Things don’t always run smoothly in the world of dog training, but one of the most important lessons for you, as the human, is how to react when things don’t go quite as planned and your dog’s ears have turned off.
Don’t Chase Him
This counts for puppies, as well as older ‘problem’ dogs. The moment you start trying to run after your dog, you have lost the battle of wills. You won’t catch him. Your dog is far quicker and more agile than you. It has become a game, and your dog knows he will win and will enjoy doing so.
Don’t Use The Lead As Punishment
For what purpose do you recall your dog? Is it solely to put the lead on at the end of a walk, or as punishment for another misdemeanour? If so, put yourself in your dog’s position. When you have the freedom to run and sniff about and then your owner calls you and you know you’ll be put straight onto a lead and be restricted, would you be inclined to go back? Recall your dog throughout your walk at random points and just give a fuss and/or treat and then let him go off on his way again. This is good practice to reinforce the command and doesn’t instil a negative association for your dog.
Don’t Scold Her When She Finally Returns
This can be easier said than done. If your dog isn’t listening and has gone AWOL, you are, understandably, going to get a bit irate and frustrated. The trick is not to let your dog see that. If your dog has been leading you a merry dance for 20 minutes, you’re hardly going to be greeting her with a huge smile when she does decide it’s time to come back to you… but do try. If your dog is met by Mr (or Mrs!) Angry upon her return, it’s just going to make her think twice about returning next time. Dogs don’t have the logic to understand that because she messed around for so long, you’re now not happy - even though, in her mind, she’s finally done as you asked. If you are really seething too much to praise your dog at this stage, simply ignore her - that is far better than any negative interaction.