Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

My One Year Old Aussie Won't Come?

by Kari

I've had my Aussie for almost a year (He is one year and 4 months old now) And I've attended obedience classes with 4H and he comes okay (As in, he comes most of the time...) whenever we are in the backyard, or even on a leash, but whenever I have tried to give him freedom and let him off somewhere like a big field or in the woods, he runs and runs and doesn't even look back or show any intentions of coming back...

Thankfully, the few times he has ran off I either had a treat bag and was barely able to get him to come back with that or had several people and finally caught him. Its not so much that he is being playful; He just seems as if he is like "Oh finally, freedom, so long suckers!" Please I really need help with this, I don't want to have him on the leash all the time and want to give him some freedom...

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Comments for My One Year Old Aussie Won't Come?

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Aussie won't come
by: Anne

Use some really good treats he LOVES everytime you call him.
Give him more exercise.
NEVER reprimand your aussie when it comes to you. You are always the happy place they want to come back to. If you have to discipline him, please go to him. DO NOT call him to you and then discipline.
You and your space should always be a positive area with treats and praise.
Hope that helps.

Anne Calmes
Gold Ring Aussies
Louisiana, USA

by: Gayle-- Big Run Aussies

Your boy is totally pushing your buttons. As a teenager he wants to do what he wants to do. You have to make it fun for him to do what you want to do. I would not have him off leash until he comes reliably-- 98% of the time. ALWAYS have treats with you. When you call him, praise him excessively when he looks at you. When he starts running towards you, run the opposite direction and he will think that it's a fun game. YOU have to be more fun than anything else in his world. When he comes, throw his ball, frisbee, etc and give him his treat. Never yell when he doesn't come. Would you come to someone who is angry? You might want to try a search for Leslie Nelson, a positive reinforcement trainer who invented the totally reliable recall. Good Luck and have fun!

Re: Dog won't come
by: Anonymous

Until he has the 'come' mastered, do not let him off the leash unless he is in a closed off area. The last thing you want is for him to get injured: hit by a car, attacked by another dog, etc. Safety is your #1 concern.
Try enforcing the 'come' command by offering whatever it takes. Treats, his favorite toy etc. give him the come command and immediately praise and reward him when he responds correctly. Putting a leash on him during this process will helpful. Give him the command to come and if he does not respond, pull him in with the leash, and then praise. Continue doing this in a comfortable, quiet area (start at home in the house,then proceed to your backyard, then maybe the park etc) until he is reliable. As he becomes more trustworthy, add more to the mix. Maybe a friend he knows, add other dogs, kids playing in the area etc. As you increase his area, add a longer leash. I use regular clothes line rope. Start with about 20-30 feet. This way you can still correct him if need be by pulling him back to you. When he improves, you can take the long leash off and just let a short rope or leash drag/hang off of his collar (making him think he is still in your control) eventually you should be able to rely on him 100%.

reliable recall
by: Anonymous

Using a 'click and treat' method works really well for reliable recalls. In the house/garden call him by name randomly throughout the day, click when he comes and treat him for coming. For his own safety never let him off the lead in an open area until he comes to you immediately he is called.

practice, practice, practice.
by: kat

I adopted an adult aussie that was really messed up emotionally. Ran away after I had only had him ten days. Finally got him back. These guys LOVE to run. Don't let it hurt your feelings. This helped: practice in an empty fenced in tennis court. Call him back to you over and over but be sure to be positive and sound like you're calling him over to play when he gets far enough away to run back to you. When he does come be welcoming and excited to see him. ALSO. Find someone who has a dog that will come if your dog will follow another dog before listening to you. Call them over while your dog follows and shower him with praise when he comes. It takes practice. Aussies love to run full steam ahead. Just make sure you're the one they want to run to. My dog likes treats but I've accomplished more with him with affection alone.

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