If your Golden Retriever won’t come to you when you call it, you’re probably why and what you can do about it. This post will show you common causes and how you can get it to do it.
So, why won’t my Golden Retriever come? Possible reasons are that it has not been trained to come on command, it was trained the wrong way, it hasn’t been trained recently or that it has learned that coming results in bad things.
There are actually many reasons why your Golden Retriever might be doing it and it might be due to a combination of them. However, there are some things you can consider when trying to figure out the exact reason and there are a number of things you can do about it.
Why your Golden Retriever won’t come on command
Below are a number of common reasons why Golden Retrievers don’t come when called and what would make them more likely to be the reason why yours does not.
You haven’t trained it to come
If you do not give your Golden Retriever training, it will not know what your commands mean and it will behave the way it feels like behaving. This is why it is important to train it to behave the way you want it to.
If you have not trained it to come when you call it yet, it would help to do so by following the tips given in this post.
You trained it the wrong way
If you have trained it to come on command, it might be the case that you trained it the wrong way. If you did not train it the right way, it will not have learned that it is meant to come to you when you tell it to.
In this case, it would help to start over and to train it again using a different training method such as positive reinforcement training.
You didn’t train it in small steps
When training your Golden Retriever to come it would help to start out by getting it to come in the easiest scenario possible. If you jump straight to getting your Golden Retriever to come when there are multiple distractions around then it would be unlikely to be able to concentrate on you well enough.
Instead, it would help to start out by training your Golden Retriever in an environment without many distractions and then to gradually build up from there. By doing so, you will be able to reward it for doing things right and it will likely lead to it learning what you want it to learn more smoothly.
You didn’t train it enough
It is unlikely that you will be able to get drastic results with just one training session. If you only trained your Golden Retriever a few times, it would be likely that you did not train your Golden Retriever enough.
When training your Golden Retriever it is important to be consistent with the training even after it has learned the command so that it continues to know what you expect from it.
You didn’t build up to distractions
As mentioned above, it is important not to start out by training your Golden Retriever in a difficult environment. Otherwise, it will be difficult to get it to pay attention to you and progress will be much slower.
It could be the case that your Golden Retriever will come to you when there are not any distractions around but it won’t when there are distractions. This is why it is important to gradually increase the number of distractions that there are.
It learned that “come” means bad things
The cause might be that it has learned that you only call it when you are annoyed with it. This would be more likely if you tend to call it when you are annoyed with it or when it is misbehaving.
This is why it is important to be consistent with the training so that it learns to associate your command with rewards. It would also help to use positive reinforcement training to get it to behave the way that you want instead of punishing it.
Things to consider
Below are some things you can consider when trying to figure out why your Golden Retriever won’t come when called.
When it stopped coming on command
If your Golden Retriever did use to come when called, it would help to consider what else happened when it first stopped doing it.
If it did use to come to you on command but it stopped suddenly, it could be because it learned that it gets punished when it comes to you or that you didn’t reinforce the training often enough.
Whereas, if it has never come to you on command, it would be more likely that you didn’t train it or that you trained it the wrong way.
If it only comes sometimes
It would also help to consider if it does come in certain situations or at certain times and what is different when it does come.
If it comes when it is in certain environments, it would be more likely that you did not train it to come in multiple locations and the different distractions cause it to lose focus.
It is important to be patient with the training
When training your Golden Retriever, it is important to be patient with the training. It is unlikely that you will be able to achieve drastic results with just one training session but if you are consistent over the course of weeks and months, you will be able to achieve much more noticeable results.
It is important to build up to training it in different locations
If you only train it in one location then it may not be able to carry the training over well in new environments.
This is why it is important to train it in multiple locations and to start out by training it in easy ones.
The age of your Golden Retriever
It would also help to consider how old your Golden Retriever is.
If your Golden Retriever is still a puppy, it would be more difficult to keep its focus on you. However, you can make up for this by using treats to keep its attention. It’s important to do it now so that it has good habits when it is older.
If your Golden Retriever is no longer a puppy then it might be more difficult to get it to change its habits. However, if you keep training it consistently then you will be able to get it to learn.
How to get your Golden Retriever to come on command
Below are some things you can do to get it to come to you on command.
Positive reinforcement training
Positive reinforcement training is where you encourage your Golden Retriever to behave in a certain way by rewarding it for showing signs of behaving that way.
I have written about how you can use positive reinforcement training to get a dog to come on command in this post.
You can also watch the video below to see how it’s done.
Avoid punishing it
As mentioned above, it might be the case that it has learned that it gets punished when it does come to you. Instead, it would help to avoid punishing it when it misbehaves and to give it positive reinforcement training and to try to redirect its focus before hand instead.
Avoid encouraging the behavior
It would also help to avoid rewarding it for not listening to you. Instead, it would help to get it to do easy tasks and then to build up to more challenging tasks gradually.