is patrolling your windows, he is in a state of arousal all the time, and that is not good.

Please note that this article is just one step in a variety of positive dog training tools to help curb your dog’s excessive barking inside. If your dog is constantly aroused, anxious, or stressed, please seek further assistance from a qualified positive dog behavior counselor.

Teach your dog the value of his name. When I say, “Dexter,” that means for my dog Dexter to turn around and look at me, not for him to blow me off and ignore me. Your dog’s name should be a pleasant experience, not a punishment. In other words, good things happen to your dog when they hear their name.

 

I start to teach a dog The Name Game during a planned dog training session. In other words, not when you are distracted, or your dog is distracted by his environment. Start your set-up without your dog seeing you “set up.” Place 20-30 tiny high-value dog treats in your pocket. By high-value, I mean something so exciting your dog will go crazy over the treats, like cooked chicken, steak, beef – whatever gets him to drool excessively! Then also place a small toy, such as a squeaker toy, in your other pocket.

Week 1

  • Start your dog training session when your dog is already hanging out with you and is not distracted.
  • Say your dog’s name ONE TIME in a pleasant, high pitch sing-song voice.
  • That moment when your dog turns his head to look at you, immediately mark that behavior with a “YES!” “Good!” or click if you are using a clicker.
  • Follow quickly with a jackpot of 10 treats as you praise and fuss over him. Dish out the 10 treats quickly, but one at a time. You want him to feel like he just won the lottery!
  • That’s it! That is the first stage in teaching your dog the value of his name. No distractions (not outside, not when he’s barking, not when he’s sleeping) right now.
  • Practice this 10 times a day at random times for one week. You want your dog to be successful, not blow off his name. So, in the meantime, do not call your dog with his name if you think you are going to get the blow off. You are probably re-teaching him what the true meaning of his name is.

* Oops! He didn’t look at you. Do not repeat his name, instead grab that squeaker toy you had in your pocket, start tossing it around and squeaking it while ignoring him. He does not get to play with it; you have a fun time with it by yourself. Grab his toy and go play with it yourself. Or whip out that tasty treat and pretend to eat it yourself.

*Wait about 5 minutes, and if you think your dog is not distracted, try the name game again. Assuming he turns this time, jackpot as usual. If he does not look towards you, reevaluate the training environment. It is important that he wins at this level – and often – if you expect him to be able to do it with distractions.

Tips and Bonuses– When you practice a set, you can add more rewards after your jackpot to really bring it home. For example, after your 10 treats, he gets his dinner or filled Kong toy, or gets to play or go for a walk – get creative. A quick and reliable name game is a precursor to come when called and everything else involved with getting your dog’s attention on you and not his environment.

Week 2

After a successful week of practicing your dog’s name without any distractions, you should have at least 70 repetitions of saying your dog’s name, with him turning and receiving a wonderful jackpot and hopefully some bonus rewards too. If this does not seem like the case, keep working on your Week 1 homework.

  • Same rules as week 1 except this time you are going to start to add very mild distractions to your dog’s environment during your sessions. Again, you are looking for success, so be careful not to ask for too much yet. If you are unsuccessful, try something a bit easier and reset.
  • Example: Your dog is calmly engaged in another activity such as looking out the window, moving around the house, playing calmly with a low-value toy…..get about 5′ away, say your dog’s name in that sing-song voice and that moment he looks towards you, your marker (Yes, Good, clicker) and jackpot of treats, 10 times a day!

You did it! You got your first distraction under your belt. If this wasn’t successful, follow the same rules as week 1. It is super important to continue to reward these sessions, because you are still training, and you now have increased your criteria to make it harder for your dog. If you aren’t able to reward, don’t say his name. We want your dog to love, love, love his name, and we are going to start building his name into a small come when called behavior.

Week 3

I am going to repeat myself. Only move on if you have practiced your sets with success. Learning takes time, practice, and patience. You can’t rush it and certainly can’t move on if you haven’t practiced with success.
Increase your distance:

  • You are going to continue with your mild distractions like week 2, except this time instead of being 5′ away, you are going to increase that distance to maybe 10′ away as you say your dog’s name (still in a sing-song voice).
  • You are still marking (Yes, Good, clicker) your dog’s head turn towards you. Don’t wait until he reaches you. Remember that marker tells him he’s done it right, and the reward is coming. You are marking his head turn towards you (his attention); the coming to you is a bonus.
    Increase the distraction:
  • Above we only changed the distance your dog had to get to his reward; this time, we are going to increase the distraction he’s coming off of. But you do not want to increase two things at once (distraction and distance), so this set will only be increasing his distraction, but you are once again going to be at the 5′ distance from him. You may even decrease the distance to make it a bit easier.
  • You know your dog best, so slowly increase the distraction your dog is turning away from. So maybe there is a little activity outside the window, but he’s not going bonkers. Say your dog’s name in that happy tone, the moment he just turns his head towards you, mark and jackpot!
  • As you are getting success with the head turn, you can start to increase the distance you are asking him to come.

Week 4 and Beyond

This is an ongoing training lesson. Over time, you can continue to build on your dog’s behavior and response to his name. If you start to lose him over time, decrease your criteria and rebuild again. If you want a reliable behavior, you will need to practice and to keep it fresh in his head that great things happen with the calling of his name.

As you can see from the earlier weeks, you are slowly teaching your dog to come off of distractions and to come to you instead. This is how I teach dogs to not go crazy at the window. I practice coming off of boring windows and build to come off of exciting windows. Remember to pay (treat) that behavior or your dog will think the window is more exciting than you. It’s all about the payoff.
You can’t expect your dog not to bark, I just think we should teach our dogs to come off of the things they are barking at and settle back down.

Tips and BonusesManagement, management, management. I say this all the time, but it is really the foundation of good dog training. Why do professional dog trainers get reliable behaviors quickly? Because they have good management and are not afraid to use it. If your dog is barking out the window all day long while you are at work and you attempt the name game, you are unlikely to be very successful in the long run. Why? Because your dog has a lot more practice doing the behavior you are trying to change. Practice makes perfect and if he’s practicing barking out the window all day long, well – you get the picture.

  • Try to block off access to the windows while you are away. Maybe your dog is confined to rooms that do not have such an exciting view. Or maybe you use the decorative window film on your windows to block some of the activity.
  • When you are home and you successfully call your dog off the window, if he keeps going back to the window to bark, try attaching his leash and take him with you. That way he can’t keep ping-ponging back to the window. Or maybe give him a stuffed Kong or treat-filled toy to keep him busy.


Does Your Dog Respond To His Name?  Tell me in the comments.

Learn how to teach your dog the value of his name. Come when called, not barking at the windows, they all start with a reliable Name Game. Bonus dog training demo video.#raisingyourpetsnaturally #comewhencalled #dogtraining #positivedogtraining #dogbarking #dogbehavior #dogtrainingvideos
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