While working with my 9 week old Brando on the "come" command, I've been careful to keep it all positive and set him up for success as much as possible. I've read, though, that repeating a disobeyed command is a bad idea. It makes sense that the dog is learning the wrong thing when he is just sitting there whil you repeat "come!" two million times. What do I do when I call him and he ignores me? He has been responding well to clicker training, but as I understand it, the clicker should be used to mark compliance, not to entice compliance. (He responds excitedly to the clicker, expecting treats). It is still early in his training, but I don't want to end up with a six month old puppy who thinks he can ignore a come command. We adopted a seven month old lab twelve years ago and the first year was a nightmare of sorts. We couldn't have him off lead and trust him.
I don't expect overnight results. Just some tips in case this proves to be troublesome.
True ambition is the deep desire to live usefully and walk humbly in God's grace. - Bill Wilson
Repeating a command that is being ignored is a bad idea. I started by teaching all my puppies to "touch", (meaning touch their nose to the palm of my hand), using their most favorite treats and throwing a party until they had that down. This became a non-negotiable command and they will even do so while eating if asked.
I then began using a long line to teach recall. I started with no distractions and once he had that down I would up the ante to various distractions. Maxx did not have what I would consider reliable recall in all situations until about a year old. I honestly think that was pretty much the average age for most of my dogs to learn this. Using short training sessions several times a day works best.
We started puppy k at 10 weeks and Maxx still goes at 20 months. He has earned his CGC and TDI designations. Now that he is old enough we will begin to concentrate on agility training in a few weeks when the next class starts.
Last edited by tammyhuffman; 04-07-2013 at 09:05 AM. Reason: spelling
Maxx & Emma Jean
Ozzy - 10/16/02 - 06/28/11 - Always in my heart.
Sometimes the hardest part isn't letting go - but learning to start over.
I did the same thing, with using a long line. I used a 30 ft. check lead when training both of my Labs. I'd tell him to "come" and start reeling him in, being gentle and patient. Then lots of praise and a treat, let him go run, and do it again. Here too, this is a non-negotiable command. Being that both of mine have been hunting dogs, recall is important. It took a fair amount of time before I let Diesel off his lead, especially with a lot of distractions, like kids and cats. Probably not until he got old enough for his e-collar.
My Lab is smarter than your honor student.
Deacon 12/1/1999-4/2/2012 RIP, bestest boy.
Diesel 3/29/2010 My little hard charger.
Another fun thing my hubby and I do with puppies is sit on both sides of a long hallway. We both have treats. First, I hold puppies collar and get him all excited. Then my hubby starts making all kinds of fun sounds. I do not release the collar until hubby says the word "come". Then I let him tear down the hallway to get a treat. Then we reverse. Hubby holds the collar until I say the word come. Puppies soon realize the fun game. They learn to turn to the next person as soon as they get the treat. It's a fun "game" to play while getting them to respond to the word come. And as a bonus, you get to watch your puppy come plowing toward you. Have fun!
use a long line - the puppy will have no choice.
practice only in places with lower distractions until he is consistant, don't try to work on recall when he is outside investigating a very interesting smell.
turn around and run in the opposite direction, this will become a fun game for him and he will morel ikely come. Use a high pitch voice. Or crouch down. especially at first avoid standing up stiff when you call him.
at that age I would just use a word or their name. I use "puppy" a lot at first. Pupppyyy pupppy pupppy pupyyyy!
Charlie (foster) and Rocky
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.
I have to admit I didn't even read your post or any of the responses, but after reading your contribution to the morning after thread I was highly amused when I read you started a thread titled "teaching come". I know, I know. Nasty. But still amusing. lol.
Maybe you'd like to give my method a try? He's probably still young enough. It's the "fear of being too far from Dad/Mom" method. It's also contiguity trainign on natural behaviour which is what you do when you potty train.
You and puppy, nobody else around, off leash in a safe place. Most puppies don't go too far away till they realize, "OMG, where's my Dad?" and they come running back to be safe with you. When they are coming you yell out COME, party when they get there. You don't even need treats because puppy's relief at being back close to you is a powerful reward. You can treat though, if you want.
This will probably work for a while in your backyard if puppy gets on the other side of a bush or corner from you. It will work in similar situations in your house for a short while. If you can find big, safe places to go then you can keep reinforcing it in new places. You can up the ante by hiding. I'm lucky to be in a rural area with 1,000s of acres to go to and nobody else around. This is popular in the U.K. but it won't work once pup starts getting confident enough to go away from you, maybe around 16 weeks.
I was confident my pups knew COME in two weeks with this method, so 9 and 10 weeks old.
Puppy off lead - U.K. chat about this method.