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Teaching a Recall? Start Slow and Make the Dog Successful

by Robin MacFarlane

E-Collar Training to Come When Called

Some dogs become notorious for having a reputation as "stubborn." I chalk it up to being born with a more independent nature more than any deliberate intention to make their owner's life challenging.

Often dogs gain the label "stubborn" because they won't come when called. They find a better agenda like smells to sniff, critters to chase, or things to bark at way more fun and exciting than listening to us tell them it's time to come back.

It makes it challenging to trust these dogs to run off leash. At least UNTIL you learn to use a remote collar to help you teach a reliable recall.

Starting young helps set the stage for a successful outcome, and that is what I was doing with this young GSD early in her training program. After establishing a level she could perceive (remember perceive is the key word in early training, no need to overwhelm the dog by going too high), I started teaching her that the weird sensation could be "turned off" by moving toward me. Plus, she often earned a treat when she got to me. A double bonus -- sensation went away and a treat was delivered!

She is learning early how to "Come" when called, and I'll venture to bet that as she grows up she'll be able to have all sorts of safe, reliable off leash adventures with her owners.

Take a look at the first day of Recall Training with this young pup.

Remember, no matter what breed you have or what age your dog is, when you start adding the e-collar to their training, be fair. Start in an area with limited distractions, make sure the dog is on a leash or long line, and HELP them to do the right behavior.

Success builds success.

Keep training!
-- Robin

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 writes for Gun Dog Supply on our E-collars Dog Training blog
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