by Faith Beam
Coming when called is one of the most important training lessons your Biewer will ever learn. The goal is to have your dog come to you every time, on one command.
Before you begin, discard any contaminated command word. If you have been telling your dog to “Come” and he ignores you half the time, think of a different word, such as “Here” or “To me.” Everyone in the family needs to use the same command and reinforce it every time. Always use his name first to get his attention. Let him know you are talking to him and not someone else. Use a firm tone of issuing a directive, not asking a favor or a question.
To begin the training:
With your dog walking near you on a leash, walk backward and give your dog the command, “Bozo, Come.” Walk backward three or four steps as you clap your hands, offer a treat, squeak his toy. Whatever will excite him and encourage him to move quickly and happily toward you. DO NOT repeat the command. If you need to, guide him to you with his leash. Use lots of excited verbal encouragement. The dog will have to change direction to come to you. As soon as he reaches you, praise enthusiastically, treat, itch under his collar. Rub his shoulders and back, or whatever he really likes. Do NOT make him sit. The goal is for the dog to change direction to happily come to you. Be close enough that you are able to touch his collar and get rewarded for coming. If you make him sit and the reward, you are rewarding for sitting, not coming.
You can practice this exercise on your walks. Dogs don’t need a reason to be told to come. Walk along and call your Biewer to you periodically. Just make sure you make it fun and rewarding for him to come to you through praise, treats, petting, and positive reinforcement.
If you call your dog, you must enforce the command every time! He cannot get away with not coming when he is called. Even if it takes you 15 minutes to corner him. Put a smile on your face and praise him when he does come. Never, ever punish, scold, berate, yell or correct a dog that has just come to you.
Quick Biewer Terrier Training Tips:
1) Use a dragline if your Biewer likes to play “catch me if you can” or doesn’t want to come in from the yard. Attach about 20 feet of string to his collar or harness so you have something to catch and use to help him come.
2) Wave a white Kleenex in the air in front of you, let it flutter to the ground then pick it up and flutter it again. Usually, they come flying over to get the tissue, which they can then have as their reward for coming.
3) Squat down with your back to the dog and get very excited, talking and laughing like you just found the Hope diamond. Most Biewers hate to miss any kind of excitement and he will come running over to see what you found. Have a treat ready, or if you are outdoors, a bug, clover, or pine cone will work too.
4) Invoke the green-eyed monster. Making a big deal over another dog or the cat will often bring them running to get part of the action.