Like most dog owners, maybe you aren’t as tough on your old pal in the demand department as much as when she was, say, a puppy or young dog. However, one of the best things you can impart on your dog is teaching him to come when you call him. The “come” command could save your dog’s life (like when you’re out in the streets and he starts to veer off the sidewalk, for instance), as confirmed by the folks behind Unleash Magazine.com in this article.
But what happens when your old dog won’t come when called? How do you properly deal with it then; especially when your dog is already in his senior years? Thomas Aaron, a certified dog-training instructor, offers these five possible reasons why dogs don’t come on command:
Coming when called is probably the most important obedience skill your dog will ever learn, as it could save his life. If your dog is too close to traffic, an icy pond or some other danger, you need him to move towards you when you call—no matter what.
Most other common obedience commands (i.e. sit, down, stay) are stationary commands directed at a dog who is already giving you his attention. The “come” command involves your dog making the decision to pull away from whatever he currently is interested in and moving towards you. In order to build a strong recall (that is, coming when called), you first must understand the reasons your dog may decide not to come to you. Here are the five most common reasons:
Your dog does not understand the “come” command.
Your dog believes “come” is optional.
Your dog does not see you as his leader.
The distraction level is too high.
Your dog may have negative associations with the word “come.”
For a more in-depth discussion on the five reasons why your old dog won’t come when called, click here. If still your dog won’t come when called, consider having him retrained. Don’t disregard the importance of your pooch following the “come” command because you never know when you might need it. If your schedule doesn’t allow you to retrain your old dog or you’re too much of a softy, hire a professional dog trainer to do the task instead.