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Tidying Up Your Dog's Recall

by Robin MacFarlane

I favor the use of a remote training collar for obtaining a rock solid recall.

If you've been working on teaching your dog to come when called it's possible you've encountered a few problems along the way. Of course, the most basic of problems is the dog ignoring you entirely and not responding at all!

Solving that problem is one of the main reasons I favor the use of a remote training collar for obtaining a rock solid recall. Using a tactile cue to gain the dog's attention is quick and efficient. Plus, using low-level stimulation is very easy on the dog both mentally and physically. I have found that gaining off leash freedom comes much quicker through e-collar training than any other method. And off leash freedom is good for the dog's well-being.

It is not magic though and there is work involved in the teaching process. I want to provide a few pointers to keep in mind when you are using the e-collar to teach a recall to your dog.

First off, don't go out and practice with such a high ratio of repetition that your dog stops leaving your side entirely. I've seen dogs become what we call "Velcro Dogs" rather quickly because every single time the dog moves away from the handler, he gets called back. The dog quickly assumes there is no reason to leave, so make sure you give the dog time to sniff, explore and become distracted in the environment before calling him back to you. By practicing these random recalls out of play and distraction, you are setting the stage for the way it will be when your dog is ready to really be off leash.

Secondly, make sure the dog comes all the way to you. A dog who stops half way and changes directions or stops just out of reach to play the "catch me if you can" game is not following the rules the way you want them to be played.

The goal is to teach a recall that is immediate and straight to you. Your dog should end up close enough to you that you can reach down and touch him.

Many people like to make sure the dog sits at the finish of the recall. The sitting is great, but if you don't want to build in that step, just make sure you reach down and physically touch your dog before issuing his permission to leave your side and go play again.

Take a look at this short clip we did with Tilly, the young Pointer who was featured in the E-collar Obedience DVD and how we worked through a few minor problems.

-- 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= E-collar training can help tidy up any recall problems.

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