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Dog Training/come when called


We recently rescued an adult dog. They say he is 4 but he looks older to me than that, possibly 7. He is a neutered mix, he looks like some kind of water spaniel and acts like a hound (nose to the ground, focused only on that). Sweet natured, gets along with out other rescued dog and the 2 cats, loves kids, perfect dog. He came to us with basic obedience training, very good dog. We could tell he had been abused. He was a bit hand shy and trembled in the corner when I got the broom out the first time. We refuse to hit our animals, I cannot stress that enough, it is not an option. Our other dog, Maggie, is a Malinois who is, typical of the breed, super smart, high energy, easily bored. She knows basic obedience and a few "tricks" but she never ever would learn to come. We cannot get her to do it, the trainer could not get her to do it and we all finally gave up. Now the new dog, who used to come when called even if he was out of eyeshot. I think he has learned from Maggie that he does not have to come when called. For some reason he will not obey the "come" command any more though he still obeys the rest. I have no idea what to do. Like I said, physical punishment is out of the question, we don't have to teach him what it means like we did Maggie who was a small puppy when we got her, so how do you teach an old dog an old trick? I got so frustrated today I grabbed his collar and kept saying "Come" as I dragged him over to the door but I doubt that is the right method. Have you heard of this and can I do something about it? It used to be that when I yelled "come" he came and then Maggie would sometimes follow. Now they just both look at me like I am crazy. Thank you for your time.


Most people say dogs are either food or toy motivated. I say there is a third "praise". If t a dog will not react to any of the three then there has to be some type of negative reaction to reinforce what the dog is not doing. Unfortunately, if the dog does not react then it will be very difficult to correct this without at least a little scolding. If the dog does not see you as the "pack leader" then they will not obey you.

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Chris Cantrell


Typically answer questions about basic obedience and search and rescue training for any types/breeds of dogs. I DO NOT answer questions regarding any health related issues. I DO NOT PROMISE TO ANSWER QUESTIONS OTHER THAN THE AREAS I HAVE LISTED. If you are going to ask a question I do expect to get sufficient information. I cannot make any promises that I can answer your question if it is a behavioral issue because you have to be around the animal to properly evaluate what the animal is or is not doing so do not expect a miracle through email.


Chief of local rescue squad. I have 2 trained K-9's. One is trained for live, cadaver and HRD. The second is trained for live search and in training currently for cadaver and HRD. Formerly trained Police K-9's for Patrol, protection and Narcotics.

Alabama Association of Rescue Squads, North American Search Dog Alliance

NASAR, AARS, Alabama Fire College

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