If your German Shepherd won’t come to you when you tell it to then you’re probably wondering why and what you can do about it.
This post will show you a number of reasons why your German Shepherd won’t do it and what you can do about it.
So, why won’t my German Shepherd come?
The most likely reason is that you have not spent enough time training it to come on command using positive reinforcement training.
Other possibilities are that you trained it incorrectly, not training it to come when distracted or that it has learned that come means bad things.
There are actually a number of reasons that your German Shepherd might not come on command.
If you want to learn how to train your German Shepherd to come on command then read this blog post where I go through what to do step by step.
Why your German Shepherd won’t come on command
Each of the different reasons that your German Shepherd won’t come on command will likely come with some clues.
Below, I will mention a number of reasons that your German Shepherd won’t come on command the signs to look for.
You haven’t trained it to come
If you have not taken the time to train your German Shepherd to come then it is unlikely that it will know what you want from it when you tell it to come.
If you haven’t trained it to come yet then taking the time to do so by using positive reinforcement training will likely be enough for you to get it to learn to do it.
You trained it the wrong way
If you did train it to come but it still won’t do it then it could be the case that you trained it to come the wrong way. When training it to come it might be the case that you gave it confusing commands, didn’t use the right rewards or that you inadvertently rewarded it for not coming as well.
In this case, it would likely help to start over by using positive reinforcement training.
You didn’t train it in small steps
When training your German Shepherd to come it would help to start out by getting it to come in the easiest scenario possible. If you jumped straight to getting your German Shepherd 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 German Shepherd in a distraction-free environment and then to gradually build up from there.
You didn’t train it enough
It is unlikely that you will be able to permanently train your German Shepherd to come on command in just one training session.
Instead, it is necessary to consistently train your German Shepherd to listen to you over the course of weeks and months so that it stays responsive to your command.
You can look at the book Training Your German Shepherd on Amazon to see how to train your GSD effectively.
You didn’t build up to distractions
As mentioned earlier, it is important not to start out by training your German Shepherd in a difficult environment.
It could be the case that your German Shepherd 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 amount of distractions that there are.
It learned that “come” means bad things
It could be the case that it did use to come to you on command but it has since learned that when you tell it to come bad things happen.
This would be more likely if you tend to punish your German Shepherd when you tell it to come or if you only call it when it is time for it to stop playing.
Related post: How to tell if your German Shepherd loves you
Things to consider
Before trying to get your German Shepherd to start coming on command it would help to understand what is causing it.
When it stopped coming on command
It would help to consider if it used to come on command but it stopped doing so suddenly. If it did then it would make it more likely that it stopped due to learning that coming doesn’t get it rewards.
This would be more likely if it stopped coming to you when you punished it. However, it would also help to consider what else happened at around the same time that it stopped coming on command.
If it stopped coming gradually, it could be that you didn’t continue to train it every so often and if forgot to do it. To rectify this it would just be necessary to train it to come again.
If it only comes sometimes
If your German Shepherd does come when you call it sometimes then it would make it more likely that it either needs to be trained in a more distracting environment or it learned when it gets rewards and when it doesn’t.
For example, if it only comes when it is getting fed then it would be necessary to train it to come at different times as well.
It is important to be patient with the training
It is unlikely that you will be able to get your German Shepherd to come to you perfectly every time with just one training session. This is why it would be helpful to train it consistently over the course of weeks and months.
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 German Shepherd
It would also help to consider the age of your German Shepherd.
If your German Shepherd is still young then it will be more difficult to keep its focus on you. However, you can deal with this by using treats and it’s important to do it now so that it has good habits when it is older.
If your German Shepherd 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 German Shepherd to come on command
If you want to train your German Shepherd to come on command then read this blog post where I go through what you need to do in a step by step manner.
Most Recommended For German Shepherds
Best German Shepherd Training Program
Our favorite: The Dunbar Academy Training Program. If you want a happy and obedient dog, this is one of the best online dog training programs available right now.
Best German Shepherd Guide
Our favorite: The German Shepherd Handbook (on Amazon) - Shows you all you need to know to keep your GSD happy, healthy and well-behaved.