Dog Nerd: Battle of the breeds

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Dog Nerd: Battle of the breeds

Dog Nerd: Battle of the breeds

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In the video below, my dogs are in a down-stay and I call them one at a time (which you can’t hear in the video. I call using the dog’s name and the cue, for example, “Zander, come”. When they get to me they get praised and then I toss them a ball, a very high-value reinforcer for them. If I had not built up this solid foundation of stay and come, I would not be doing this in an unsecured area off-leash.

Fabulous rewards get fabulous recalls. If you want your dog to stop whatever interesting doggie thing he is doing and come running to you, make it worth his while. Use extra yummy treats—no dry biscuits here!—or a well-thrown ball, if that is your dog’s fancy. This is not the time to be stingy! Tip #2: Reinforcement is key.You have voice, body, and food lures to get your dog to come. Another key is learning how to pay your dog. Lots of distractions compete for your dog’s focus. Tip #3: Distractions & Timing Should the pet parent punish the dog when he finally gets her? Well, I think he should roll up a newspaper and hit himself in the head for asking the dog to work above her level by placing her in a situation that she was not trained for! Coming from off-leash play at the beach is graduate school or Ph.D. level training. (And punishing your dog is a great way to get her to NOT come to you in the future.)

Never call your dog for anything unpleasant. Including nail clipping, bathing, or having his leash clipped on to go home from the beach or park. In short, anything that might give him pause the next time you call him. And even if it seems like it took forever for him to finally come to you, don’t punish him; it will make him think twice about repeating that behavior. Training Tips: If your dog does not have a reliable stay (as good as the dogs in the video below), have someone hold him or her. Or use a long leash to keep your dog safe if not practicing in a fenced, secure area. Reinforcement increases behavior so use the one that is meaningful to your dog and reinforce desirable behavior every time. For a difficult distraction use the best reinforcement and consider giving more of it to reward your dog (such as handing a treat to your dog every second for 10 seconds to pay your dog for a great behavior). Find the reinforcement that is meaningful to your dog whether food, toy, or other. This may vary depending on the situation. It’s fun when your dog is reliable and well-trained enough to immediately come to you when called even with lots of distractions competing for attention. The other day I was at our local beach (which allows off-leash dogs) and there were several dogs playing. I could tell that an owner was getting frustrated as he called his large breed dog over and over with no greater success each time he yelled. The dog continued to play with the other dogs and completely ignored her owner. Why? Probably because there was no strong built-up history for the dog coming when called and being rewarded, the dog figured, “Why listen when I’m having so much fun here?” Or perhaps the dog listens great at home but the owner was expecting his dog to respond under very new and difficult conditions, something for which the dog was not trained. Never repeat the command. Resist the urge to call over and over and over. It only teaches your dog to tune out the command. Call once and, if necessary, use rule #3: Make the recall happen.


Smells and movement trigger a dog’s interest. Social dogs will be attracted to people or other dogs. Every dog is different. Anticipate what will be challenging for your dog: squirrels, rabbits, and lizards. Plan to work at your dog’s level for that situation and distraction. Don’t put your dog in situations that he or she is not ready for. If your dog won’t come to you when she’s running loose on the beach, don’t let her loose at the beach. Figure out what is reinforcing the undesirable behavior and remove it. (For example, if she gets reinforced by playing with other dogs on the beach and ignores you, don’t allow her access to that reinforcement.) Build up your recall success, staying at each level in each different environment until you are near 100% successful. Then add more difficulty. Having problems? Make the exercise easier to gain success. Tip #5: Thinking Ahead

Eventually, you want to trust your dog. Practice in these areas with a long line to give the illusion of freedom but maintain training control. When she is reliable on the long line, graduate to her dragging her regular leash so you can grab hold of it if things get too challenging. Take steps slowly always working at her level so she stays successful. Now get out there and practice, patiently build your dog’s skills. Have fun and stay safe! Bonus Training Tip: The first step to a great recall is to build strong focus and attention. Get started today with our May I Have Your Attention Please course. The video and isolated meme of the nerd dog gained viral spread over the following months in further edits and as a reaction image. On December 5th, 2022, YouTuber [4] El Pepegalino – xQc Clips posted a clip of streamer xQc reacting to the meme, garnering over 67,000 views in five months (shown below).

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