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Lesson 1, Topic 1
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Dog Bumps Handler During Recall

Dog Bumps Handler During Recall

One will always lose points if the dog bumps the Handler during Recall. It is a behavior we want to stop. These are the steps how:

  • We will shorten the distance of the recall.
  • The instance the dog bumps into the Handler, the Handler will use a Negative Marker and push the dog back with the knees. The Handler will then tell the dog to sit, will take a small step back, and call the dog again. If the dog does not touch – mark and reinforce. If the dog touches – repeat the correction until he does not.
  • It is critical to have good timing, or there is a risk that the dog will not make the connection. The instance the dog bumps, the Handler must immediately use the correction.
  • It also might help if the Handler uses a softer voice for the command to lower the dog’s drive.
  • It is ok for the dog to be hesitant in the beginning. The confidence will return as the dog becomes more comfortable with the new set of expectations from the Handler.
  • Dogs only can understand black and white. There is no such thing as the dog touches a little bit. The dog either touches or not.
  • The only reason you see Tobias using the ball under the chin without the recall is so he could make the dog understand from where the reinforcement will be coming.
  • If the Handler struggles, we can always use an Assistant holding the leash behind the dog. The Handler will mark immediately when the contact occurs, and the Assistant will provide the consequence – pop on the leash.
  • If there are too many corrections in a row – the dog might become frustrated. The Assistant can try preventing the dog from touching the Handler to give a dog a win and increase confidence.
  • Once this works well at a short distance – increase it very gradually.

Some additional information that does not pertain to the topic but is always useful:

When working with a strange dog, try to make friends first and play with him before beginning to work.