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I'm training a puppy the come command, and she is doing very well with it except for one problem. When I call her to come, she comes, but as soon as she walks up to me immediately turns around and walks away. I thought to fix this I would do something exciting that she enjoys, so she would be expecting something when she comes. However, I don't want to give her a treat every time she comes. I tried that before, and then she only comes when she smells treats. She doesn't seem to care much about petting and verbal praise. Any ideas on what I could do when she comes to make her excited about coming and excpect something to happen when she comes?

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How old is your puppy? How often are you calling her? What do you do when she gets to you?

The thing to remember is that puppies come for a reason, not because you say so. B) Seriously, you have to make it worth her while. If you want her to be excited about coming, then give her something to be excited about. Make it a party, be super happy, praise her like she's the best thing ever. (Even if she's not nuts about praise now, she can learn to associate it with good things later.) And don't be stingy with rewards. Give her a treat - they can be tiny ones - or give her a toy, or give her something to do once she gets there.

Once she's there, ask her to sit or offer a trick like shaking hands or taking a toy and holding it.

But don't overdo it. If you call her too often or ask her to stick around for no reason, she's liable to lose focus and become distracted and bored.

Again, can you tell us how old she is? Maturity has a very great deal to do with how long they can stay focused and pay attention.

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My favorite way to teach a come is to hide a toy behind my back and call her. When she comes, I show her the toy and we play tug for awhile. If she's reluctant to come, often running away from her will encourage her to come. I don't show her the toy until she actually comes, to prevent her from checking whether or not I have the toy and making her decision based on that.

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Agree with Gloria.....you have to make it worth the puppy's while to come to you.


How old is the puppy? This is very important information to have in order to be helpful.


When I am training a puppy I always have treats in my pocket no matter what so that I am always prepared to reward with food something the pup does that I like. There is no harm in that with a puppy. Later, when the dog is older, you will have built up a strong and valuable reward history and the dog will come to you, or do whatever, whether or not you have treats in your pocket. Trust me, this works. Bjut you have to build up that reward histroy with a puppy for months before you can do without the food reward.


If you puppy is not food motivated yet, try different treats, including tiny bites of roast chicken or cheese or freeze dried fish.....whatever the pup loves.


If still not food motivated after trying lots of things, switch to a toy. A puppy who doesn't want to play is a sick dog, so I bet there is something.....tug, fetch, chew toy....that your pup loves. give her that when she comes to you and play with her. Make it exciting and happy and always let her go again right away so that she knows that coming to you doesn't mean an end to whatever fun thing she is doing.

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...I don't want to give her a treat every time she comes.


If you don't want to give her treats every time she comes, at least at this stage, then you don't understand reward based training. ;)


No, you shouldn't want to give her a treat every time she comes forever, but until whatever behavior you're training for becomes very well established, then you reward each and every time. Once the behavior's well established, then you begin reducing the frequency of reinforcement gradually. Intermittent, unpredictable rewards are actually more effective in the long run than constant rewards, but you've got to firmly establish that reward history before you're ready to start that.


And, yes. Knowing how old the puppy is would be very helpful information to have.

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