View Full Version : Training Annie to come

14th March 2007, 07:28 PM
Does anyone have any Cavalier-specific advice on training a dog to come when called? Most of the books, websites, etc. I have seen say to use a long leader. We have not done a very good job of teaching this so far.



Cleo's Person
14th March 2007, 08:07 PM
For what it's worth (and no doubt there will be much more experienced people here who can offer much better advice) we trained Cleo with treats called schmacko. They are long thin treats that you can pull tiny bits off, as we didn't want to over feed her. We got her to sit and followed it with a treat and so on. After a while one of us would hold her in the sit, while the other went a bit away with the treat and called her name/come and the one holding her let her go, and if she came, she got the treat. Cleo is very very motivated by food, so it didn't take long. :flwr:

Good luck.

Cathy Moon
14th March 2007, 11:08 PM
I would recommend taking your cavalier to a training class that is taught be a trainer who belongs to APDT, or who has a CPDT credential. These trainers use 100% positive reward based methods that will enrich the relationship between you and your dog.

When I call my cavs, they know they are going to make me the happiest person in the world when they come to me, and they hear it in my voice. :) They absolutely know they're going to get to get praised, kissed, petted, and most likely a yummy treat. When your cav comes to you, always touch his/her collar or harness before you give a treat. This will come in handy if you ever have a dire emergency where you need to get a hold of them fast.

You have to be consistent; don't ever call your dog and then scold her or do something the dog perceives as being negative (eye wiping, nail trimming, or anything else they won't enjoy.)

Have an emergency back up command besides 'come'. I use 'treat' and 'look'. I have had 100% recall with Geordie, and 99% recall with the girls. We practice recall nearly every day.

15th March 2007, 02:07 PM
We just went over this whole issue in my puppy socialization class last night. I dont know how old you cav is, but here are what we were told to work on to set the stage to learn come (for older dogs this will be too babyish).

The start was about everything Cathy Moon just told you - never use the come word for things your dog doesnt like (ie. if you dog likes the car you say come - associates come with nice things but if your dog doesnt like the crate in the car - go get the dog dont call him to come as he will associate it with things he doesnt like). She stressed the point to come was that whether in a few days, few wks or few yrs all dog owners will hit a moment Come will save their dogs life. To not use it for anything that will not produce positive reinforcement or failure of the command.

Start off with any games that involve the puppy working his way back to you - fetch, hide-seek using high motivation reward (for us its chicken!). When you got that down, you up the anti by randomly calling your dog throughout the day (still using high reward) like when they are in the garden or engrossed in a toy - just call whoever come, and all they know is that means big time treat) Finally you take your dog to an enclosed unknown area (suggestions tennis court gated, neighbours backyard, kindergarden gated play area etc..) Let your dog wander about, using a large toy that can shake and make a noise you wave it/squeek in to get attention as they are over at the other side and call excitedly - reward with that chicken. She said if need be you can use the long cord route if difficulty is happening but to avoid pulling - rather a short burst of tension and show treat to get them to move a bit reward - little more. If it turns into a pull match or total reel in, stop.

For me I cant get kodee to play fetch so I was stumped - she is typical puppy and just goes and gets the toy, comes back but jumps about me. She suggested having 2 balls - kodee comes prancing around me, hold out other ball with treat tucked in hand and she drops it, reward then exchange balls. For advanced hide and seek you put you dog in a stay and hide the treat and say find it and when they finish eating say come, reward again, put in sit/stay and go again.

Dont know if any of that helps at your stage - but I sure found it alot more informative then the methods taught for come 15 yrs ago last time I did dog training! I definately over used come with our dog for all sorts of things so I can see why it was not 100% recall ever in her. But then cookie was always 100% recall :lol: and that word saved her butt a few times she got out the door! I swear the neighbours thought my dog's name was Cookie!

15th March 2007, 11:40 PM
Cathy, thanks for advising to touch the collar when the dog comes...what a GOOD idea. I am so glad that you mentioned that. Thanks.

15th March 2007, 11:44 PM
My puppy will come if there are no distractions. Other dogs or people, just forget it!!!