Have you ever had the experience of letting your dog off the leash for a walk and then being unable to call him back? Most dog owners know what it's like to call a dog's name repeatedly, and he's so engrossed in what he's doing that he completely ignores the call. The cynologist shared with the publication Pet Radar a few tips on how to make sure that your dog always comes to you when you call him.
There can be many reasons why your dog won't come to you, and environmental distractions are definitely one of them. But according to veteran trainer Adam Spivey, pet owners often unknowingly make the mistake of making a dog less likely to come up when the owner calls it.
In a video posted to Instagram, Spivey says that overusing your dog's name in a negative way can almost make them immune to it, causing them to disconnect from you and keep doing what they're doing even when you need them to come back.
“If you want your dog to come every time you call, stop using your dog's name in a negative way,” Spivey explains. “Stop using it every time you tell them off.”
Spivey says if we keep saying things like “Fido, stop it. Fido, leave it. Fido, lie down", the dog begins to perceive his name as something associated with bad things.
“When you say, 'Fido, come to me,' the name is so often used in a negative sense that Fido is not going to run to you. Every time your dog hears his name, he should be heavily rewarded for it, so that when he hears Fido, he will run to you, knowing that something good will come.
Unlike humans, dogs don't know names the way we do, they just know that the sound of their name evokes associations.
“If you inadvertently create a negative association with that word more than a positive one, then the dog will not respond,” Spivey says.
You can use your dog's name, but as Spivey advises, try to use it in a positive way whenever possible, as your dog will sense your intentions and react accordingly.