Build Trust Thru Mutual Adventures
Help Build a Bond
How can I get my dogs to hang close to me when off leash? My dogs are Papillons, and fairly well-trained on leash and in the house; but when free, all bets are off. They both wander off to explore and often go too far and won't come when I call. Is there a way to teach the bonding that I see in many dogs, where they are always aware of their people and want to be near even when loose? I live by a park (not a fully enclosed dog park) and would love to let them run with the neighbors' dogs, but can't trust them to stay out of the street or not disappear around the corner. They always come home eventually, but I need them to stay with me. Can you help?
Car Seats Allow More Front-Seat Safety
and 'Conversation' While Out Together
Train daily on the 'Come when called' command. This one could save their lives one day. NEVER scold your dog for not coming, but make a big fuss when he puts an effort into it: treats, pets, belly rubs, praise!
I would be amiss if I didn't warn you to keep the treats tiny and under control. Praise and petting should be at the forefront of the positive reinforcement, and eventually you won't need treats at all. However, treats do work well at first to get the behavior jump-started.
Be patient and diligent and you'll get the desired behavior. An independent Pap will often take a bit more diligence in getting them to stick close, but take care to also maintain socialization. This balancing act is very tough to maintain. They love people and dogs, and it is important to maintain that love, along with their ability to handle canine social situations. The key is daily practice, even if only a few minutes. You'll get there in time. Just remember that it is a journey, not a destination. Then you'll be less likely to get frustrated.