Dog will not come close when called

Posted by cacrawford
Dec 30, 2011
Hoping you can give me some advice our 15 month old GSD has been refusing to come when called. She just looks and goes the other way. She won't even come close to me so catching her when we need to go for a walk, come in or go out, or restrain her in any way is impossible. She doesn't come whe called at all. I have always given her treats whe she comes but she is just not interested. I'm really concerned she is even avoiding getting close if I'm just sitting down!
Posted by MaxHollyNoah
Dec 31, 2011
Hi cacrawford,

I don't know how long you have had your GSD and what kind of relationship you've got with her but there are a few reasons why she doesn't come to you when called:

1) She hasn't totally mastered the command
2) She knows what she is supposed to do but is just ignoring it because of her teenager age
3) She knows the commend but she thinks she doesn't need to obey because you haven't been consistent and she could get away by not coming to you
4) She prefers not to come since there were times she came but ended up bad things happened to her, such as she got nails clipped, got scolded, her fun time ended, etc. in the past
5) You recently adopted her and she is still a bit wary or not totally comfortable with you

In any case, I would re-train her on recall, using something she really likes, not the regular treats but things like pieces of cheese, hot dogs, prime ribs

If she is not so food motivated, you can use some toys, balls, etc. as rewards. Make sure she will definitely come to you when you call her evey time you call her. Don't give up and forget about it. That will only send her a wrong message that she can ignore it and she can get around it.

Also, never call her for an unpleasant thing such as nail clipping, etc. When you call her, make sure something fun, tasty, pleasant thing is waiting for her. Other times, don't use "Come" command. Just call her name or say "Over here" or "Inside", etc.

Please let us know her background, including how long you've had her and any history you know about her.

Hope this will help
Posted by cacrawford
Jan 1, 2012
Thanks for the advice,
We have had her since she was 12 weeks old. She was previously coming when called but usually on her terms.
I think we need to do the recall training again.
She is not all food motivated which makes it hard.
I had to bathe her eye just recently and she has been much worse since then
When we go tour shack is the worst as it is on 5 acres and we can't get her to anything there as she just runs away!
If we need to get her to do something -like get off the driveway or out of the way it is very difficult as we can't catch her and the area is very large
I will read up on the recall training again.
Thanks again
Posted by cacrawford
Jan 2, 2012
I think this is related to us bathing her eye. We came home today and both eyes were dirty my husband wiped them and she is now hiding in the garden nd running if we approach her. She recently had surgery on one of her eyes so may be scared by us touching them. Not sure how to gain her trust again. This has been going on for over a week now. :confused:
Posted by MaxHollyNoah
Jan 3, 2012
Hi cacrawford,

That makes sense. I don't think she has lost trust on you but she definitely has associated "coming to you" with "getting her eyes washed". You will really need to practice recall with her.

This is what I would do:

Give yourself a plenty of time when you need to wash her eyes. Call her by her name or just say "Over here" and give her treats, play with her, sit down and relax with her, pet her, take her for a short walk, etc. Then, when the fun time ended, say like "Let's now take care of your eyes" and wash them. Afterwards, of course a huge praise and a special treat for being such a good girl. In other words, avoid to call her just to wash her eyes

Hope this will help!
Posted by KOPCaroline
Jan 4, 2012
Hey cacrawford,

I think your and MHNs plan sounds like a good one - make sure that 9 times out of 10 in the near future, when you call her its for nothing but a good rub or praises or play. I understand you need to bathe her eye, and I think MHN's advice on approaching that is excellent.

Don't feel you've done anything wrong, though, you were seeing to her health. I'm sure with retraining on "come" she'll pull through, and when her eye heals more, you won't have to mess with it anyway!

Keep up the patience, I know your girl will come right!
Posted by cacrawford
Jan 6, 2012
Thanks for the advice. She is coming for cuddles when we are inside now and letting me bathe her eye. Just need to work on the recall.
Thanks again
Posted by KOPCaroline
Jan 9, 2012
Yay! Glad to hear of the good progress Hope it continues!
Posted by kidunotgoatsyahoocom
Jan 10, 2012
I think these are great suggestions and it appears you are making progress. I would add this. I would place her back on a long line until she is reliable. If you do find yourself in a situation where you need her to come, she is ignoring you and you don't have her on a line it is important to not panic. Don't raise your voice, threaten or even move towards her. Instead in a happy voice say something and walk or even run away. Chances are she will follow. When she does come to you don't make a grab for her or her collar as she would probably dodge you. You want to make it fun to come.
My Anatolian cornered a skunk in the woods once. When I came around the cedar tree and saw it my first reaction was to hollar 'no!' but the word died on my lips. Instead in a happy singsong voice I said something like "is that all", turned around and walked away. In a few seconds she came running after me and the skunk was forgotten.
Thank God neither of us got sprayed!
As for treating her eyes. I had to give my Anatolian a daily oral dose of med she hated for months. Regular treats didn't cut it. However, she loves hotdogs. She would come for her med because she knew she would get hotdog after. I know your dog isn't food motivated but try to find something she really cares about as a reward, maybe a romp, walk, toy, cuddling...afterwards.
Best to you both as you work through it.
Posted by kidunotgoatsyahoocom
Jan 10, 2012
I forgot to mention her reward for getting her eye bathed should be reserved just for that time so it remains special.