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Pro Trainer Robin MacFarlane: How to Train Your Dog

Pro Trainer Robin MacFarlane
Teaches You How to Train Your Dog

Robin MacFarlane is a professional dog trainer and owner of Thatís My Dog in Dubuque, Iowa. Her best-selling dog training DVDs, JUST RIGHT and JUST RIGHT 2 have helped thousands of dog owners teach their dogs basic obedience and fix problem behaviors through a system of training that you can easily work into your daily routine.

Robin recently finished the first series of videos for Gun Dog Supply's own
BASIC OBEDIENCE ECOLLAR TRAINING.



Read Robin's Ecollar Training Articles


buy  Robin MacFarlane Ecollar & Other Dog Training Videos
buy  Proper Fit of E-Collar

Proper Fit of E-Collar

So you've done your research and purchased the e-collar that you think is the right one for your dog. The day has come, and you're ready to begin training. You turn the collar on, strap it on your dog and start pushing buttons to figure out what level he can feel. Low and behold -- nothing happens. So you turn the dial up and nothing happens. You...        

buy  Is Your Dog Collar Wise?

Is Your Dog Collar Wise?

One of the problems people encounter when utilizing a remote collar for training their dog is they inadvertently end up creating a dependency on the tool . Their dog listens to them just fine as long as the collar is on and not so much when the collar is off. In other words, they create what some refer to as a "collar wise" dog. I personal...        

buy  "How long does my dog have to wear the collar?"

"How long does my dog have to wear the collar?"

"When will my dog be able to go without the e-collar?" This is one of the more frequent questions I hear when talking with prospective users about the possibility of adding an e-collar to their dogs training. For me, it is a little frustrating that often people are more concerned with when they can stop using it than they are with learning to prop...        

buy  Pressure Necrosis

Pressure Necrosis

Most people now understand that the milliamps generated from the receiver of these collars simply cannot generate enough heat necessary to do tissue damage. If you need further understanding of how milliamps compare to amps, do a bit of Google research or take a look at ...        

buy  Using Treats in Training

Using Treats in Training

Yes, yes and yes. That is my answer to the question of using food in training. We have to remember that when we first start out teaching our dogs something, they have NO idea what it is that we are asking of them. They don't comprehend our words and can't read our minds as to what it is we want. It is our job to show them what we desire. One of ...        

buy  Can I Use an E-Collar on My Small Dog?

Can I Use an E-Collar on My Small Dog?

Breed specific references regarding training tools and methodology are one of the common concerns trainers in the pet world often hear. Statements like "You can't teach a Greyhound to sit." "Never let a Siberian Husky off leash." and "Don't put any type of collar on a Yorkie because it will cause a collapsed trachea." are pretty common. Occasionall...        

buy  I Need a Shock Collar!

I Need a Shock Collar!

"NO!" "Stop that!, "Get off of there", "Leave it!", "Come, get over here, Come HERE!" "Quiet. I said stop barking, Quiet!!" Have you been using that exasperated tone of voice and uttering one of these phases at your dog? You feel certain Fido 'Knows' he should not be doing THAT, yet he continues merrily on his way with some annoying behavior th...        

buy  Dog Training: Keeping it Real: Training Your Dog Should be Easy

Dog Training: Keeping it Real: Training Your Dog Should be Easy

I use an electronic dog collar when I train my dogs. I've been accused of being lazy because of it. I'm not 100% certain of why people say that, but my guess is because it is a faster way to accomplish the task than some of the other methodologies that people espouse as the 'right' way. It gets a bit like religious or political discussions when y...        

buy  Why Would I Want to Use an E-Collar on My Dog?

Why Would I Want to Use an E-Collar on My Dog?

Every once in a while I still encounter resistance when I bring up the idea of remote collar training to a potential client. The resistance is not nearly as frequent as it was 15 years ago when I started offering this way of training, but it still happens from time to time. Why would I want to use a 'shock collar' on my dog? That is the question ...        

buy  A Tired Dog is a Good Dog

A Tired Dog is a Good Dog

There is saying that has been around in the dog training world for a long time: "A tired dog is a good dog." There is a great deal of truth in the statement, because a tired dog doesn't tend to get into much mischief. However, I like to caution people who are avid runners or work out enthusiasts that good behavior isn't only based on the a...        

buy  Three Things You Must Know to Have a Reliably Trained Dog

Three Things You Must Know to Have a Reliably Trained Dog

It is a typical day when I have dog owners tell me "He already knows all that" in reference to the obedience I am demonstrating to them with my dog sitting, laying down, heeling or coming when called. The next statement is usually something akin to "But I need him to stop chasing the neighbor's cat" To which I then respond "Tell him to Sit or com...        

buy  Are Remote Collars Punishment, Negative Reinforcement, or Motivators?

Are Remote Collars Punishment, Negative Reinforcement, or Motivators?

There is so much information available about remote collars and electronic training these days that the average person might have a hard time deciding what to believe or adhere to. The idea that remote collars are cruel and can only be used to punish a dog is usually supported by those who want to ban and remove them from the market. On the flip s...        

buy  The Best Way to Rescue a Dog

The Best Way to Rescue a Dog

I have been fostering a little terrier mix with the intention of finding him a new and forever home. He came to me through my veterinary office. They called me about a stray they had been caring for and asked if I knew anyone who might be interested in adopting him. He had been found in the county roaming and turned into their clinic. Veterinarians...        

buy  It is More than Just Pushing a Button: Part One

It is More than Just Pushing a Button: Part One

It is fair to say that I love training dogs, and that being able to use an e-collar as one of the training tools makes me love it even more. There are many reasons the remote training collar is my preferred tool. It is certainly easier on me when handling large or unruly dogs. E-collar training creates far less physical stress on the human body th...        

buy  What About the Leash?

What About the Leash?

Previously I wrote a bit about my concern that it takes more than just pushing the button on a remote collar to train a dog. (See article: "It is More than Just Pushing a Button: Part One" ) I addressed some of my frustration about being referred to as an "E-collar trainer" rath...        

buy  Tennis Ball, Tug or Cookie? What do Rewards Have to do with Good Training?

Tennis Ball, Tug or Cookie? What do Rewards Have to do with Good Training?

We all like a pat on the back and the acknowledgement that we've done a good job, but how much better is it if there is a little something extra that goes along with that praise from time to time? How many of you can remember back to elementary school when your teacher passed back graded papers, and you saw that red star up in the corner? That s...        

buy  The More Important Tool: Part 4 of "It Is More Than Just Pushing a Button."

The More Important Tool: Part 4 of "It Is More Than Just Pushing a Button."

The final piece I want to touch on in our series of discussions explaining that it takes more than just knowing when to push an e-collar button to be a good dog trainer (See article: "It is More than Just Pushing a Button: Part One" ) addresses the most important piece of equipm...        

buy  Do You Need Impeccable Timing in Order to Use a Remote Collar?

Do You Need Impeccable Timing in Order to Use a Remote Collar?

Perhaps you've heard statements that suggest you need to have perfect timing in order to use a remote collar. I've seen that sentiment pop up again recently in a few debates regarding electronic collars. Here are just a couple statements I remember reading: "In order to be effective in using a shock collar one must possess impeccable timing." "F...        

buy  What Does Your Dog's Future Look Like?

What Does Your Dog's Future Look Like?

I started training dogs professionally in 1994. Before that I was just dabbling with my own dog's training while making my living as a Veterinary Technician. So this fall, I'm celebrating the 20-year anniversary of teaching the first class I offered in my curriculum, Puppy Preschool. Starting a puppy preschool program was something near and dear ...        

buy  6 Essential Things to Teach to Have a Good Dog

6 Essential Things to Teach to Have a Good Dog

If you were asked to define what it means to have a trained dog what would you say? If we asked that question to 10 different people, I'm willing to bet we'd get 10 different responses. There may be some similarities between the responses, but over the years I've found that people have very different interpretations of what a "trained dog" is. ...        

buy  The Top 3 Reasons Your Remote Collar Doesn't Seem to be Working

The Top 3 Reasons Your Remote Collar Doesn't Seem to be Working

The majority of the time when clients return for their second lesson in our remote training series they are pretty satisfied with the results they are getting. As a general rule, they are finding that their dogs are paying better attention to them, are more responsive in coming when called, and see significant improvement in decreasing behaviors li...        

buy  How Long Does It Take to Train My Dog?

How Long Does It Take to Train My Dog?

It depends on how much time and effort you can put into the training. A person that spends time each day practicing with their dog and integrating new skills into the daily routine has a huge advantage over someone who only does the homework once or twice a week. It depends on your level of skill. The newer you are to training, the...        

buy  Put a Plan Into Motion for Dealing With Your Dog's Behavior Problems!

Put a Plan Into Motion for Dealing With Your Dog's Behavior Problems!

That was the take away message from a TED talk I watched recently. It is a theory I've subscribed to for a quite a long time. Not that I was really implementing the message in the way the presenter, social psychologist Amy Cuddy, was suggesting in...        

buy  Why are You Grateful for Your Dog?

Why are You Grateful for Your Dog?

November is the month we've appointed as a time to express gratitude and celebrate all that we are thankful for. When Thanksgiving is approaching I'm reminded that I'm thankful for my friends, my family, my health, and that I don't have to cook this year! I'm also grateful for the dogs I currently have and those that have shared time with me thro...        

buy  Are You Struggling to Get Your Dog to Stay? Try This.

Are You Struggling to Get Your Dog to Stay? Try This.

When people visit my training facility, one of the first things they often notice is that our dogs remain on their Place while we fill out paperwork, or get everyone settled into the room. They remain staying even if the visitors are talking to them or is the visiting dog is lunging and barking at them. People notice when my staff and I tell our ...        

buy  There are Only 3 Levels on a Remote Training Collar?

There are Only 3 Levels on a Remote Training Collar?

One of the tag lines I've coined surrounding e-collar use is the idea of training with the "Just Right" level of stimulation. Whether I'm teaching a workshop, doing a video project, or writing, I want people to gain a very clear understanding of this concept. Using the Just Right level is a key ingredient in being able to train effectively with a...        

buy  The One Thing You Must Know if You Want to Train with an E-Collar

The One Thing You Must Know if You Want to Train with an E-Collar

Quite often when people begin training with a remote collar they are very concerned with finding the right level of stimulation for their dog. This is an important aspect and something that deserves attention. It is important to watch the dog for cues when finding the "Just Right" l...        

buy  How to Help Your Dog Understand What You Want

How to Help Your Dog Understand What You Want

Previously, I've written that the single most important piece of knowledge you need to train with a remote collar is an understanding of how to help your dog to understand what the stimulation means (See article: "The One Thing You Must Know if You Want to Train with an E-Collar" ). I'd like to share som...        

buy  Photos: One Great Reason to Teach a Place Command to Your Dog

Photos: One Great Reason to Teach a Place Command to Your Dog

One of the reasons I make sure my dogs are diverse on their understanding of a Place command is because it makes for such fun and interesting photos. For those of you that may not be familiar with a Place command let me explain. I teach my dog to keep four paws on a de...        

buy  New Puppy Tips

New Puppy Tips

If you just brought a new puppy home or if you have one on the way, now is the time to start doing some training. For some that advice may come as a surprise, especially if you were raised in a time where the adage was "you don't start training a dog until 6 months to a year of a age." I remember that being the advice dispensed by the vet when I...        

buy  Sit? or Sit! -- The Case for Intonation When Speaking to Your Dog

Sit? or Sit! -- The Case for Intonation When Speaking to Your Dog

All of us talk to our dogs. There are times we probably talk way more than we need to, and there are certainly times we speak in ways that have little to no real meaning for our dogs. I'm guilty of carrying on long conversations with my pack. Acting as if they comprehend all the banter when in fact, I know it is mostly just a babbling noise to the...        

buy  Number of Commands

Number of Commands

Have you heard about Chaser, the boarder collie, considered the world's smartest dog? Well, Chaser is certainly the dog with the largest vocabulary! Her story has been around for a while, but I just came across it in recent months when I read the book by John Pilley. John is a retired psychologist who happens to own Chaser and has taught her over...        

buy  So Your Dog Knows Sit. Now What?

So Your Dog Knows Sit. Now What?

Just about every dog knows a Sit command. It seems the universal behavior that most anyone who owns a dog teaches at some point early in the dog / human relationship. Over my years of training, many people who bring their dog to me for a behavioral evaluation comment, "but he already knows how to Sit". I referenced this common response in
buy  20 Reasons to Teach a Place Command

20 Reasons to Teach a Place Command

It ranks right up there in importance, perhaps coming in second just behind having a solid recall. Whether you use the word "Place," "Table," or even something clever like "Park it," your mission is to teach the dog the definition is to "keep all four paws situated on this object, and don't step off until I give you permission." The dog should be a...        

buy  E-Collar Use: Training vs. Enforcing

E-Collar Use: Training vs. Enforcing

In the training phase we are teaching the dog a particular skill. When we are enforcing we are compelling the dog to comply with a skill that has been taught. So the difference between the two is significant. One situation assumes that the dog knows what he is supposed to be doing and we are forcing compliance. The other accepts that the dog d...        

buy  Know How to Train a Dog, Know How to Use a Remote Collar?

Know How to Train a Dog, Know How to Use a Remote Collar?

It is a belief that I've run into many times. Most often I pick up on this presumption when I communicate with people who tell me either they've tried an e-collar in the past and it "didn't work," or they worked with a trainer who used e-collars and it worked but their dog "wasn't happy about it." It is a similar thought process that many go throu...        

buy  5 Ways to Enhance Feeding Time

5 Ways to Enhance Feeding Time

Life is busy! That is no secret for most of us. We're busy running from one task to the next and inundated with more lines on the 'to-do' list than we can easily keep up with. Having a multitude of tasks on the list makes it easy to come up with excuses about not having enough time to train the dog. But there is one obligation we dog owners hav...        

buy  "But my dog doesn't like it."

"But my dog doesn't like it."

We've all said it from time to time regarding our dog's attitude toward certain events or situations. "He doesn't like it" when there is a thunderstorm. She needs a nail trim, but "she doesn't like it." I would prefer the dog sleep in his crate, but "he doesn't like it." I'm certain any professional trainer will tell you they have heard that s...        

buy  Outwit Your Dogs if You Want Better Behavior

Outwit Your Dogs if You Want Better Behavior

Our dogs are not much different than us in that they do things in order to gain things they want. Their desire to gain food, entertainment, and relief from discomfort or stressors motivates their behavior. Dogs may sit because they know we will then put the food bowl on the ground. They will drop the ball if they know we won't keep but it but rath...        

buy  Weaning Off E-Stim: Tap, Tell or Help

Weaning Off E-Stim: Tap, Tell or Help

One of things we need to understand when training with a remote collar is how and when to begin weaning back on its use. Our goal is to enhance reliability in our dogs training, not to create a dependency on the tool. However, before we get concerned with weaning off of the collar (and too many people start with that mindset and hurry the process,...        

buy  Proofing: How to Help Your Dog Really "Get It."

Proofing: How to Help Your Dog Really "Get It."

Generalizing a dog's training, or "proofing the training" as I like to refer to it, is where the real work begins. Most anyone can teach simple behaviors like Sit, Lay Down or Come when called. However, the challenge is in making those behaviors reliable in the midst of all sorts of distractions and situations. Often times people get frustrated t...        

buy  Should Your Dog Sleep on the Bed With You?

Should Your Dog Sleep on the Bed With You?

Whether or not a dog should sleep on the bed is a common question. Many dog lovers sheepishly confess to having their dog in the bed with them when I am inquiring about the daily living routines of their canine friend. With a hint of shame, some owners will express that "they know they shouldn't but they do let the dog sleep with them." For thos...        

buy  Human Body Language

Human Body Language

There are times when we get stuck trying to train our dogs. We're trying to teach the dog to stop jumping on us, or to Stay in a certain place or position, but the dog keeps making mistakes and our frustration grows. Often times we end up thinking the dog is just being stubborn! There certainly are times that dogs will refuse to do as asked, but m...        

buy  Good Health: The Missing Link for a Happy and Well-Adjusted Dog?

Good Health: The Missing Link for a Happy and Well-Adjusted Dog?

So often we are looking for training solutions in order to have a better behaved dog. As soon as we begin to experience nuisance behavior like inappropriate chewing, OCD behavior, or general "grouchiness" when being touched, we assume that behavioral intervention through training is the solution. Certainly there are times when additional training...        

buy  Are You the Center of Your Dog's World?

Are You the Center of Your Dog's World?

The topic of a recent class I was teaching was 'Impulse Control'. It is typically the biggest challenge that dog owners have. Being able to have reliable obedience and a dog that listens in the midst of sudden and exciting circumstances seems to be the one thing that the majority of dog owners struggle with. The dogs are never a problem when ther...        

buy  E-Collar Training: Be Sure to Do This Before You Go Off Leash

E-Collar Training: Be Sure to Do This Before You Go Off Leash

The whole point of training a dog with an e-collar is to gain the ability to run the dog off leash while feeling secure that you can maintain control as needed. But how do you know when the dog is really ready to have the leash or long line unclipped? If you go from e-collar conditioning on leash, and assisting the dog in doing things properly t...        

buy  What Behavior are You Rewarding the Most?

What Behavior are You Rewarding the Most?

Celebrating when something is finished is a pretty typical human response. We celebrate the end of a big game (if our team wins). We celebrate graduating from various programs, and we celebrate the completion of projects. It seems to be in our DNA to make a big fuss about the ending of things. If we are carrying that ideology over into our dog's...        

buy  The Importance of Routine Nail Trims for Your Dog

The Importance of Routine Nail Trims for Your Dog

Trimming your dog's nails is one of those tasks often dreaded or avoided altogether. It shouldn't be that way and with some patient and consistent practice, it doesn't have to be. Regardless of how you or your dog feel about nail trims, they are as important to your dog's health and well being as a nutritious diet and adequate exercise. Not takin...        

buy  When is the Right Time to Start Training My Dog?

When is the Right Time to Start Training My Dog?

Is my dog too young to start training? Is my dog too old to start training? Is the old adage of waiting until a puppy is 6 months or a year of age correct? I have heard so many variations of the "when is the right age?" question. For once in my life I think I have the one-size fits all answer. This answer applies every single time I hear th...        

buy  Is it Important that a Dog Learn to Heel?

Is it Important that a Dog Learn to Heel?

The question of whether or not a dog should learn to Heel is one that I like people to contemplate early on when we start working together training their dog. I believe creating a clear picture in one's mind about what we want to achieve and why we want to achieve it is important to the overall success of the training program. Often times dog ow...        

buy  3 Things to do Right Now to Avoid Separation Issues with Your Dog

3 Things to do Right Now to Avoid Separation Issues with Your Dog

Does your dog display some anxiety when you leave her behind? Is there a significant amount of barking when you crate the dog and walk away? Does Fido monitor your every move around the house, following you from room to room and paw at the door if you close them on the other side? Dogs have an innate desire to be with their family. Often we hear i...        

buy  Training Your Dog to Stop Barking

Training Your Dog to Stop Barking

Need a recipe for exasperation? Try combining a bombardment of daily noises with a dog incessantly barking! Barking problems are one of the most annoying issues that pet owners struggle with, and stopping the annoyance is usually a high priority for the dog's owners as well as their neighbors! But before we can stop it, it is important to evaluate...        

buy  How to Use a No Bark Collar

How to Use a No Bark Collar

Before you decide on the use of a bark collar to stop your dog's nuisance noise making, be sure you have a good understanding of why the barking may be taking place. Read this article to see if there are some steps you can take to resolve underlying problems that may be contributin...        





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