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21 - Start line training for recall

21 - Start line training for recall

A dog is a creature of habit, so you can train him to stay within a certain range by using a long line. A flexi-leash is useful for giving your dog additional freedom of movement when he must be on a leash, but because there is always a degree of tension on a flexileash, it is not suitable for using to teach a recall response.

Use a long line to train your dog to stay within a certain range

Making a start

If possible, use a padded or cotton line as this is kinder on your hands. With a rope or nylon line, wear gloves to avoid burns if your dog shoots away. Attach the training line to a static H-shaped or step-in dog harness. Don’t attach it to your dog’s collar or a stop-pull harness as he may suffer a neck injury if he suddenly reaches the end of the line.

  1. Attach the line to your dog’s harness and let him go. As soon as he passes you or moves too far away, but well before he reaches the end of the line, call ‘this way’ and change direction so that you are moving away from him.
  2. Use the clicker to help him to understand this exercise. Click as he turns and begins to follow. He will continue towards you to get his treat. Remember you are not clicking to gain his attention but to mark that he had already changed direction and started moving towards you. This is the behavior that you want him to repeat.

Remember to click as he begins to follow, and treat him too

Drop the line and repeat the work – only using it as a fallback

3. When your dog is consistently changing direction to follow you, drop the line and allow it to drag on the ground.  

 Practice in different exercise areas until your dog learns to keep a watchful eye on you and follow you each time you change direction. When this is established you will no longer need the clicker or the long line for this exercise.

From 100 Ways to Train the Perfect Dog, Copyright by Sarah Fisher, licensed through ContentOro, Inc and used by arrangement with D & C

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