Teaching your Beaglier to come when called
When you train your dog to come when you call him the command is often referred to as “recall.” There are many obvious reasons that teaching your Beaglier to come may be handy and useful. This can be convenient when you need your dog to come to your side for any reason at all, whether it is to leash him, reward him, or anything in between. Aside from that, however, the command can have many safety benefits for your pet and can often save you time, energy, and sometimes even money. Having an unruly dog that won’t behave and will run off without obeying could lead him into a busy street or a trip to the pound. There are few things as frustrating as telling your pet to come, having him hear you—and maybe even understand you—yet refuse to cooperate.
This is one of the most basic issues that many dog owners face when owning a dog. It is best to start teaching your Beaglier to come at an early point, before he develops these bad tendencies. The longer a dog has a habit of refusing to come when you call him the harder it will likely be to break him of his disobedience. Many dogs come only when they feel like coming or else they think the entire thing is a game and play keep-away. This is very common and typical canine behavior but, for obvious reasons, it is important to have a dog who listens and obeys when you call him.
There are a few different reasons dogs refuse to come when their owner calls them. One of these possible reasons is apprehension—your Beaglier may be timid about coming towards you and hesitant that he will get punished if he does. In this case it is likely you, or a past owner, has instilled this feeling in the animal. This might be because he was previously punished for coming before (perhaps because he was reluctant to come—but punishment further discouraged his good behaviour) or else he associates coming to you with something else that is negative. It could be that he thinks, when he comes, you will give him a bath, take him to the vet, trim his nails, or lock him up inside and leave the house.
If apprehension is the problem it can still be corrected. Make sure you always reward him, and never scold or punish him, whenever he comes to you. If you need to get your pet for some reason that is unpleasant for him don’t call him to you or give him a warning—just go and fetch him. Take your time teaching him to come and retraining him to associate the command “come” with positive rewards like playtime, dinner, and treats. Once you have his attention toss him treats and keep backing up. Continue to build his confidence and when he reaches you may want to try “grab tests.”
The key to fixing this type of problem is proving to the dog once again that obeying you is relevant. You must give him a reason to obey you. The first step to doing this is generally to get his attention—this might be done by stomping on the floor, making an odd sound, or anything else. Eventually he will come to you, but don’t punish him for coming late. As soon as he comes praise him and reward him. Many owners will walk over to a lazy dog instead of waiting and making their pet come to them. Don’t do this, because it teaches him that he just has to wait for you to give up and walk over to him.
The other reason that dogs don’t come when they are called is due to active disobedience. The dog knows that you are calling, and they are not afraid to come, but they would rather play and don’t think you can do anything about it. He doesn’t want his good time to come to an end and has learned that it does the moment he chooses to obey. This is the case in which taking proactive action is most urgent. The more you allow this type of behavior the more the dog thinks that disobedience offers the biggest advantage. Don’t call your dog if they have the option to disobey—you are teaching him that he has a choice. Only use the “come” command in when they have no choice but to come.
When training your Beaglier to come you should generally use a relatively long leash so that he can’t run off. Make sure you have a treat or some other reward to offer them. While holding the other end of the leash call your dog to “come” and move backwards (you could even run). As soon as your dog catches up to you reward him with the treat and praise him. When the dog catches up to you, you could also tell him to sit then grab his collar and promptly reward him. Practice in different environments and use longer leashes so that you can teach your dog to come at greater distances.