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cord, let your dog go out to varying distances and then occasionally call him whilst giving short little tugs on the leash to encourage and guide him back. When he is responding regularly without any pressure on the cord, you can allow it to trail on the floor… and gradually then shorten… and remove it.

Once your dog has been taught the recall command - and you know he has heard, do not allow selective hearing. One call is enough before moving forward to reinforce it with your voice and body language. A dog which looks round at your call and says, "I’ll be with you in a minute," or who knows that you only move forward to reinforce after three or four calls, is a dog that is learning to ignore commands. Dogs have a great ability to count and know after which repeated command their owner will get angry and demand a response. Consistency in ensuring that your dog obeys you, whatever distance it is working, is essential. This is the backbone of the partnership - your dog realising that no matter what the distance, you are still in contact with an invisible ‘leash’ and will follow up.

"Dogs have a great ability to count and know after which repeated command their owner will get angry and demand a response."

Increase distance training in small stages. To build distance, as he is moving away from you, occasionally stand still or even back away. He thinks you are closer than you actually are and when you give a command will respond better. This is especially effective when giving a simple retrieve. Throw the retrieve, send him for it and then as he is running out back away quickly so that when he turns around and you give a recall whistle, the distance has been increased. The distance for control now becomes more acceptable to him and he becomes confident and responsive at these distances. I also find that if he sees you walking backwards when he turns around, this develops an even quicker return.

It is essential if your dog does not respond at any time, that you analyse very quickly and accurately why he is making an error. In many instances, it may not be the fault of your dog. This is where your ability to "READ YOUR DOG" is essential. Is he willfully disobeying? Is he confused? Has he becomes distracted? Has he gone past his mental concentration time? Or, are you at fault? Have you increased distances too rapidly? Are your signals clear and easily understood? Is the training ground uncomplicated and does it provide guidance to help the dog learn? The kind of ground you are working on can certainly help or hinder this training.

If your dog makes an error, put him in a position where you can enforce the command or can show him exactly what you want. When he then performs

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