Teaching the Come Command- New Ways of Learning

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Lobo expressing his natural drive during a motivational come request exercise.

When new clients call me to train their best friend, the COME request is usually a top priority on their training list. As dog owners, one of our biggest desires is that our dog will come when called every time. Our best friends live in a world of distractions that are constantly competing with us for our dogs attention. Many dogs feel frustrated that they cannot chase the squirrels, or the kitties, or the other dogs that they see on their daily walks. These ‘competing motivations’ are constantly vying for our dogs attention and when we call our dogs back to us it is easy for our canines to ignore our pleading for them to drop the fun and return to our side. In this post I would like to explore techniques that we can use to help our canine friends learn this most vital request.

Many dog owners will use the come request only when it is needed. Then when their dog returns to them it is back on the leash, or back in the house, or back in the crate. It is vital that the come request be used often and that most of the time your dog is allowed to return to that exciting scent or whatever fun it was that they were having before being called.

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Lilly practicing a motivational recall request– look at that guardian focus!

In other words call your dog to you frequently and then immediately encourage them to return to the activity they were doing before being called. You should only put your dog back on their leash and end their fun in one out of ten recalls.

ALWAYS give your dog plenty of praise and a treat reward for coming when called. This is the one command that I will always give a treat for. Plenty of praise should also be showered on your best friend for returning to your side. This will let them know that there is a reward in it for them when they heed your call.

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Practicing motivational recalls with puppies makes a lasting impact!

Dogs feel plenty of frustration in their daily lives… they want to chase that rabbit scent or follow that deer trail. Dogs often will learn to be outwardly focused on the world around them and will hone in on that rather than on us. Luckily, it is easy to create a strong desire in your dog to also want to run towards you. Follow this simple exercise to help build a strong foundation for a successful COME request.

1. Go to a safe place like a fenced in park or field and attach your best friend to a long line (a 30-35 foot long leash).

2. Have a friend or other household member hold your dog close to them.

3. Show your dog that you have a handful of treats by placing them on your furry friends nose.

4. Immediately run away a short distance and turn, and excitedly but loudly and clearly say your dogs name, and the COME request. “Daisy, COME!”

5. Have your friend drop the leash as your dog shows excitement and starts to pull towards you. Make sure that your helper does not get their feet inadvertently tangled in the leash, which can cause an accidental correction.

6. Your dog will run to you and as soon as they get to you shower them with treats and praise. Immediately pick up the leash so they can’t run off again. Repeat this 5 to 7 times in a row once or twice a day.

7. Build up from a short distance to bigger distances over several weeks. It is important not to get too far away too quickly.

Use this tip and you will successfully create a desire in your dog to want to be with you and at your side as much as they want to smell the roses!

David Kabler has been training dogs since he was a boy and has been a Certified Master Trainer since 1996. David is available for lessons in Asheville, NC and surrounding areas. Call today to schedule you and your dogs consultation. David will evaluate your dogs personality and training needs and, it’s absolutely free. (828) 337-5792

What Makes Kabler Training Stand Out From the Pack?

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Blue Heeler Boomer and his guardian practice puppy obedience exercises in class.

This is such a great question that I get asked often. I am thrilled to share all that I’ve learned about dogs and their training with my human and canine clients alike. Training at Kabler School For Dogs is comprehensive and makes raising and training your best friend rewarding and so fun! Here are a few reasons that my training stands out:

• Over 20 Years of Training Experience. I founded Kabler School For Dogs in 1995 and have been fully immersed in the experience of training dogs ever since. I specialize in creating harmonious relationships between dogs and their guardians. I raise pups into superbly trained adults with maximum personality by taking my time with each individual dog and family I work with. Many of my clients find their way to me after having tried other training schools to no avail. I’m well known and referred by veterinarians for being able to train even the most difficult behavioral cases successfully. I get excited about my clients training courses and it shows!

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Goldendoodle Zeppi practicing some fun games after obedience on the Kabler training field.

• An All Life Stages Approach. At Kabler School For Dogs I specialize in raising puppies into well trained adult dogs. It is incredibly important to understand that raising a dog properly takes 1.5-2 years from pup to a fully trained adult. Choosing a trainer that will guide you and your dog through each stage of this journey makes all the difference. Your dogs puppy stage lasts until 5-6 months and my teaching focus during this time is on socialization, games, basic obedience, and house training. The yearling stage is from 6-12 months and I emphasize training activities that deepen the bond between you and your dog. This is the time when we build your dogs ability to retrieve and play interactive games. I enjoy teaching swim classes during this stage to ensure a lifelong love of water.  We gently guide your yearlings house manners in a positive direction daily. While it is important to teach yearlings the foundations of obedience, it is critical not to push the yearling too hard in training. Methods that impatiently train a 6 month old the same as an adult are asking too much. These rushed courses create an inhibited personality that permanently dim your dogs love of life. I like to wait to begin adult stage dog training when your dog is full-grown at 12 months. The focus is on taking the obedience training to an advanced level of accomplishment. Kabler trained dogs happily work with precision out in real world environments like busy parks and outdoor cafe’s.

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Yellow Lab Arlo and his family out practicing his walk during an off leash training session.

• Progressive Training Method. My approach is flexible and changes based upon the needs of each dog I work with. I specialize in customizing the training methods I use so that each dog excels in their training. Many of my clients have tried and failed with other training methods that use a one size fits all approach. All dogs are unique, with different temperaments, personalities, and breeds. Dogs are living breathing members of our family and training should be fun, flexible, and move at your dog’s natural pace.

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Collie/Pyrenees rescue Kona getting started with her obedience in the Kabler training studio.

• Hands On One-on-One Learning Environment. At Kabler School For Dogs you and your best friend learn by performing experiential training exercises that build teamwork. Coming to my studio for lessons gets your dog used to going places and provides a learning environment that allows your dog to excel. As your dog progresses and gains skill we will begin taking training walks around my active neighborhood; we then begin to explore busy parks and city streets. I believe in starting training in a low distraction environment and progressing to higher and higher levels of distraction at your dogs natural pace. My training courses emphasize hands on experience and at the end of each one of my training sessions I give written homework so you know exactly what to be working on each week at home.

• Extra Lessons Guarantee. My extra lessons guarantee is attached to all of my qualified adult training programs. At Kabler School For Dogs my clients are purchasing the results of the training, not a set number of sessions. All of my courses are backed up by my time and commitment to your dogs training.

All of my courses begin with a free consultation so I can assess your dog’s temperament, behavioral concerns and training needs. Please call me and find out more about my unique approach to training family canine companions. -David

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German Shepherd Leo playing a game of retrieve during an off leash session.

Working Dogs Get A Job… And Love It.

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Toby, Blaze and their Guardian Fred learning to work together.

When I went out for an in home consultation I met Fred and his two handsome dogs Toby and Blaze. Both dogs were incredibly high energy. Fred was suffering from back trouble and could not walk his boys without them pulling and lunging uncontrollably. The dogs leapt all over me, scratching me with their strong paws and it was clear that Fred needed more control over them than he had. We started with basic training and advanced until Fred was able to walk both of them politely down his street. Both dogs learned to listen to Fred for direction, walk slowly with him on loose leashes, and to sit or down stay upon request. Now, after going through my Basic training course, Fred has a stronger relationship with his two dogs, and has a higher level of control at home and when taking them places. Toby and Blaze, both working breeds, have their need for a job satisfied— It is incredibly rewarding for me when I see a new bond of trust, respect and communication grow between dogs and their humans. Following is a letter from Fred describing his experience training at Kabler School For Dogs. Happy training!      -David

I was referred to David Kabler at Kabler School For Dogs by Aaron Bales (Owner/Manager) of Happy Tails Country Club in Fairview. I was looking for training sources for my 2 dogs, Toby, a 9 month old Labrador mix adopted from Brother Wolf, and Blaze, a 5 year old Shepherd mix from Asheville Humane. Blaze had been to obedience classes for 18 sessions during the 5 years before meeting David.

I called David and he came out to our house to meet Blaze and Toby. I had called David primarily to work with Toby (the puppy). We made arrangements for David to work with Toby for 5 sessions at our house beginning the following week. As it turned out David told me to include Blaze as well, which I thought was great for them to get some training together. We began the following week with basic beginnings.

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Toby and Blaze are handsome boys– practicing Down and Stay upon request.

What I have truly learned the most, is how to change my actions with dogs and how to positively guide them in situations, versus scolding them for unwanted behavior. I have seen vast improvement in both dogs and I have learned how to actively work with each dog on their strong points and their weaknesses.

Kabler Dog Training is not just dog training, but people training as well. I had to learn how to teach and communicate with both dogs even though Blaze was further along than Toby. After about the 3rd class we would go out to wait for David’s arrival and both dogs were very excited to see David even though he was a very firm instructor. They enjoyed their time with Kabler School For Dogs, as did I. I highly recommend his classes.

Thank you David.

Gerry and Fred S.

“Toby & Blaze”