Why Does My Dog... Try to Run Away?

Getting Your Dog Recall Ready

“You should give your dog a really good reason to come to you,” Dr. Crowell-Davis says. And make sure every time he comes when called he gets a delicious treat and lots of praise, even if he doesn't respond immediately. “One common mistake dog owners make is getting angry if they call their dog and the dog doesn’t come immediately," she says. "When the dog finally comes to them or they catch the dog, they proceed to punish him.” Even verbally reprimanding the dog teaches the dog that if you come or allow yourself to get caught, bad things will happen. “So the next time the owner calls the dog, the dog is less likely to come, and it can become a vicious cycle," she explains. "But even one incident when you punish your dog for not being good on recalls — that’s going to make the situation even worse.”

Dr. Crowell-Davis knows firsthand the effects of good recall training. She adopted a rescue who got out of the house off-leash and ran off, ignoring Dr. Crowell-Davis’ calls. When she finally cornered the pup, who was crouched down to the ground with her ears pinned back and her tail tucked, Dr. Crowell-Davis “could tell she was expecting some sort of physical punishment.” Instead, Dr. Crowell-Davis praised the dog, hugged and petted her, and told her she was “a great dog for getting caught.” She then took her pup home and gave her some of her favorite food. “That was the start of her learning that ‘Hey, with this family, when you come back you get hugs and petting and really good food,’” Dr. Crowell-Davis says. “And that is the lesson to teach your dogs to get them to come back.”

You may also want to watch the Vetstreet video: Teach Your Dog to Come When Called

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