Training a Puppy to come when called seems easy if we realize how associations in dog training really happen.
Puppy training the recall. Making an association of calling the name and follow with the treat. Initially, the trainer makes sure the puppy will take the treat. If the puppy is NOT interested in the treat- it will be impossible to make an association between the name and a treat being given!
Reasons for the puppy not being interested in the treat:
It could be that the puppy is too distracted. That mostly happens in dog training classes in a group setting. It could also be caused by the puppy not being accustomed to new surrounding.
Another reason is that you picked a treat that he is not crazy about.
Start out by having the puppy in close proximity and get him a hot start by feeding him a few small treats one after another. Once you have his attention, you start saying the name and give another treat. All of that in very close proximity of the trainer. Prior to this recording the puppy of course had no idea that his name has anything to do with a treat being available. His name was just a sound. After the sound of his name was successfully coupled with a treat for a few sessions, the association was made between his name and the treat.
Thus, in order to pick up the treat that has been following the sound of his name- he will have to come to pick it up! Watch the video below! A German Shepherd puppy bred and trained by Zauberberg Kennels has made a pretty good association of “hearing his name” and a “treat being available” from the trainer! The huge advantage of the set up is that the “other dog” that he sees in the mirror creates distraction. He could decide to go see the other dog! If he decides on doing so, no danger and no reinforcement until he decides to come to the trainer.
This video clip shows the fourth session.