My Smart Puppy

with Dog Expert, Sarah Wilson

Emergency! What to Do When Your Dog Won’t Come


What do you do when your dog won’t come to you? This scary and frustrating moment happens to everyone eventually. Here are a few things you can try that have worked for us through the years.

Run In the Opposite Direction

Many dogs can’t stand seeing you disappearing into the sunset. This is made even more effective if you praise them wildly (yes, praise the dog, even though he’s running in the opposite direction), generally sound like there’s a party you are running to that they are missing, and clap your hands. When they run up to you, squat down, praise them enthusiastically, reach under their neck and grasp their collar. Praise some more. Do NOT correct them in any way!

Get Interested In the Ground

Sounds odd but works often. Simply squat down and get fascinated by something on the ground. Poke at it, pick at it, make “Hmmmm” sounds. Dogs are curious creatures and more often than not they will come over to see what they are missing. When they do, calmly reach under their neck and grasp the collar. PRAISE them warmly. Do NOT correct in any way!

Start the Car

Works with many dogs who don’t want to be left behind. In desperate cases, rolling slowly down the road often brings in a wandering dog.

Use What Works

One creative trainer helped distraught new owners retrieve their just-that-day adopted dog who had gotten away from them by suggesting they crank up the barbeque. The delicious scent of roasting meat brought the dog near and some chicken bits tossed toward her by a seated (and very casual) owner brought her back to their arms.

However you retrieve your dog, count yourself lucky that you got him back; praise him (yes PRAISE HIM) and let him know how happy you are that you have him.

Now – time for training!

Put the leash back on and PRACTICE. Dogs don’t arrive with instructions attached. We don’t naturally know how to teach them; we have to learn. Don’t be embarrassed to ask questions and find help. Come over to our Fprums; we’ve been where you are, we can help. All you need is information; if you are at this site you already have the interest, love and commitment to make it work.

by Sarah Wilson,

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