How do you get your puppy to come on command? - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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Old 06-14-2019, 11:58 PM Thread Starter
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How do you get your puppy to come on command?

My puppy and I live alone together and she seems very happy and healthy but will not come to me. Granted, I do things like brush her teeth (very gently) and give her vitamins and brush her gently but I don’t know why she refuses to come to me. I give her treats when she goes on the pee pee pad and never scold her. She enjoys being petted. Do I need to wait until she is old enough to wear a harness, so I can give a little tug to give her the message to come?
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Old 06-15-2019, 12:43 AM
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There are a lot more experienced trainers here than I, but will put my two cents worth in while waiting for others to chime in.

If you don't want to get a harness that she will quickly outgrow, get a collar. Skye's breeder put collars on the pups when they were quite young so he was wearing one when I picked him up at 11 weeks old. It also helps with potty training as you can tether her to you any time you cannot give her your undivided attention or are moving around the house. Even if you are using an expen you can tether her to you when she is out of the pen.

If you have been using the "come" command when she doesn't know what it means you have dug yourself a little hole. Not too hard to recover from, but it will be a little more work for you. You should teach the behavior first before you attach a command to it. Stand a step or two in front of her and hold out a treat. When she comes to get the treat say "yes", or click a clicker, or what ever you are going to use to tell her that you liked that behavior and would like her to do it some more. Step back and hold out the treat again. Reward and praise when she comes to you. You can add a hand signal to let her know to come. Try to add some distance, but only a few steps away from her. When she is coming to you every time you hold out the treat and give the hand signal only then add the "come" command. Hope that helps.

If one of our more experienced members with Obedience titled dogs comes in and says I'm full of hooey pleas feel free to totally ignore all of the above.

Good luck.
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Old 06-15-2019, 01:56 AM
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We played games with treats to teach our puppy to come, but that involved multiple family members. I also did what’s been suggested, praising and giving him treats when he came to me on his own and labeling it. One thing to be careful of that may seem obvious (but my kids took a long time to catch on to this) is don’t call her in situations where you know she won’t come because of distraction or distance while you’re teaching this skill. In those situations just go get her (without making it a chase game), or wait for her, or try to catch her attention by engaging her in another way. If you call her name multiple times in a situation where you know she’s unlikely to obey, you’re teaching her to only come part of the time, or to come when you say her name 3 times. Work on it away from distraction first.

There are lots of ways to teach this so I’m sure you’ll get a lot of great suggestions!
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Old 06-16-2019, 08:22 PM
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Old 06-18-2019, 11:47 PM
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Some very good suggestions in this thread. Food is generally a great motivator, especially "high value" foods, which vary from dog to dog. Then repeat 1000 times......no 2000 times! Patience and persistence is the key to effective training.

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Old 06-20-2019, 08:28 AM
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All of the above, and we hired a trainer for several sessions for that one command. I think it is the most important, and needs to be as perfect as possible. Our trainer did use treats and did a lot of repeats and variations in a huge room- we used toys and lures, food rewards and lots of positive praise. Also learned to use the name and command only once, to not repeat myself, to never use it casually, and not for something unpleasant. Che will come racing from across the park once that got instilled. And it does seem that once he got that idea, he also comes when I call his name without the command, or I say "here". It takes practice, and commitment to consistency.. the latter is the hardest!

Good luck! They do want to make you happy, it just needs to be clear in their little doggy heads (I think my dog may be smarter than I am, so let's say in my doggy little head)
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Old 07-17-2019, 01:03 PM Thread Starter
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UPDATE: I asked a trainer about this — he sat on the floor with her and wiggled his fingers on the floor. Eventually she put her paws on his knee and the rest is history. Now she can’t get enough of being held and petted. I am unable to sit on the floor so that was why, I think, she was afraid. HOORAY!!!!!
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Old 07-17-2019, 05:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
UPDATE: I asked a trainer about this ó he sat on the floor with her and wiggled his fingers on the floor. Eventually she put her paws on his knee and the rest is history. Now she canít get enough of being held and petted. I am unable to sit on the floor so that was why, I think, she was afraid. HOORAY!!!!!
I didn't have a trainer to demonstrate so had to figure out for myself what a difference it makes to get down on their level. And it's really not the same to bring them up to your level. I'm over 70 so sometimes it's a bit of a struggle to get up and down, but we both seem to benefit when I make the effort.

Glad you are getting some of that sweet Havie lovin'
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Old 07-18-2019, 12:07 AM Thread Starter
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I would have gotten down on the floor if I could have. Even though I am in my mid-sixties, I have arthritis so bad that I can’t get down on the floor because of three hip surgeries I’ve had and two knee surgeries I need. I had a sweet little Maltese who died from PLN protein losing nephropathy (kidney failure) and had suffered many other losses as well recently, so I got a Havanese as a companion. I also live in my parents’ house which is extremely remote from anything and everything!! So I didn’t feel like I could wait for another couple of years to get another dog. She has turned out to be a lot of company, just as I had hoped!!
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Old 07-19-2019, 06:57 PM
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I can get any one we've ever bred to come when I call "Puppies", even if we haven't seen it for years. I start calling "Puppies" when I first start putting their food bowl down, when they first start eating, and not only nursing. I do the same when we finally come up with a name for one, only using the name instead of "Puppies". It has to be in a happy voice. Without food, there does need to be a small happy celebration when they do come, for a reward.

Skip to about 2:25 in this video:

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