Advice??? Working on Come.

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Dobiegirl's picture
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Hello everyone. Learning has never been more fun then you people helping me out ...I am doing rather well with sit and down... Starting working on come and stay ... and I can say I absolutely lost here... Any advice????

DJ's Dad's picture
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Since Pandora is still very young, her attention span might be somewhat short, so just be sure to keep training short, and FUN.  Puppies are so much easier to train if they think training time is really a game.  Try to end each session on a positive note, also---if she starts being stubborn and stops  listening to you, before you end your training session, give her a command that you know she will do, and praise or treat (or both) when she complys, ending the session then, not in the middle of your frustration and hers for something she isnt doing. 

In my opinion, recall, or "come" is the single most important command your dog can learn. If a dog owner only teaches their dog ONE command, it should be "COME".  It can save their life, if for instance, the leash or collar breaks while you are out for a walk and your dog runs out into the street, or your dog runs out the front door before you get a leash attached and starts to chase a cat or a squirrel....a good recall could definitely save her life in that type of a situation.

Do you train with treats? If so, get the yummiest treats available for Pandora to reward her for coming to you when you call her.  Start out inside the house, where she doesnt have much room to roam.  Call her, give her treats or praise, or both, for coming to you.  After doing this a few times, move outside and try it.  You might need to put a long leash on her to let her know that "come" means COME, not roam around and sniff the ground and look at what's over there in the corner of the yard before coming to you. I took a cotton clothesline rope and hooked a swivel snap onto the end of it, so Ziva could get 30 feet or more away from me, and when I called her once, if she didnt react and start running to me, I would tug on the rope and not give her a choice but to come.  Keep practicing this with big time rewards.  As she starts to realize that coming when you call is more fun than running off, it will start to be an automatic response when you call her.  I used to wait until Ziva was distracted by something else, not paying attention to me at all, then call her to me.  It took a while to get through to her when she was outside, and we are still working on a good recall from a distance, but she is pretty good at it now.

KevinK's picture
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I did the same as ziva's dad with the long lead, and it's funny because I actually used a clothesline as well lol.

When she comes, tell her good come, and make a really, really big deal out of it.  If you can figure out Pandoras favorite thing, (may be a treat, me be a rub on  the belly, a game of fetch, tug, etc) and use it as a reward it will make the training much easier.  Lots of stuff at this age is very fun and exciting... If you don't reward almost over the top, you're going to lose out to that butterfly, falling leaf, squirrel, the neighbors dog barking, that funny looking piece of grass that needs to be chewed, whatever's happening.  You need to be more fun than anything else, and once you know and understand how to be more fun than anything else, 90% of your work is done.  It's figuring out what will best motivate your dog that's the hardest.  Once you do that, training will be cake.  When I found Dakota's love for tug, man, we made more progress in 1 training session than we did in weeks, no lie.

Dobiegirl's picture
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Joined: 2010-08-12

Thanks guys. She doesn't take to treats or I haven't found the right one yet. She does however do rather well when I get a couple pieces of her kibble. I think I have some line in there I can use. I know how very important this command is cause it can in fact save her life like you all stated. I keep training short 2-5 mins. Cause I know she is still just a pup. I appreciate the advice. I will try in the house then outside. I just have to put the kitty outside to play for a little while(indoor/outdoor kitty). Pandora gets distracted easy (as I know she will as she is a pup). Again thank you both for your reply. Any suggestions on when to add distractions.

KevinK's picture
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You can start adding distractions once you have a reliable recall without them.

Dobiegirl's picture
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cf33's picture
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Joined: 2010-10-02

The RULE around here if I or my husband says "come" the dog gets a treat/reward EVERYTIME!!!If I do not have a reward in my hands I DO NOT say this command THEY KNOW when we say come they look at us and dart right towards us!I started practicing in home and then outside on a 30foot lead.Yes this is a very important command I feel, after praciticing this a lot I now just give them a hand single that I also taught along with the command so I do not even have to yell come(if they are looking at me from a distance)I take the 1 dog over in a field and I do this motion with my arm and he just runs back to me and then I give him his treat and praise him "like I hit the lottery!" lol

Practice,practice it is all so worth it to have a great obedient dog.My trainer I use says a dog is not fully trained until the age of 3,my dane is 2 and a half and he has been through training since he was a pup I enjoy it he enjoys it and I am so happy and proud of the time and practice both us have put into him becoming a wonderful dog in our home AND the comunity!This being said I will be resting up in Jan/Feb so I have my full energy and time to devote to my new doberman pup in the spring and I will start from scratch all over again.

I will even wait until they fall asleep go in another room and yell "come" just to do it and practice more and they gallop out of bed into the kitchen get their reward.

I highly recommend a book called the focused puppy by Deborah Jones and Judy Keller. I take lots of classes with my dogs all the time and have picked up lots of things over the years. I've been using the games that are taught in this book for a long time and have had great success with them.

I start with teaching the dog it's name and when I call it they always receive a high reward treat or toy. This makes it fun for the puppy and they will soon come running every time you call them. The one thing you want to make sure you NEVER do is call the dog to  you when they have done something bad or it is something that they are not going to like per say such as nail trim, bath things like that.

You can also practice this using 2 people that are set 20-30 feet apart. One person calls the puppy to them and when they run to you click and treat. The next person calls the puppy and does the same. When using the teach the puppy its name and calling it between people it is only done using the puppys name. after he is reliably coming to you then you can add the dogs name and your recall cue such as "dogs name... come" I've successfully doing these steps in this matter am able to break my dogs from the most interesting places and behavior to come running to me.

you will want to make sure you are practicing these in all areas of the house and yard and making sure that the puppy is highly praised and rewarded for doing so correctly. I've never had to use a long line but do so when we are in outside areas that I feel may be to resisting to them.

Another fun game for the puppy is the come and go game. You start by calling the dog to you if you use a clicker which I'm growing to LOVE click and treat. Then throw the food out and tell the dog to go (or whatever word you want to use) when the dog reaches the food click as he picks it up. Call the dog back to you and reward with a treat. This really speeds up the dogs recalls.

One other thing about the treats, I wanted to give some suggestions. I would practice this when the dog is very hungry before feedings. Some things that your dog may like that you haven't thought about are liver cooked with garlic, hotdogs cut up plain or fried in a pan, my favorite is rollover. You can also try chicken hearts, liver fried or cooked. I've never found a dog that didn't like some kind of food. If you happen to have a rare one that you cant find a food that he likes then use a high reward toy one that is only used during training. This would not be a toy that the dog is allowed to see and play with all the time. It is a super fun toy saved for moments like this.

Dobiegirl's picture
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Joined: 2010-08-12

Thank you everyone. Still working on come... She's a stubborn dog(shes even starting to buck up on walks). I have been doing a little 4-5 min session before feeding and that seems to help as she is hungry anyway. Still haven't found a treat but working on that. Again thank you all for the information. I might have to try the hot dog thing.. I don't know any pup that could resist a nice hot dog. Again thank you guys so much...

Dobiegirl's picture
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I just thought of something else to ask. She seems to have Sit and Down real good. But she is however a puppy and is easy distracted. Is there anyway to get her a little focused or am I asking to much? Also when I train her on commands I am usually by myself in a room where no one is around. Advice is much appreciated, and thank you all for being here to help a new Dobie owner. It makes all the difference in the world.

KevinK's picture
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You're not going to get too much attention out of her yet.  You can practice rewarding her for looking at you.  At first, any time she looks your way, mark the behavior, give a treat.  She looks at you again, mark the behavior, give a treat.  Then you can slowly start building that up, to where she has to look at you for 2 seconds, then she gets a treat.  then keep going until she will look at you waiting for the next command.  Going to take some time, but getting and keeping the attention is the most important thing...once you do that, most other things will be much easier.

DJ's Dad's picture
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I dont know what you use as treats, but when I had Ziva in obedience classes, I would buy beef liver at the grocery store (frozen beef liver is relatively cheap stuff) and either boil it or quick-fry it in just enough oil to keep it from sticking to the pan, then cut it into tiny pieces, about the size of a pencil eraser to use as training treats.  She loved the smell and the taste of it and keeping the treats small means you can treat often without over-feeding.  Hot dogs work well, too.

what have you tried for treats?

Dobiegirl's picture
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Joined: 2010-08-12

I have tried the puproni, the t bone treats and several more from Wal-mart as there is not Petsmart or Petco here. The closest one is in Kingsport TN. (In which I will be moving there in a couple months due to work issues). I think I will try the hot dog thing tomorrow as I have to go grocery shopping anyway. I did however find her something to chew on called Oinkies at walmart and dhe hasn't moved for 30 minutes chewing on that.

liver (the kind you cook) is super cheap and I haven't met a dog yet that hasn't liked it. I'm sure there is somwhere but not a lot. Another thing is the rollover all dogs seem to love it is actually a complete food, natural balance makes several flavors of it. Good old cheddar cheese or string cheese. You want your treats to be soft and easily swallowed, nothing that they have to chew or that dry crumbles. Somtimes by frying the hotdogs in a little butter or oil makes them that much more flavorable.

Dobiegirl's picture
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Thanks RND I will have to remember that when we do a little training tomorrow. I think she would love that ... I need to take some more pictures and add them as well as she is growing and growing and growing ....