Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 26th 2017 Contents B8 life
guardian.co.tt Sunday, February 26, 2017
“Come” or “recall” is one
of the most important com-
mands to teach your dog: for
his safety, your peace of mind,
and the security of other
members of the public. If your
dog does not return to you im-
mediately when called, he can
charge at and attack a child or
passer-by when you open your
gate for the car—leaving you with a lawsuit on
your hands, he can run out into the streets and
get into an accident, he can rush another dog
and get into a fight, and he can get so caught
up in chasing that bird or cat that he gets lost.
Recall is not always easy to teach dogs because they
are so naturally curious that they want to explore
everything when you let them off-leash or when the
gate opens. Punishing them, chasing after them or
getting frustrated will not help: the answer to this
problem lies in consistent teaching, patient repeti-
tion, and positive reinforcement. Understanding why
your dog is not coming when called is the first step
to treating the issue.
The most obvious reason for your dog not com-
ing when called is that your dog is deaf. If you have
adopted a puppy and have reason to suspect that the
dog cannot hear, please consult your veterinarian.
Another obvious reason is that you have never taught
the dog what “come” means and the dog, therefore,
does not know the command.
Never assume that your dog understands English
(or whatever language you speak to your dog in), and
always take the time to train your dog the basic com-
mands as soon as you adopt him. Make sure that you
practise the command. Start teaching your dog to
come at home where there are few distractions and
as the dog consistently comes to you, move on to
more complex environments and situations where
you deliberately introduce distractions. The goal is
that you can trust your dog to come to you regardless
of what is going on around him.
Another reason for your dog not coming is passive
disobedience: the dog simply stands (or sits or lies
down) and watches the owner calling (increasingly
loudly and getting more and more frustrated). In cas-
es like this, the dog is simply not bothered to come
to you because in the past you will not have given
any incentive to come. If all you do is call your dog
to you to take him away from playing with a toy or
because he is sniffing at your prized plant and you
have not rewarded your dog for coming, then he will
stop coming because there is no point.
You have to give him a reason for coming and this
is where rewards such as treats, play, and praise come
in handy. Note that some dogs may be old or tired so
take into account the age and energy level of your dog
before you call the dog stubborn.
Perhaps the most common reason in T&T for your
dog not coming to you when called is because the dog
is apprehensive or fearful of you. Too often in T&T
we try to “solve” problems with dogs with “licks”. If
you have called the dog to you in the past and he has
taken his time to come to you, presumably by the time
he arrives at your side you are frustrated and angry
with him and you yell at him, or worse, you beat him
or lock him away, it is no wonder that the next time
you call him he will not come because he is avoiding
your wrath and punishment.
Your dog may also be hesitant to come because he
has learned that the fun ends. This happens in cases
where you call your dog only to put his leash on when
you are leaving the park or only for tasks he is not
fond of such as bathing, or when you only call him
to take him away from something he is enjoying. Call
him for fun things too and try to make the unpleasant
activities more enjoyable so that he is less cautious
Your dog should not be let off-leash in public unless
you can get him to come reliably to you: teaching your
dog this command may save his life.
Copyright © Kristel-Marie Ramnath 2017
Why won’t my dog come?
Piarco International Airport
TEMPORARY CAR PARKING
Please be advised that additional parking will be available
for all passengers and airport users at the Temporary Car
Park located north of the Public Car Park from
24th February – 3rd March, 2017.
A Free Shuttle service will be provided from Temporary Car Park
to Terminal Building
Users of the Temporary Car Park are advised to make payment at the AATT Cashier located between
the First Citizens Bureau de Change and the Subway Restaurant, Piarco International Airport.
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