Come Away from Distractions

Distractions are the main reason that dogs do not come when called. If your dog doesn't come away from distractions when he is on leash, it is obviously unlikely that he will do so when off leash. This training is very similar to the "leave it" training. You may want to set up some distractions ahead of time. Litter your yard or practice area with things that will distract your dog. Good things might be a closed plastic container with food in it, or an unopened package of dog treats. You could pour melted butter on the ground so he will sniff. When things are set up, go get your dog and put him on leash. Have a treat handy to reward him, but don't let him see it; otherwise, he may not want to leave you. Let him wander around until he spots the distraction. Follow him around and keep the leash loose. When he is busy investigating, call him ("Max, come"). If he doesn't come, give the leash a quick tug, back up a few steps as you did when you were initially teaching him to come, and guide him into a sit as you stop. Even though he didn't come on his own, you should still praise and reward him for coming. Start to praise him the second he turns away from the distraction and comes toward you. Do not drag him all the way to you on a tight leash; just give him a tug to get him started. It is okay if he picks up the distracting article and brings it to you.

If your dog does come when you call him, celebrate! Praise him for a solid minute and reward him with four or five pieces of food. When your dog is good on a 6-foot leash, advance to a long line of 30 feet. Let him drag the line without you holding it.

You can practice this anytime you walk your dog. If he is sniffing the place where every neighborhood dog lifts his leg, or if he is straining at the end of the leash toward the neighbor's cat, call him, give him a tug, and back up.

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Dog Potty Training

Dog Potty Training

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