What Do I Do If My Puppy Won’t Come When Called?
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What should you do if your puppy won’t come when called? Should you punish the puppy? What about using force, such as spanking? What about doing a time out? What about rolling the puppy on its back and scolding it? What should you do?
Well… you never get rough like that on any dog, especially a puppy.
When a puppy doesn’t come when called, you need to recognize that the puppy is not trained. An untrained dog won’t come when called. And your puppy isn’t an adult. It is impossible for a puppy to be reliably obedient.
It is impossible to lay enough groundwork with a puppy to ever expect a reliable Come command. Coming when called is one of the most difficult commands to teach, because it requires good technique and an excellent relationship with your dog.
Think on this. Dogs are not entered into obedience competition until they are at least 2 years old. And that is after many months of competition. Police dogs are at least 2 1/2 years old before they are used on the street. Same with guide dogs, competitive hunting dogs, and so forth. Obedience is a combination of a lot of good training in the real world, and a result of maturity. There is no 6 month old puppy excelling in any obedience event anywhere in the world. The older, better trained dogs, will always do better. That’s why ALL reputable dog trainers, and ALL reputable dog events require dogs to be at least 18 months to 2 years of age before they are allowed to show their skills.
So, there is no way that a puppy will reliably come when called. It isn’t possible.
What should you do? If you are asking this question, you are either trying to train the dog on your own, or you are upset that your puppy didn’t obey in the real world, or you are working with a low quality dog trainer.
You need to start from the beginning with a quality dog trainer. It is wrong to punish a puppy for not coming. Punishment will only make things worse, not better.
So, don’t be lazy. Don’t be a cheapskate. Go hire a professional and do it right. And then, if you haven’t been a flake, and if you have diligently practiced your homework with your dog for about 2 years, then you can start expecting reliable obedience. Until then, forget about having an obedient dog.
Lighten up on your puppy. It is too soon to expect that kind of performance. And you are not being fair to your dog.