Thursday, September 25, 2014

Calling All Dogs

Image courtesy of SOMMAI
Ever need to catch a dog, maybe your own when he got out of your yard, maybe a strange dog
trotting down the middle of a busy street?

There’s a trick to it.

I first read about it in an excellent book called The Other End of the Leash by animal behaviorialist, Patricia McConnell.

It has come in handy many times, like when our puppy got too close to a road while out with my kids – and my kids knew what to do – and when, helping out a neighbor, I took her dog out for a nighttime walk only to have him slip his leash and take off.

So, you need a dog to come to you and he’s having none of it.

Step 1: Don’t chase him! The name of the game will become “Chase.”

Step 2: However, YOU move away from HIM. The game is still “Chase” but now you are the chase-ee. Call out to him and make a big fuss to make sure he knows this is the game, if he remains reluctant. Run even, unless you don’t know the dog or you think he might get carried away and try to take you down. (That’s called having too strong a prey drive.)

Step 3: If you need to have him come in really close, where you can get a hold of his collar, say, keep your back to him and squat down with your head down, like you are doing something really interesting, right at his level, but he can’t quite see what. He won’t be able to resist his curiosity. (Don’t grab at a strange dog.)

Step 4: Once he comes to you, don’t yell at him! He’ll think you are yelling at him for coming to you.

It's a cool trick.

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