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Recall Work on a Long Line

by Robin MacFarlane

E-collar Training: Teaching your dog to Come when called.

One of the most valuable things your dog needs to know is how to Come when called. Of all the things you want your dog to know and need your dog to know, I'd say the recall is the most crucial. It can save your dog's life. It is also a command that can be very challenging to achieve reliability with. Lots of dogs will come to you if they feel like it.

But coming when called when there are other things competing for your dog's attention, that is another thing. Smells, sights, sounds -- so often there is something more interesting than you in the environment.

That is why you have to practice. I made the following clip to help you to understand some of the problem solving steps you may encounter while working on e-collar training your dog for the recall.

This is a Boxer who has one week's worth of e-collar conditioning on leash, learning to follow nicely, stay at Heel position, Sit/Stay, and go to a Place. On this particular day I took her to a new location so that there would be new smells and sights to explore. I worked on a 15-foot long line and as you will see I did not need to keep hold of the line to help her. She was fairly responsive to turning toward me and coming in. At least part way in that is. This is a classic example of a dog who comes part way and then gets distracted toward other interests.

Notice how I use the e-collar and reissue a verbal command to teach her that she must do the work and Come all the way to me, sitting within touching distance, before she gets any reward or the release to wander off again.

Also notice there is some time span between the recalls. Please don't make the mistake of calling your dog back to you as soon as they wander away. If you do this, you create what I call a "Velcro Dog," one that never leaves your side. That should not be the goal of the training. The intention is to teach the dog to Come to us when called and to have a solid understanding of coming all the way in. If the dog understands this definition of "Come" we don't have to worry about having them off leash, and we don't have to worry about them playing the "catch me if you can" game either!

Take a look and see what I mean.

-- Robin
Next Article: Why 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 writes for Gun Dog Supply on our E-collars Dog Training blog
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  • Pull-Quote= Your dog needs to know how to Come when called.

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