COMING WHEN CALLED
Your dog must learn that you are the leader and what you say is law. Your dog will test your leadership ability. If you are not assertive, he himself will assume the responsibility for leading. A dog that runs away or will not come when called MAY be simply saying, "I am the leader and I will do what I please."
OR HEAVEN FORBID, YOU HAVE PUNISHED HIM FOR COMING TO YOU OR AFTER CATCHING HIM IN THE PAST, SO NO WONDER HE NOW WON’T COME WHEN CALLED. Punishment may have been striking him, dragging him home roughly, screaming at him or now locking or tying him up. Dogs do not like to be tied up or locked up and left for hours, days, weeks………….. Would you come when called, if these things happened to you? I think not!
The best way to establish leadership is to begin a training program. Schedule a minimum of three fifteen-minute sessions per day and teach only one thing at a time. Do not go over fifteen minutes because your dog will lose his attention span and you will lose your patience!
The three most essential commands to teach your dog are "sit," "stay," and "come." The three are related. The training will begin in the house, but once learned must be re-taught outside. The distractions of being outside necessitates reintroduction and reinforcement of each learned skill. After you have taught your dog to sit/stay, walk him outside, with leash attached, and practice sit/stays. Once he trusts you and knows that when he is given a command he will get rewarded by verbal praise and a food tidbit, he will more readily come when you call him.
If this method does not work, put him on a thirty-foot light nylon line. Hold onto it or tie the line to a stake in the ground where you will be standing. Then release him. Just before he gets stopped by the light line, call his name followed by "Come." If he does not stop or come, the line will stop him. Reel him back in and start all over again until he does come. When he finally does, give him a ton of praise, then try him off the line. After you have had success in an enclosed yard, try these procedures in an open space.
Do not ever call your dog and then punish him for some reason. Such as do not call a dog that has messed on the floor, then get mad at him once he comes about his house training accident. All your doing is teaching to be afraid to come when called. Thus he quickly learns not to come when called.
Do not give the command several times in quick succession. Say it once, wait, then repeat it. Be consistent in the exact way you give the command. Use praise every time it is obeyed. No long sentences, a simple one or two word command.
If in a safe situation, do not go after your dog when he wanders off because this will become a game of run and chase. But if he is in danger of being hit by cars, lost or something else dangerous, then you have to attempt to catch him.
IMPORTANT: One of the very best things you can do is call him, when he comes, pet him, give a treat, then let him loose to run free again. Do this often, so that he doesn’t think that every time he comes, he is now caught and his freedom is over with. This method cures many of the next to impossible dogs that refuse to come when called.