If your Labrador won’t come to you when you call it, you’re probably why and what you can do about it.

In this post, I will show you a number of reasons why your Labrador won’t come when called and what you can do to get it to come when called.

So, why won’t my Labrador 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.

Your Labrador might not come for many reasons and it could 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 Labrador won’t come on command

Below are a number of common reasons why Labradors 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 Labrador much 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 you’re training your Labrador 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 Labrador 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 Labrador 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 Labrador a few times, it would be likely that you did not train your Labrador enough.

When training your Labrador 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 earlier, it is important not to start out by training your Labrador 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 Labrador 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

It could be the case that it does not come to you now because it has learned that coming to you normally results in it getting things that it does not want. 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 Labrador won’t come when called.

When it stopped coming on command

If your Labrador 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 Labrador, 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 Labrador

Another thing to consider would be the age of your Larbrador.

If your Labrador 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 Labrador 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 Labrador to come on command

I have written extensively about the methods you can use to get your Labrador to come on command in this post.

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Author

I created and currently manage Pet Dog Owner, the website you can go to when you have questions about your dog's behavior. It is my hope that you find Pet Dog Owner to be a helpful resource. It is also my hope that it will help you to improve your relationship with your dog. You can read more about me and my website here.