How to Get your Dog to Come When Called
Having trouble getting your Labrador to come when called? You’re not alone. Labradors, known for their friendly and energetic nature, can sometimes be a bit stubborn when it comes to responding to commands. In this article, I’ll share some effective strategies on how to get your dog to come when called and explore why Labradors may be particularly resistant to this command.
When it comes to teaching your Labrador to come when called, consistency is key. Start by using a clear and distinct command such as “come” or “here.” Use positive reinforcement techniques like treats and praise whenever your dog responds correctly. Gradually increase the distance between you and your dog while practicing the command in different environments.
Labradors are naturally curious and easily distracted, which can make them less inclined to respond immediately. Their independent streak combined with their high energy levels may cause them to prioritize exploration over obeying commands. Furthermore, Labs have a strong prey drive that can lead them astray if they catch a scent or spot something interesting.
Understanding Labrador Retrievers
Labrador Retrievers are widely recognized as one of the most popular dog breeds, known for their friendly nature, intelligence, and versatility. However, when it comes to recall training and getting them to come when called, Labradors can sometimes be a bit stubborn. In this section, we’ll delve into some key factors that contribute to why Labradors don’t always come when called and provide insights on how to overcome this challenge.
- High Energy Levels: Labradors are known for their boundless energy and enthusiasm. Their inherent love for playtime and exploration can often distract them from responding promptly to commands like “come.” It’s important to understand that labradors have an innate curiosity and desire for freedom, which may lead them to prioritize their own interests over immediate obedience.
- Selective Hearing: While Labrador Retrievers are highly intelligent dogs, they can also possess a selective hearing trait. This means that they may choose not to respond if they perceive the command as less rewarding or if they are engrossed in an activity that captures their attention.
- Lack of Training Consistency: Consistency is crucial in any dog training regimen. If your Labrador hasn’t been consistently reinforced with positive rewards for coming when called since puppyhood, it’s possible that they haven’t fully grasped the importance of this command or developed a strong recall response.
- Distractions: Labradors have a natural curiosity towards anything stimulating in their environment – whether it’s another dog running by or an intriguing scent wafting through the air. These distractions can make it challenging for them to focus on returning promptly when called.
Tips for Improving Recall with Labradors:
- Start Early: Begin recall training with your Labrador as early as possible so that it becomes ingrained in their behavior from a young age.
- Positive Reinforcement: Utilize positive reinforcement techniques such as treats, praise, and playtime rewards to motivate your Labrador to come when called. Make sure you provide immediate reinforcement when they respond correctly.
- Gradual Increase in Distractions: Gradually introduce distractions during training sessions to help your Labrador learn to focus on your command even in the presence of enticing stimuli.
- Consistency is Key: Practice recall exercises regularly and be consistent with your commands, rewards, and expectations. This will reinforce the importance of coming when called.
- Training Aids: Consider using long leashes or training aids designed specifically for recall training. These can provide added control and safety while allowing your Labrador to experience freedom within boundaries.
Common Reasons Labradors Don’t Come When Called
- Lack of Training: One of the primary reasons Labradors don’t come when called is a lack of proper training. If you haven’t invested time in teaching your Labrador to respond to the recall command, they may not understand what you expect from them. Training should begin early on with positive reinforcement techniques, such as treats and praise, to create a strong association between coming when called and rewards.
- Distractions: Labradors are highly energetic dogs with a curious nature. They can easily get distracted by their surroundings, especially if there are enticing smells or other animals nearby. When faced with more interesting stimuli than your voice calling them, it’s no wonder that Labradors might choose to ignore your command.
- Fear or Anxiety: Some Labradors may have fear or anxiety-related issues that prevent them from responding to recall commands. Traumatic experiences or lack of socialization during puppyhood can contribute to these fears. If your Labrador associates coming when called with negative experiences or feels anxious in certain situations, they may be hesitant to respond.
- Lack of Consistency: Consistency is key in dog training, including teaching them to come when called. If you only call your Labrador sporadically or use different words each time (e.g., “come here,” “over here”), it can confuse them and make it harder for them to understand what you want from them.
- Reinforcement of Undesirable Behavior: Sometimes unintentionally reinforcing undesirable behavior can lead to Labs ignoring the recall command. For example, if your Labrador comes to you after being called but is then scolded or put in a time-out, they may associate coming when called with negative consequences and choose not to respond in the future.