Cooper and I haven't been on in a while, he's grown quite a bit and for the most part he's pretty good. He's completely potty trained.. (Other then the occasionally accident when he holds it too long and doesn't tell us)
He knows how to sit, lay down, shake and roll over. But the only thing i'm having trouble with is him not coming when he's called.
I'm really worried about this because i live on a busy road and Cooper has already ran out in front of traffic a number of times.. It makes my heart stop every single time. But when i try and work with him off leash it just happens again and again.
I've been giving him treats every time he comes to me and praising him but it doesn't seem to be working. He just takes the treat and runs off again. :/ I'm wondering if it's because of his age.. He's nearing 8 months and isn't fixed yet. We don't quite have the money to fix him so i'm wondering if that is also a problem.
Any advice you can give me would be wonderful. <3
Practice the "come" command frequently but only when he is leashed. While having him on a long lead (or rope) call him to you in your most fun party voice. Then immediately pull him to you and as soon as you can grab his collar give a great treat (chicken or hot dog pieces). If you do this several times a day he will learn to come to you. Never, ever use this to scold him! A recall should always be about fun and treats. Since you live on a busy treat, he should not ever be off leash there.
Call your local Animal Control or Shelter to ask about free or no cost neutering, most have plans for this or can direct you to someone that does.
That's some very good advice thank you i will try that. I guess regular treats aren't as enticing for him. I heard hot dog pieces aren't good for dogs? My friend told me Pork is very bad for them.. I didn't think this was true but i believed her because i figured she wouldn't lie to me.
But if you've been giving your dogs hot dogs bits all the time then it shouldn't be a problem. Thanks for the advice again!
Practice with a long line on him. Do not ever let him off leash in a dangerous area! Do you have a dog park or a fenced area nearby you could practice in?
Our nearest dog park is 40 minutes away. Which is upsetting considering i brought him to it the other day and he LOVED it. I wish i could bring him EVERY day.
Thank you so much for the link, Marcie. I think this would be a good option for us because right now i have absolutely no income so maybe i could get his surgery done for very little.
The first thing you have to teach him is that he NEVER goes out the door unless you call him to you, have him sit, and snap on the leash. Then teach him to sit and "wait" (leash on and door open) until you say "Let's go" and step out the door with him on a short leash.
Separately teach him to not bolt out the door when you, or someone else goes in and out. Put him on a long line which stretches from an immovable object (couch, railing or similar) to 10 ft. outside the door. Tell him "stay back' and use a hand signal as well, open the door and go in and out, leaving a few minutes in between and always telling him to "stay back". You are not trying to trick him, just teach him.
If he bolts out the door, he can only get 10 ft. out, you go get him, scold him and haul him in, then proceed with your training. You need to do this diligently for several weeks until he is reliable and you also need train any other family members about how to enter and exit the front door without letting the dog out. The life of the dog is at stake, or big possible Vet bills if he is injured by a car.
I agree that he should never be off leash in an unsecured area. Neutering as soon as possible will work in your favor.
Wow i never thought about this, Anna! Thank you! I think this would help. Cooper already sort of knows the command 'Stay'.
For example, Cooper is not allowed upstairs because that cats food/cat box are up there, So he's not allowed by himself. When i'm going up to get something from my room i sternly say, 'STAY." And most of the time he obeys. So i think what you told me to do with practicing with him tethered inside is a very very good idea thank you.
We would like to get our back yard fenced because it's a very big area and is very closed off from the road. There are only a few places he can escape from so if we get them fenced it'd be a very nice area for him. But i agree with you all as well, i do not let him off a leash here. A couple of times he's bolted out the door and i swear i almost felt my heart burst in two when he ran into the road. He's too important for me to lose to a car.
A well fenced yard is a blessing when you have dogs. I hope you can get it done. I had dogs in a big city, growing up, and we just walked them regularly, that works too, but it does take more dedication from the owner. Healthy for both though, and you can eat that extra pastry :-D
You are very right, and i definitely need the extra excersie. :)
Also we are starting to take Cooper to the dog park every friday for a couple of hours to blow off some steam. He loved it last week and i think i loved it more then him!!! Watching him play is the best thing ever!
Here's a game to play to sharpen up his recall. You need two people, a collar, a safe open space (does not need to be fenced if there is no traffic, unless you have a beagle or something that will run off for miles and never come back), and a dog with a regular flat buckle collar. You also need two piles of extra-tasty very tiny treats; cut back on meals while you are practicing this game regularly and use real chicken, beef, cheese, hot dogs, or dried fish or liver.
BOTH of you have a baggie or container with a handful of tiny pieces of treats.
Stand about 20 yards or so apart; it needs to be far enough for the dog to run full speed.
One of you holds the dog by the collar. The other says "Cooper!" in a cheery voice and waves or shakes the treats so Cooper sees them and wants them. The person not holding the dog should wave the treats and now say "Cooper, come come come! in a happy party voice until Cooper is starting to pull at his collar. When he is pulling, the other person lets go of the collar while the person with the treats says "Come come come!!!" very happily the entire time he runs to them (most commands should be repeated once, but "come" is often better said in a stream because it then encourages the dog to move faster).
Once Cooper arrives, he gets 10 or 12 bite-sized treats fed to him in quick succession while the person has a huge "Gooood boyyyy Cooper!" praise party. Then that person holds Cooper's collar. The other person (who was the collar holder on the first attempt) now calls Cooper's name and waves the treats, and repeats the whole exercise.
Have him go back and forth between the two people four or five times, three times a week or so, and you will have a full-speed recall in no time. Yes, you are "bribing" him to come (it's called "luring") but after the first time or two of playing the game, you won't need to wave the treats first any more. He will know what is coming. When he is excitedly coming at full speed and this is his favorite game, you can teach him to "finish" the recall by sitting in front of you (but it's ok if he's a little excited) and have you grab his collar BEFORE he gets the treats.
After this, then you will find that a cheerful "Cooper, come come come!" will bring him running. Try to reward most times for a nice recall with either a treat or a favorite game, and occasionally "jackpot" reward him with a dozen or so treats, and sharpen him up now and then with a repeat of the game.
It is my opinion that dogs should recall at a dead run, so they don't get distracted.
You should also teach him a good long-distance "Stay" or "wait" so that if he does get across a street from you in traffic one day, you have a way to tell him you want him to stay over there while you go to him, and not have him run back across.