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Categories: Recall and Come

Q. My dog will not come when it does not have the long line or the prong collar on. She plays keep away. What should I do?
Dear Mr. Frawley,

I was wondering if you could help us with a problem we are having with our 9-month-old GSD. We watched your obedience tape and have been working with her on the here command. We have put her on a long line and have treats and praise for her when she returns. One problem is, she knows when the line comes off, that she is free and will dash off, so we've been keeping it on. Another problem is... she has been running out through our front door and when I call her she looks at me and stands there or keeps running. If I go after her, she plays with me (wanting me to chase her) I stop and start to walk away from her and when she gets the idea that I'm not going to chase her, she comes back. I'm very worried she is going to get hit by a car. We have a prong collar, but like the long line, she knows when it's on or off. I have never yelled or disciplined her when she has came back. I really don't know how to handle this. We have children running in and out of our house all the time, giving her many opportunities to run through the door. What am I doing wrong here?

Thank you.
Ann

A. Your mistake is in not correcting the dog when you catch her.

When she does not mind, you calmly walk to the dog - not screaming - nothing - very calmly put the collar on her (or the leash) and correct the living hell out of her all the way back to the point where you were when you called her. This needs to happen every time she does not come. The dog must learn that is no option to coming - it either comes or it gets corrected. The correction will either come right at the time it does not mind or it happens when it is caught - no matter how much chasing around it does - it ALWAYS gets corrected for not coming.

Once the dog understands this - it will come every time. If you can not get it to work - then the problem is with you because EVERY DOG will respond to this method of training.

So bottom line is that this is a handler problem and not a dog problem.
  
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