Robin and I were with a new Home Dog Training client in Dahlonega last week helping him with his Boxer named Admiral. We had originally been called out because Admiral had the annoying habit of running to the door and jumping on anyone trying to come into the house. Once they were in, he would never leave them alone. We were able to teach our client how to direct Admiral to the correct behavior and be a well behaved boy. As we were finishing up, our client remembered another issue he was experiencing with his Boxer. It always happened that when ever he needed to get Admiral in from the back yard, Admiral would just not want to come inside or even to him. He really thought that Admiral believed it is a game to see how long he could stay away from him. Finally, Admiral would come inside the house when he was good and ready. How can he get his dog inside the house from the backyard?
We told him that he was not alone. One of the biggest issues our clients have is getting their dog back into the house when he is way back in the yard. The dog just doesn’t seem to pay attention to their master or care they are there. Our client needs to get him inside so he can get to an appointment or get on a business call. What can they do?
This situation is caused because our client just hasn’t taught their dog to “come”. This process takes about five weeks to teach their dog and has multiple steps that must be achieved to finally award their dog the “Come Diploma”.
We must initially understand what is really happening with our client and their dog and then find a temporary solution. They walk outside and yell “come” to their dog. Not fully versed in “come”, the dog doesn’t understand what that means. Because our client made some noise, their dog may glance in their direction. They then yell “come” again and start jumping up and down. He now stares at them, finding them an amusing distraction. They now become mad and start to walk quickly towards their dog. Their dog may see this as the start of a game such as “follow the leader” or “tag you are it”. Since our client is approaching their dog, the dog takes charge as the leader. From our dog’s point of view, the goal of “the game” is to stay away from the other animal. The more our client tries to get to his dog and get him inside, the more his dog will avoid him.
As our client quickly realized, he is in a loosing battle. So what can he do to get his dog in the house if he doesn’t understand “come”? He must find a way where he will remain calm, disengaging, and not directly approaching his dog.
Here is what you do: (I really love this little trick!)
- Our client must attach a 20 foot leash on their when he is outside. Let him run around with it so that he no longer pays attention to it. Eventually, he won’t even know that it is there.
- At the time our client wants to bring his dog back into the house, he should be very calm and slowly approach the handle end of the leash. This is not really approaching his dog because the handle is 20 feet away from him.
- Since our client isn’t approaching his dog, it is not signaling a “I want to play” to his dog. This will minimize or eliminate any focused adrenaline or miscommunication of dominance on our client’s dog’s part.
- If his dog begins to move or run, no big deal. We tell him to simply watch the end of the leash and slowly move towards it.
- If needed, he should simply stop and do nothing for a minute or two. Many times the dog will wonder what’s going on and will come towards our client, bringing the leash with him.
- Once he is at the handle end of the leash, we tell him to just put his foot on the leash. Bingo, he has his dog.
- Now he can calmly and easily pick up the leash.
- Give his dog the “come” command and give the leash a little tug to direct his dog towards him.
- Give his dog the “walkies” command and calmly walk him back to the house.
This is a great technique that has always worked for me for many years. Give it a try and I am sure you will love it.
Please call Robin or myself at (770) 718-7704 if you are in need of any dog training help. We have a lot of good dog training advice at Best Dog Trainers Dahlonega Georgia. Find all our phone numbers, text addresses and email contacts at Dog Training Help Center Dahlonega Georgia.