Mrs. Frankenstein asked in PetsDogs · 4 weeks ago

What to do when dog DOESN'T follow certain commands?

I know you're not supposed to repeat constantly, like if they don't sit on the first try, don't say "SIT, SIT, SIT, SIT" a million times until they do it. But what are you supposed to do when they full-on ignore you with a specific command? 

"Come" is still the one problem; hit and miss on the best of days. Treats, GOOD THINGS, never bad things, clicker, and still nothing sometimes. Like right now, he has a slight eye thing going on, so I'm not telling him to COME for his drops. I just go over to him, drop him, then treat him for being still. Downstairs is still ok to follow this command, but outside (sometimes) and 0% following this command upstairs. He won't do it upstairs at all. I sit there with a tasty treat, clicker at the ready, he sees the treat, wants it, then bolts downstairs. 

Ignoring feels like giving in, letting him NOT come when called. What should you do when they don't follow? I've seen everything from teasing them with the treat and SHOWING them the treat going back in the bag, like they missed out, to upping the anti and providing an even better treat, to not even dealing with it. I don't know what to do about this, help!


So update. He just went into the bedroom all by himself, click, treat, praise. I am making recall fun, really trying to. He is looking at it as more fun now. He is a stubborn beast, and I have learned that if he just DOES the thing and I catch him in the act, he seems to get it better. I may ask a question on this later, but thank you all for your answers :)

6 Answers

  • Jojo
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago
    Favorite Answer

    ALWAYS and I repeat ALWAYS make it fun and worth the dog WANTING to come back to you, whatever its doing.

    Unfortunately you do not say the age and breed of the dog and if you have had him from  a puppy.

    The recall is always best trained into the dog when its a puppy and then the dogs reactions to this command become naturally second nature.

    Once the dog is adult and has learnt that when its a distance away from its owner it can just ignore commands the n training the recall becomes a lot harder to install into the dogs brain. 

    Find out what really turns your dog on eg: a certain toy, a game, a treat etc. and practise the recall in a smallish area eg; 50x50 metres, for about 15 minutes and each time he does it 1st time reward him with what turns him on. If he refuses to come, NEVER go to him.

    On the other hand, NEVER call your dog to you, when you need to do something `nasty` to him, like put drop in his ears or eyes. 

    In normal refusal to come situations.

    Run away from him waving his toy in the air and calling his name and `come` in an excited manner. He `should be interested enough to come running after you. Then have a game with him.

    Then allow him to wander off and have a sniff about before doing this all over again.

    This does all depend on the dogs temperament, and his prey drive etc, and some dogs are just so independent they are a nightmare to train in recalls etc.

    I can only suggest you find a really good trainer who can analyse the dog and suggest a way of dealing with the recall problem.

    As I said, this exercise is best taught 100% when the dog is a pup, and before its learnt its easy to refuse a command.

    Once the recall is 100% when the dog is alone, it needs to be done with distractions about. When a dog will come at first call, (or even second) when big distractions are about, then you can say `my dog has a good recall". Not many people can truly say that. 

    There ARE the people who swear by the Shock collar with dogs that won`t listen, but that is a dog trained by force (compulsion) and I prefer MY dogs to obey ME out of respect not out of fear. 

    When I call my dog he comes with head held high and tail wagging and an expectant look in his eyes. Then he gets his beloved rubber ring and if possible a game with it.

    No, he is not perfect at recall, and `not very often` he might ignore me if he is doing something that he finds more interesting than coming to me.

    Then although I`m inwardly fuming I `wait` until he decides to come to me and tell him he IS is good lad and we have a game. I don`t ignore his bad behaviour though as I feel he needs to still find it pleasant and rewarding to come to me, rather than be ignored and no reinforcement or reason to return. 

    He must ALWAYS return, one way or the other. Fortunately refusals to come when called are `very few` as I trained him as pup to find the recall a good and rewarding thing to do. 

    I personally do not see the point of clickers when an owners voice is better, and with MY dog I don`t use food treats as giving him his rubber ring is far more rewarding for him. Often the treats can be overdone, and cease to be a seen as a very big reward by the dog. 

    A good trainer will soon realise what reward would be best for your dog if you are not very sure.  

    The recall IS  hard exercise to get 100% right and you are not alone in your frustration. But I`d stop doing this exercise up the stairs and do it outside in a quiet area. Jmo. 

    Source(s): GSD owner for 57 years UK.
  • Maxi
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    When training a dog, any dog you teach the action before you attach the command word..'come' is a very easy one that can be practiced daily/twice daily  each and every time you feed the from 8 weeks old the 4 times a day meals, if feeding kibble as soon as the dog hears the kibble hit the dish or if feeding raw the fridge open to get meat the 'action' happens without saying anything as soon as it happens ........'come...good dog' and they get their meal ....... if for whatever reason the action doesn't happen, then you clip on a lead and use the lead to 'encourage' the 'come' and praise, so the dog can't make a mistake so always get praised, they always respond as they have no other choice......... (sounds like you have a 'teenager' who is deciding to push your buttons and ignore)...if so stay calm, take a step back in training, enforce the action you want and attach the command word ( at the time of the action) to make sure the dog knows you say it once and expect instant action

    A trailing lead is a good option as it can be stepped on/lifted without fuss, without talking to or touching the dog to ensure you get their attention you demand

  • Amber
    Lv 5
    4 weeks ago

    The main thing is to associate the action with the command. Otherwise it's just a random word to your dog and we humans say thousands of them that mean nothing to them. 

    You could put your dog on a long lead and to guide him and only say the word "come" when he runs towards you. Then reward in whatever way you prefer. Some people do treats, toys, praise, or a simple release of pressure. 

    You can use a distraction like running in the opposite direction. 

    But the best way to train is with a trainer who knows what they are doing. Because once you have that knowledge, you have it for life and can use it on all other dogs you have. 

    EDIT: Sorry my internet went on me. I have a lot more to say (lol). Think stimulus, response, reward. So for my dog she has home cooked food which I heat in the microwave. When she hears the sound of the ping, she'll come that's the stimulus the ping of the microwave. Her response it to come to me. Her reward is the meal. Once I hear her get up and start coming I'd just say "come". 

    Look for moments in your normal routine to start training your dog. Times when your dog will come naturally like meal times, bed times, when they come in from the garden. 

  • 4 weeks ago

    As Belgian said, you can work with a long line and NOT "LET" the dog tell you "No" or "Fk-U".  Secondly, as many trainers used to tell me: NEVER give a command - you cannot enforce.  Don't put yourself in a LOSER position where the dog can GET AWAY WITH..... NOT coming.

    Running from the dog can sometimes help; some dogs THINK you might leave them (stranded) but you may still need a long line and you can sort of LET the dog catch you.  I used to start quick & gradually slow down.  yet still PRAISE & Treat the dog - when I got what I wanted - dog close enough to touch or dog's collar in my hand.

    Now, I will tell you ONE OTHER method one of my trainers related to me.  She was a nice lady with Border Collies, she trained to titles but had rescued one - who WOULD NOT COME when called, despite all other efforts.  

    She needed the help of a GROUP of friends and did "reverse herding" on the dog, in a fenced area, it could not escape from.  Now, nobody HURT or yelled at the dog, but even in HERDING breeds (like Borders) they use some "intimidation" to get the sheep to move - a certain direction.  

    So, she called the dog and when it did not come - the pre-instructed group of persons (who were loosely circled around she & the dog) began "closing in" and making WAVING gestures, STOMPING, and shooing noises.  She started to look a whole lot BETTER <wink, wink> than she did (to the dog) before. <lol>  

    I do not recall - if she kept the dog on a lead, but the group only stopped getting wilder and TIGHTER TOGETHER - when the dog made a MOVE towards her.  Even if dog needed to be leash-prompted, it still got PRAISE when it reached MOM and everybody clapped & said GOOD DOG!  They repeated this several more times.  Suddenly MOM was much more positive - than looking off at other things, or people.  I do not readily advocate intimidation, but as I said, the dog (knew the command) but WILLFULLY refused to come & had been worked on long lines, run from, tempted with every treat known to man, etc.  She wanted to work the dog in herding, but the dog HAD to be able to be recoverable, once LOOSE.

    It could (also) help to go BACK TO "BOOT CAMP" with your dog if you have reached a difficult plateau in training and/or your dog THINKS he can "call the shots".  Here is the very famous Radical Regime for Recalcitrant Rovers (RRRR) by Job Michael Evans (former trainer at the Monks of New Skete monastery).  A lot of dog-adoptive homes have been sent this by my rescue group, when we got panicky calls, of misbehaving dogs (often with minimal training).  It works best, if followed EXACTLY as written.  It is a holistic approach that redefines your relationship, rather than being an INSTANT FIX.  

    Your "dog not coming" issue is ON THE LIST:

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  • *****
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    You enforce the command and then reward. With recall, you use a long line until the dog is reliable. You don't recall until the dog is reliable unless the dog is on the line and you can enforce it if ignored. If the dog ignores after the line is removed, you go get them, bring them to where you were, then reward and back to using the line. 

  • 4 weeks ago

    You AND your dog would benefit from obedience classes.  You need a qualified instructor to teach you how to train.

    Basically, recall is the one exercise a dog can NEVER be allowed to disobey.  Since your dog's been taught not to come when called, you put a long, light-line on the dog, call - ONCE - and if the dog doesn't instantly start to come, you gently pull him in.  Praise and a treat once he gets to you.  Keep on repeating until the dog is 100% reliable.  

    With a dog who's been taught he doesn't have to come, its going to take more time and patience but if done correctly, you will get there.

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