Written by Colin Seal
Responding to a recall is indeed one of the crucial safety measures a dog needs to learn. However, it can be difficult.
Most of the time, a reward-only method of training does not work - especially on dangerous situations such as a dog may enter into an aggressive situation in the dog park… or may run off to a busy street packed with fast cars and trucks.
In this TDLTV episode on Facebook Live, I discuss why dog training collars can greatly help on efficiently training dogs to come when called - especially on emergency situations.
I’m sure you’ve come across a few people who say that they will never use an electronic dog collar because it’s cruel for dogs… and that they never have to use e-collars as they have trained their dogs properly on certain obedience commands and their dogs responded well.
Well, good on them for they do not have to deal with problems MOST people face - that no matter how much time and effort they put on training their dogs, things just don't seem to do good - especially on their stubborn-natured dogs.
So, MOST people call us to seek help about training their dogs not to escape anymore… or quit nuisance barking… or retrain dogs for unwanted behaviours such as digging holes in the garden, chasing people and other dogs, etc.
Now, these people who say that a dog training collar is cruel for dogs are the same people who most probably did one or more of the following:
Have NEVER used one before, thus, limiting themselves to bring about the excellent potential an e-collar offers to dog training.
Their dogs are most likely trained in undistracted environments and if tested with real-life distractions (e.g. walking off leash with many other dogs in the dog park) - these dogs, without a strong foundation on obedience training, will most likely fail to follow the commands.
Seth Pywell, a professional dog trainer who specializes in snake aversion training for dogs, strongly recommends that we need to teach dogs to associate the corrections (such as mild static pulses) from a remote dog training collar to certain dangerous behaviours (such as coming near a snake).
In this way, dogs will understand that their risky behaviours will activate consequences - the harmless static corrections from electronic collars.
These corrections are totally safe but annoying to dogs which is why these e-collars are most efficient in dog training.
Also, training dogs with remote collars PLUS giving rewards, when they follow commands or deter from unwanted behaviours, is a great way to establish balanced dog training.
It really pays off if your dog understands that if he cultivates an unwanted risky behaviour, he will be corrected (NOT hurt)... and if he does the right behaviour or follows a command, he will be rewarded.
Unlike reward-only method in training, using a remote dog training collar can help manage a distracted dog that’s peaking in adrenaline.
A couple of situations as examples:
• Walking your dog off-leash in a dog park with other dogs catching his attention.
• Letting your dog out into a yard along a busy highway packed with vehicles.
Can you trust your dog to come back every time when you call?
Most dogs, without a strong foundation for obedience training, fail to follow the “come” command when presented with real-life distractions that extremely interest any dog’s senses.
Remote dog training collars help strengthen this foundation for dogs to follow obedience commands in an efficient manner.
Plus, a remote dog training collar is such a great tool to use when you walk your dog off-leash - in case his attention diverts away from you - then you can effectively give the “come” command with the help of the e-collar stimulation.
As your dog’s attention comes back to you when you give the “come” command, his adrenaline will stabilize and you can help him deter away from any risky situation.
As I mentioned earlier, if you buy cheap and low-quality remote dog training collars online that do not even pass the Australian standard for use, it will compromise your dog’s safety and will surely bring failure to your recall training.
If you want to succeed in dog training, get the best of quality remote dog training collar and make sure that you use the e-collar properly.
Check out really good quality remote dog training collars here.
As you may already know, remote dog training collars have different types of correction - some deliver static correction, some vibration, others can activate Citronella spray, while others have ultrasonic and tone.
And most often than not, these e-collars offer more than one type of stimulation (e.g. static + vibration, static + tone-only mode, vibration + ultrasonic… and the list goes on).
Basically, you have a variety of options when it comes to the kind of correction you will use to train your dog.
Often, e-collars with static correction are best for stubborn dogs. While Citronella and ultrasonic types of correction are commonly used for responsive dogs… and the vibration type of stimulation is good for sensitive dogs.
And most often, the tone option on these remote training collars is used either as a warning or signal for reward.
After choosing the right remote dog training collar for your dog’s temperament and size (we have dog training collars for all dog sizes), you can follow these simple steps to teach your dog the “come” command:
Let your dog wear the remote dog training collar
Use a different collar to attach the leash to (we recommend using a dog harness during this first phase of the recall training)
DO NOT attach any lead to the e-collar itself - this will tighten the collar, as your dog pulls the lead... and will create pressure
Hold the leash and the handheld remote on one hand
Wait for your dog to walk away
Press the stimulation level on your remote
It is important to start at the lowest level - you may increase the correction level if your dog ignores the lower levels (if you have such a stubborn dog)
As you press the stimulation level, give the command “COME”
Hold the stimulation button until your dog comes back to you
Use the leash to gently guide your dog towards you
Release the stimulation button as soon as your dog steps towards you
As soon as your dog comes back to you, verbally praise your dog - reward him with pats or food treats
Lastly, it is important to remember that you cannot let your dog go off-leash even though he wears the remote dog training collar UNTIL he masters the “come” command.
You can do a couple of tests with your dog (still with the leash on) and present him with real-life distractions. If your dog passes the tests, you can confidently let him off the lead and manage him using your remote.