How To Teach Your Dog To Come Every Time You Call Him

Dear Adam:

First of​ all,​ let me just say how much I have enjoyed your book. I cannot believe the​ difference in​ the​ behavior of​ my two dogs since I started using the​ pinch collars and your techniques. I accomplished in​ about 15 minutes what two obedience classes could not - I got both of​ my dogs walking on​ loose leads. Amazing. Also,​ both will do a​ good down stay around most distractions - we're working on​ proofing now.

I have a​ 19 month old border collie cross and an​ 11 month old lab cross. Both are females and great dogs. My main problem at​ this point is​ having success with the​ recall command. I guess you​ could say that I feel I could use more detailed instruction here.

I've been working with a​ 20 foot line in​ a​ nearby park as​ outlined in​ your book. Things work fairly well when we're alone (i.e. minimal distractions) but this park is​ also a​ fairly popular off-leash area and when other dogs arrive I usually give up and take the​ line off - otherwise it​ just becomes a​ tangled mess. How can I introduce "controlled" distractions and how should I go about getting my dog's attention? I mean,​ at​ this point my dog becomes deaf when she comes across something on​ the​ ground that smells good,​ never mind another dog or​ person. I just want to​ be sure that I'm getting my timing right with the​ command and correction or​ praise. I'm hoping that you​ can help me with this - our Canadian exchange rate makes the​ cost of​ ordering your video rather prohibitive at​ this point! Just being honest.

One last thing - both dogs will walk on​ a​ loose leash when I walk them individually,​ but the​ younger one tends to​ want to​ walk ahead when I've got them out together. is​ there a​ way to​ correct this,​ or​ do I need to​ walk them separately for a​ while longer? I guess that I've just asked a​ second question,​ so you​ can ignore this one if​ you​ want. I more concerned with the​ recall anyway.

Thanks so much. Your book has been so helpful and I've recommended it​ to​ several friends.


Dear Shannon:

First,​ if​ you​ take the​ long line off the​ dog,​ then you're undoing everything you've just attempted to​ teach your dog. Now you​ have NO WAY of​ making the​ dog come back to​ you.

Remember... this isn't rocket science. Training your dog to​ come back to​ you​ reliable can be boiled down to​ one simple piece of​ advice: "MAKE the​ dog come back to​ you,​ every time you​ call him... until he becomes conditioned to​ do it​ on​ his own."

If you​ call the​ dog and cannot make him come... because he is​ not wearing the​ long line... THEN WHAT HAVE you​ JUST TAUGHT HIM??? You've taught him that he DOES NOT HAVE to​ COME!

You are an​ excellent dog trainer. Whatever you​ end up teaching your dog (to come or​ not to​ come) ... you​ have done an​ excellent job of​ doing it.

Now... does it​ matter if​ there are other dogs in​ the​ park,​ and the​ line gets tangled? No. (True,​ it's a​ hassle... so you​ could use a​ 10' line instead of​ a​ 30 foot line) But none of​ this should interfere with your ability to​ MAKE YOUR DOG COME when you​ call him (UNTIL HE BECOMES CONDITIONED to​ COME on​ HIS OWN).

If he ignores you​ when you​ tug on​ your leash,​ then this tells me that you​ are not tugging firmly enough to​ get his attention. Make sure that you're getting slack in​ your line when you​ tug,​ and make sure that you've got the​ pinch collar fitted firmly enough.

As for walking two dogs at​ the​ same time... there are two things you​ can do:

1. Buy a​ coupler. This is​ a​ device that contains two 1 foot leashes that are attached together to​ your 6 foot leash. it​ kind of​ "Y"'s off at​ the​ end,​ so that you​ can reach down and correct one dog but not the​ other. Most pet stores carry these devices. (Each 1 foot leash has it's own harness snap.)

2. as​ the​ one dog begins to​ forge forward,​ give him the​ "Heel" command and give a​ sharp snap on​ the​ leash in​ a​ rearward direction. if​ the​ dog learns that every time he starts to​ forge ahead of​ the​ other dog that he will feel discomfort... quite simply... you'll notice him stop doing that behavior.

And remember... get outside and have fun with your dogs!!!

That's all for now,​ folks!

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