Q. My puppy will be 8 weeks old tomorrow. I've had her for a week now, and she still isn't responding to any training or her name. What can I do?
A. Try clicker training her to come when called. Clicker training is an effective way of training you dog to not only come when called, but can be used to teach a variety of tricks and tasks.
Have treats on hand that you know she loves, then simply click and treat. She will come to associate the sound with getting a treat. Start putting distance between you so she has to come to you. Call and click and when she comes to you for that treat, treat him and give her lots of praise. Move to hiding somewhere in the house, call and click. When she comes to you reliably inside when you call, click and treat. When this behavior is consistent, move outdoors with a very long leash. Call and click, if she doesn't respond, give a light tug on the leash. If she takes even a single step toward you, click, treat and lots of praise. Keep doing this until she comes eagerly. Next, try her off-leash in a securely fenced area. Call and click. At this point she should be responding well and coming easily to the call and click. If she does not, go back to the last step she performed reliably and work on that again until she responds well. Eventually, you can start not treating her every time, but still praise her. Gradually lessen the frequency of the treats until she comes just to the click and praise.
Keep training sessions short, ten or fifteen minutes to start, no more than 30 minutes at a time and do it a few times a day. Try not to do it any time she is overly excited so that she can pay attention to you. Always end a training session on a good note, even if it is just getting him to do something she already does well on command. And never, NEVER punish a dog when they come to you, no matter how far they've made you chase them, no matter how frustrated and angry you might be. That teaches your dog that coming to you is a bad thing.