puppy not wanting to come

Posted by momofbo
Oct 29, 2009
Hi, I am new to forum. I just recently brought home a sweet 14 week old silky terrier. He seems to be a little shy and backs away when people want to pet him, myself and husband included. He is best with me but will still shy away at times. Is there any way to get him over this or is this a characteristic of silky terriers? He knows the sit command and we are working on come but his not minding is getting to be a problem. When in the house he is getting to not want to come when called, even when a treat is involved. I was just wondering how to best correct these issues. Thank you.
Posted by kjd
Oct 29, 2009
Does anything bad every happen when he comes? Do you know anything about his first weeks? Personally, I think "come" is the happiest command for a dog. He should see it as a promise of good things. No matter what he may have done, to come to you should mean praise. You should be his safe haven in the world. (This means, if you need to punish him or give him some icky medicine, you should go get him,not call him to you.)

I am working on my 5-yr-old rescue in the house. I always call in a happy voice. Whether she comes when I call or chooses to visit me on her own, I praise her. Right now, I am not worrying about who is alpha because this dog appears to have been severely disciplined -- she is sometimes afraid to come. [In the first day, she decided "Oh, what a good dog" meant "Come, get petted"!]

When I taught obedience classes, I used to put my dog in a stay across the warehouse we trained in. Then I would growl out the command, as angrily as I could sound. My dog charged me -- he knew it didn't matter how I sounded, I was going to be overjoyed to see him in front of me. I did this to show the class that "come" should always be a safe command. The dog should know the safest, best place to be is with you. And that takes time to teach. (My growl was not used for training. This dog had been with me for several years. Use an angry voice to teach "come," and your dog will slink back to you. Not a pretty sight!)

Always call in love. Especially now, while the silky is so young. At the age of your pup, under three months, I wouldn't use corrections -- everything should be fun and praise. You want to build a strong relationship, based on love, not fear. If he shies away, you might be able to use corrections to get him to come, but he will still be afraid.

You don't want your puppy to think he can ignore "come," so don't use it. Encourage him to come to you in other ways. Wait until you see he has overcome some of his shyness, then re-introduce the command. Until then, "Puppy, dinner time!" "Where's that puppy?" "Hey, is that the best puppy in the world?" (Use his name, of course.) give you opportunities to teach him to come to you without actually commanding him. If he ignores you or shies away, well, the dinner dish can be put away for ten minutes, then try again. If the puppy shows up, but doesn't come near "There he is! Oh, what a good dog!" encourages him to believe you are safe to approach.

Good luck,