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How to Use an E-Collar to Tighten Form and Performance

by Robin MacFarlane

Habits that have become ingrained in your dog will take a while to fix.

They say that hindsight is always 20/20. It is easy to be knowledgeable about things AFTER we have experienced them once. It is how we learn, grow and improve on past performance.

That certainly holds true with our dog training efforts as well. Once we've had a dog that has presented certain training challenges, we know a lot more about how to fix those same problems if we encounter them with future dogs.

Many of us in the profession will refer to our "next dog" from time to time. The implication being, that we will avoid certain training errors or do things differently with the "next dog", so that we can achieve a certain outcome somewhat different than what we may have now.

We know that it is much easier to prevent mistakes than it is to fix them. So we figure that training the "next dog" will be with a slight bit different plan or goal than what we did the last time.

BUT those lessons only come from experience.

In the meantime, if you are struggling with a current performance problem you can still do the work to fix it. You just have to be aware that habits that have become ingrained in your dog will take a while to fix.

Take for instance, this yellow lab who has a habit of sitting "sloppy" by tipping onto one hip rather than sitting properly with even weight bearing on both hind quarters. If we had only allowed and rewarded a square sit from the very beginning, the habit would not have formed. We can still fix it, but it is going to take some persistence.

Let me show you how I incorporate the use of a remote collar to identify and fix the mistake. As you watch this clip, pay attention to how I interrupt the dog the moment she goes into the improper position, and then continue to guide until she sits square.

Let me also point out that if you are struggling with this particular behavior, you could likely fix it even more quickly by practicing the Sits on a platform that is just big enough to accommodate the dog. Limiting the defined space a dog has to position himself in will automatically create proper form.
-- 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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  • Pull-Quote= Accurate E-collar communication can help fix performance problems.

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