Picture this – you finally take your Tornjak out for a walk in the park, and suddenly they spot something exciting, like a squirrel or another dog, and start running towards it. You call them back, but they completely ignore you and keep on running. This scenario can be frustrating and even dangerous if your Tornjak runs towards a potentially hazardous situation. The good news is, teaching your Tornjak to come when called can be a fun and rewarding experience for both of you. In this guide, we’ll go through step-by-step instructions to help you train your Tornjak to have a reliable recall using positive reinforcement techniques.
Understanding Your Tornjak’s Behavior
Understanding your Tornjak’s behavior is an essential part of teaching them to come when called. This breed is known for being independent and protective, so it’s important to approach training with patience and understanding. Before diving into the training process, it’s crucial to recognize some of the breed traits that may affect the training outcome. By doing so, you can avoid common pitfalls and set your Tornjak up for success. Additionally, providing mental and physical stimulation through activities like mental stimulation and exercise can help ensure a happy and healthy relationship with your Tornjak while training.
Recognize Breed Traits
Understanding your Tornjak’s behavior is crucial when it comes to training them. As a pet parent, you must recognize the breed traits of a Tornjak to train them effectively. Here are some of the breed traits to keep in mind:
- Independent: Tornjaks were bred to be independent and make decisions on their own.
- Protective: Tornjaks are natural protectors and guardians, which makes them suspicious of strangers.
- High energy: As a working breed, Tornjaks have high energy levels and require sufficient exercise to release their excess energy. For more information on exercise, check out our Tornjak exercise tips.
- Stubborn: The Tornjak has a strong will and can be quite stubborn at times. They need consistent and firm training, but never punitive. Clients have to follow Tornjak training tips for more detailed information.
- Intelligent: Tornjaks are intelligent and can learn new commands quickly. However, they also have a mind of their own and can quickly get bored with repetitive training.
By recognizing these breed traits, you can tailor your training approach to your Tornjak’s needs. For example, when training a Tornjak, you must be patient with them and consider using rewards more than punishments. Additionally, you might need to use a firm tone and teach them who’s in charge. To learn more about obedience training for Tornjaks, please follow the link to our dedicated article on Tornjak obedience training.
Prevent Common Training Pitfalls
It’s important to be aware of common pitfalls that could hinder your Tornjak’s training progress. By taking preventative measures, you can set your furry friend up for success. Here are some key measures to take:
|Lack of consistency||Establish a routine: Consistent repetition of commands and rewards will help your Tornjak understand the desired behavior and stay engaged.|
|Using negative reinforcement||Avoid punishment: Rather than using punishment to discourage bad behavior, focus on rewarding good behavior. This positive reinforcement will be more effective in training your Tornjak.|
|Starting too early||Wait for the right time: Puppies under 8 weeks old have limited bladder control and may not fully understand commands. Wait to start training until your Tornjak is at least 8-10 weeks old.|
|Skipping basic commands||Start with basic commands: Before teaching the “come” command, make sure your Tornjak is familiar with basic commands like “sit,” “stay,” and “heel.”|
|Using low-value rewards||Choose high-value rewards: Use rewards like treats or toys that your Tornjak values highly. This will incentivize them to follow commands and make training more effective.|
|Expecting too much too soon||Be patient: Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is reliable training. Understand that training takes time and commitment, and don’t expect immediate results.|
|Neglecting exercise and stimulation||Provide enrichment activities: Regular exercise and mental stimulation can prevent boredom and provide a healthy outlet for your Tornjak’s energy. This can lead to better training outcomes.|
By avoiding these common training pitfalls, you will set your Tornjak up for success and make training a positive and rewarding experience for both you and your furry friend.
Pre-Training Prep Work
Before you jump right into teaching your Tornjak to come when called, it’s important to do some pre-training prep work. This will help set your dog up for success and make the training process smoother. You’ll want to start with some basic commands and choose a high-value reward that your Tornjak loves. In this section, we’ll go over some essential steps to take before starting the actual training process. By the end of this section, you will have a solid foundation to build upon when teaching your Tornjak to come when called.
Start with Basic Commands
Before delving into the specifics of teaching your Tornjak to come when called, it’s important to focus on building a strong foundation through basic commands. These commands will serve as building blocks for more advanced training techniques.
First, start with simple commands like “sit,” “stay,” and “heel.” These commands are essential for establishing communication and respect between you and your Tornjak.
- Sit: Teach your Tornjak to sit by gently pushing down on their hindquarters and saying the command. When they sit, reward them with a treat and praise.
- Stay: Once your Tornjak has mastered sitting, move on to the “stay” command. Say “stay” while holding your hand up in a stop position. Reward them if they stay put for a few seconds.
- Heel: Train your Tornjak to walk calmly at your side with the “heel” command. Hold treats near your leg to encourage them to stay close. Say “heel” when they are walking properly and reward them with a treat.
These basic commands will help your Tornjak understand what is expected of them and build their confidence. Be sure to practice in a distraction-free environment and keep training sessions short to prevent burnout. As your Tornjak becomes more adept at basic commands, you can move on to more advanced training techniques like teaching them to come when called.
Choose a High-Value Reward
When teaching your Tornjak to come when called, choosing the right reward can make a significant difference in the effectiveness of your training. High-value rewards are crucial because they offer a strong incentive for your dog to perform the desired behavior. These rewards can be in the form of food, toys, or praise, but it is important to select a reward that your Tornjak truly finds valuable.
To help you choose the perfect high-value reward, consider creating a table that lists various treats or toys and your Tornjak’s level of interest in each. This can help you determine which reward to use during training sessions. Take note of which rewards your Tornjak immediately and eagerly responds to, and incorporate those into your training regimen.
For example, let’s say your Tornjak cannot resist a piece of cooked chicken. In that case, cooked chicken could be an excellent high-value reward for training purposes. Alternatively, if your Tornjak loves to play tug-of-war with a favorite rope toy, that toy could also be a good high-value reward. Remember, the reward must be enticing enough to motivate your Tornjak to follow through with your commands.
Another important aspect to consider when selecting a high-value reward is the size of the reward. It is essential to choose a reward that is sizable enough to hold your Tornjak’s attention but not so substantial that it disrupts the training session, causing your Tornjak to lose focus.
High-value rewards should be associated exclusively with the recall command. To do this, choose a specific word or phrase specifically associated with the recall command and only use this word or phrase when it’s time to come. This training method lets your Tornjak associate the word you say with the act of returning to you.
Choosing the right high-value reward for your Tornjak can really help your training efforts. By selecting the reward that is most appealing to your dog, you can make recall training a more enjoyable and effective experience.
Teaching the “Come” Command
So, you’re ready to start teaching your Tornjak the all-important “come” command. This is a crucial step in ensuring that your furry friend stays safe and under your control, especially when you’re out and about. While it may seem daunting, with some patience and the right techniques, you can successfully train your Tornjak to come to you on command. In this section, we’ll go over the steps you can take to successfully teach your dog the “come” command, from picking the right training location to utilizing positive reinforcement techniques. Let’s get started!
Choose the Perfect Training Time and Place
When it comes to training your Tornjak to come when called, choosing the right time and place can make all the difference in the success of your training sessions. So, what is the perfect training time and place for your Tornjak?
Time: Pick a time when your Tornjak is most alert and energetic, such as after a meal or a play session. Avoid training when your Tornjak is tired or distracted. Consistency is key, so try to train at the same time every day if possible.
Place: The training environment should be free from distractions that might divert your Tornjak’s attention. Choose a quiet and peaceful spot, away from other people, dogs, or noises that your Tornjak might find interesting or intimidating. Avoid training in busy streets or dog parks where there are too many distractions.
|Pick a time when your Tornjak is most alert and energetic, such as after a meal or a play session. Avoid training when your Tornjak is tired or distracted. Consistency is key, so try to train at the same time every day if possible.||The training environment should be free from distractions that might divert your Tornjak’s attention. Choose a quiet and peaceful spot, away from other people, dogs, or noises that your Tornjak might find interesting or intimidating. Avoid training in busy streets or dog parks where there are too many distractions.|
By choosing the right time and place for training, you can create a positive and effective learning environment for your Tornjak. This will help your Tornjak to be more focused, attentive, and receptive to your commands, resulting in a better recall and a stronger bond between you and your dog.
Start with a Leash or Long Line
When teaching your Tornjak to come when called, it’s important to start with a leash or a long line to ensure safety and control. Using a leash or a long line allows you to physically guide your dog towards you and prevent them from running away or getting distracted by other things.
Here are some tips on using a leash or a long line effectively during training:
|1.||Start with a lightweight leash or long line that is appropriate for the size of your Tornjak.|
|2.||Clip the leash or long line to your Tornjak’s collar or harness, and hold the other end of the leash or long line loosely in your hand.|
|3.||Stand a few feet away from your Tornjak, say their name followed by the “come” command, and gently tug on the leash or long line to encourage them to move towards you.|
|4.||When your Tornjak reaches you, reward them with praise and a high-value treat.|
|5.||Repeat this process, gradually increasing the distance between you and your Tornjak as they become more comfortable and confident.|
|6.||Always be patient and gentle, rewarding your Tornjak for their good behavior and never punishing them for their mistakes.|
By starting with a leash or a long line, you can establish a solid foundation for teaching your Tornjak to come when called, building trust and confidence in their ability to obey you. Remember to always supervise your Tornjak when using a leash or a long line and never leave them unattended or tied up for extended periods of time. With consistent training and positive reinforcement, your Tornjak will soon be coming when called with ease and enthusiasm.
Use Positive Reinforcement Techniques
When training your Tornjak to come when called, it’s important to use positive reinforcement techniques to encourage good behavior. Here are some methods you can use:
- Use Treats: Find a high-value reward that your dog loves, such as small pieces of cooked chicken or cheese, and use it to praise your Tornjak when they come to you. Eventually, you can phase out the treats and rely on verbal praise or a pat on the head as a reward.
- Make it Fun: Don’t make coming to you seem like a chore for your Tornjak. Create a playful atmosphere and use an excited tone of voice to encourage them to run to you. You can also use toys or games to make the experience enjoyable for both you and your dog.
- Be Patient: Remember that training takes time and repetition. Don’t get frustrated if your Tornjak doesn’t get it right away. Keep practicing and using positive reinforcement.
- Avoid Punishment: Never punish your dog for not coming to you. This can create negative associations with the command and make your Tornjak less likely to come to you in the future.
By using these positive reinforcement techniques, you can encourage your Tornjak to come to you when called and build a strong bond with your furry companion.
Progress to Off-Leash Training
Once you’ve mastered on-leash training for the “come” command with your Tornjak, it’s time to move towards off-leash training. This is an important step, as it will allow your Tornjak more freedom to roam and explore while still being able to come back to you when called. However, it’s important to progress gradually to avoid setbacks in training.
|Step 1:||Start by practicing off-leash training in a secure, enclosed area like a fenced yard or a dog park. Make sure there are no distractions around that could divert your Tornjak’s attention.|
|Step 2:||Only release your Tornjak off-leash when you’re confident that they will obey your “come” command. If in doubt, keep the leash on until you’re certain.|
|Step 3:||Gradually increase the distance between you and your Tornjak when calling them back. Start small and gradually extend the distance as your Tornjak becomes more comfortable with off-leash training.|
|Step 4:||Introduce mild distractions as you increase the distance between you and your Tornjak. For example, throw a toy to the side to see if they will still respond to your “come” command amidst the distraction.|
|Step 5:||If your Tornjak doesn’t come back when called, resist the temptation to chase after them. Instead, go back to on-leash training and reinforce the command.|
|Step 6:||As with on-leash training, positive reinforcement is crucial. Praise your Tornjak and reward them with a treat or a favorite toy when they come back to you when called.|
Remember that off-leash training takes time and patience. It’s important to reinforce positive behavior and avoid punishment or scolding. With consistent practice and positive reinforcement, your Tornjak will soon be able to come back to you when called, even off-leash.
Maintaining a Reliable Recall
Now that you have successfully taught your Tornjak to come when called, it’s important to maintain a consistent recall. A reliable recall will ensure your furry friend stays safe and avoids risky situations. This part of the training requires persistence and dedication, as well as a few tricks up your sleeve. Let’s dive into some key strategies for maintaining a strong recall with your Tornjak.
Practice Makes Perfect
The old adage “practice makes perfect” rings true when it comes to teaching your Tornjak to come when called. Consistent training is key in ensuring that your pup understands the importance of the recall command. Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you hone your Tornjak’s recall abilities:
- Be Consistent – As with any type of training, consistency is key to achieving success. Practice the recall command regularly, in different locations and with varying distractions, to help your Tornjak generalize the behavior.
- Keep Sessions Short and Positive – Aim for several short training sessions per day, as opposed to one long session. This will help avoid frustration and burnout for both you and your Tornjak. Remember to keep training positive and reward-based.
- Gradually Increase Difficulty – Once your Tornjak is reliably coming when called in low-distraction environments, gradually increase the level of difficulty. Increase distance or add distractions, but do so in a gradual and controlled manner.
- Practice in Different Environments – The goal is to have your Tornjak respond to the recall command no matter where you are or what’s going on. Practice in a variety of environments, such as at the park or in your backyard.
- Keep Training Fun – Last but not least, keep training fun and enjoyable for both you and your Tornjak. Incorporate games and other fun activities into recall training to help keep things interesting and engaging.
Remember, teaching your Tornjak to come when called takes time, patience, and consistency. With persistence and practice, your Tornjak will soon be responding to the recall command every time.
Keep High-Value Rewards on Hand
One key aspect of teaching your Tornjak to come when called and maintaining a reliable recall is keeping high-value rewards on hand during training. High-value rewards are treats that your Tornjak loves and is willing to work for, such as small pieces of boiled chicken, cheese, or hot dogs. It is important to use high-value rewards during training because they increase your Tornjak’s motivation and enthusiasm for learning.
When selecting high-value rewards, it’s important to consider your Tornjak’s individual preferences and what they find most appealing. Some Tornjaks may prefer soft treats like cheese, while others may prefer a crunchy treat like a biscuit. Experiment with different types of treats until you find the ones that your Tornjak responds to best.
To keep track of your Tornjak’s favorite treats, it’s a good idea to create a rewards table. This table can be a simple chart with columns for the treat type, your Tornjak’s response to the treat, and the frequency of use during training. This will help you identify which treats are most effective and ensure that you always have them on hand during training sessions.
Here’s an example of what your rewards table could look like:
|Treat Type||Tornjak’s Response||Frequency of Use|
|Boiled Chicken||Your Tornjak goes crazy for it!||Always keep some in your training bag|
|Cheese||Loves it, but can become bored after a while||Use it sparingly to maintain its appeal|
|Hot dogs||Your Tornjak will do anything for a small bite||Use for high-level training or special occasions|
By using high-value rewards and keeping track of your Tornjak’s preferences, you can make training sessions more enjoyable for your Tornjak and help them retain what they learn. Remember to always use treats in moderation and never as a substitute for regular play, exercise, and socialization.
Don’t Use the “Come” Command for Negative Reasons
Using the “come” command as a negative punishment can lead to serious issues with your Tornjak’s ability and willingness to come when called. It’s important to never use the “come” command for punishment or negative reasons. This can include scolding your Tornjak for misbehaving or coming to you, or using the “come” command to end something fun, like playtime at the park.
Why can this cause issues?
When you use the “come” command as a negative punishment, you’re essentially teaching your Tornjak that coming to you is a negative experience. This can create a negative association with the command and make it less likely that your Tornjak will come when called in the future. Additionally, your Tornjak may start to associate you with negative experiences, which can damage your bond and trust with your pet.
What should you do instead?
When teaching the “come” command, it’s important to only use positive reinforcement techniques. This includes rewarding your Tornjak when they come to you and never scolding them for not coming. If your Tornjak doesn’t come, simply go and retrieve them rather than punishing them. Additionally, make sure to always end training sessions on a positive note, even if there were some challenges along the way.
By using positive reinforcement techniques and avoiding negative punishment, you can help your Tornjak build a positive association with the “come” command and ensure that they come to you reliably when called.
Troubleshooting Training Challenges
As much as we may follow each step and do everything right, sometimes things just don’t go as planned. Training a Tornjak to come when called can come with its own unique set of challenges. It can be frustrating when our furry friend doesn’t seem to be responding to our commands, especially if we’ve put in so much time and effort. Don’t worry, you’re not alone! In this section, we’ll take a closer look at some of the common challenges you may face during the training process and provide some helpful tips for overcoming them. Keep reading to learn how to address any issues you may encounter along the way.
My Tornjak Ignores Me
It can be frustrating when your Tornjak ignores your “come” command, but don’t lose hope. It’s important to identify why your dog might be ignoring you before you can fix the problem. Check out the following table for possible reasons and solutions:
|Your dog is distracted by something more interesting.||Use a higher-value reward or move to a less distracting environment for training.|
|Your dog is not properly trained yet.||Go back to basics and restart training with shorter sessions and lower distractions.|
|Your dog is scared or anxious.||Take a step back and work on building trust and confidence with your dog. Use positive reinforcement to reward small steps toward progress.|
|Your dog has learned that coming to you isn’t always rewarding.||Make sure you are consistently rewarding your dog for coming to you, even in everyday situations. Avoid punishing your dog when they do come to you, even if there was a delay.|
Remember, every dog is unique and may respond differently to training. Be patient and consistent in your approach, and don’t hesitate to seek professional help if needed.
My Tornjak Runs Away from Me
If your Tornjak runs away from you when called, it can be frustrating and even dangerous if they run into traffic or other hazards. Here are some steps you can take to tackle this training challenge:
- Assess the Situation: Identify possible reasons why your Tornjak might be running away, such as fear or lack of training.
- Start with Basic Training: If your Tornjak doesn’t consistently respond to basic commands like “sit” or “stay,” start there. Consistent success with these basic commands will help build their confidence and understanding of you as their leader.
- Gradually Increase Distance: If your Tornjak runs away only when they’re far from you, start by calling them from a shorter distance and gradually increase the distance as they become more reliable.
- Improve Reward Quality: Your Tornjak may be more inclined to come when called if the reward for doing so is more desirable. Consider using high-value rewards like a favorite toy or treat.
- Avoid Punishment: Punishing your Tornjak for running away when called can make the problem worse. Your Tornjak may associate negative consequences with coming when called and will be less likely to do so in the future.
- Keep Training Sessions Short: Tornjaks have a reputation for being independent, which can make training sessions tedious if they go on for too long. Keep sessions short and stick to one or two commands per training session.
- Get Professional Help: If the problem persists or gets worse, consider seeking help from a professional dog trainer who has experience in dealing with Tornjaks.
Remember, training a Tornjak to come when called is a process that requires patience and consistency. Don’t give up if your Tornjak is struggling with this command. With time and effort, you can help them improve their recall and keep them safe.
My Tornjak Only Comes When Called Occasionally
If your Tornjak only comes when called occasionally, it may be frustrating for you as the owner. However, it is important to remember that dogs do not always generalize commands to different contexts. Here are a few steps you can take to improve your Tornjak’s response to the “come” command:
- Reinforce the command in different contexts: Practice the “come” command in various environments, such as at the park or on a hike. This will help your Tornjak learn that the command applies in any situation, not just at home.
- Use higher-value rewards: If your Tornjak is not responding to basic treats, try using higher-value rewards such as cooked chicken or cheese. This will incentivize your dog to come to you when called.
- Make training sessions shorter: If your Tornjak is losing focus during training sessions, try shortening them to just a few minutes each day. This will allow your dog to focus better and be more responsive to the “come” command.
- Be patient with your Tornjak: Remember that training takes time, and some dogs may take longer than others to master new commands. Keep practicing and reinforcing the “come” command with positive training techniques, and your Tornjak will eventually become more responsive.
By following these tips, you should see an improvement in your Tornjak’s response to the “come” command. Remember to be patient and consistent in your training, and don’t give up – with time and effort, your Tornjak will become reliably responsive to your calls.
In conclusion, teaching your Tornjak to come when called is a crucial aspect of responsible dog ownership. It requires a significant amount of patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement techniques. However, the effort is well worth the reward of having a reliable recall for your dog.
Understanding your Tornjak’s behavior and specific breed traits is the first step in effective training. Pre-training prep work, such as basic command training and choosing high-value rewards, is essential for success.
When teaching the “come” command, it’s important to choose the perfect training time and place and start with a leash or long line. Using positive reinforcement techniques and progressing to off-leash training will lead to a reliable recall.
Maintaining a reliable recall takes ongoing practice and keeping high-value rewards on hand. It’s also essential to avoid using the “come” command for negative reasons, as this can undermine the trust between you and your Tornjak.
When troubleshooting training challenges, such as the Tornjak ignoring you, running away, or only coming occasionally, it’s important to take a step back and re-evaluate your training approach. Seeking the help of a professional dog trainer may also be necessary in some cases.
Overall, teaching your Tornjak to come when called is a rewarding journey that will improve your bond with your dog and keep them safe in potentially dangerous situations. With consistent effort and positive reinforcement, you can successfully train your Tornjak to have a reliable recall.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take to train a Tornjak to come when called?
The length of time it takes to train a Tornjak to come when called varies. Consistency and positive reinforcement are key to achieving success. It could take weeks, months, or even longer to achieve a reliable recall.
What kinds of treats should I use during training?
Choose high-value rewards that your Tornjak loves, such as small pieces of chicken, cheese, or hot dogs. Avoid using low-quality treats or kibble as they may not be enticing enough.
What is the best age to start training a Tornjak to come when called?
It’s best to start training your Tornjak as soon as possible, but no earlier than eight weeks old. Starting early will help them learn faster and avoid developing bad habits.
How often should I train my Tornjak?
You should train your Tornjak for short periods of time, several times a day. This will help keep them engaged and focused on the training. Avoid overtraining or training for too long, as it may result in boredom or frustration.
Can I train my Tornjak to come when called without a leash?
Yes, but only after your Tornjak has demonstrated a reliable recall on a leash or long line. Even then, it’s best to keep safety in mind and only allow off-leash training in a secure, enclosed area.
What should I do if my Tornjak doesn’t come when called?
If your Tornjak doesn’t come when called, avoid repeating the command or punishing them. Instead, try to make yourself more appealing by using a high-value reward, changing your tone of voice or body language or moving further away to make yourself more interesting.
Can I train my Tornjak to come when called without professional help?
Absolutely. With patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement, you can successfully train your Tornjak to come when called without professional help. However, if you’re struggling or your Tornjak has a difficult time learning, it’s always best to seek the help of a professional dog trainer.
What should I do if my Tornjak becomes distracted during training?
If your Tornjak becomes distracted during training, try to redirect their attention by using a high-value reward or positive reinforcement. You can also try changing up the training environment or breaking up the training into shorter sessions.
Is it possible to train an older Tornjak to come when called?
Yes, it is possible to train an older Tornjak to come when called, but it may take longer and require more patience. The key is to remain consistent and positive throughout the training process.
What should I do if my Tornjak runs away from me instead of coming when called?
If your Tornjak runs away from you instead of coming when called, it’s important not to chase after them as this could reinforce the behavior. Instead, practice the recall command in a controlled, enclosed environment with a long line or leash until your Tornjak can be trusted off-leash.