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Categories: Playing Tug With Your Dog , Recall and Come

Q. My dog pays too much attention to the neighbor dogs behind the fence and he won't come when I call him. I need to work on his recall, do you have any suggestions? Do you recommend a tug toy?
I have a 2 year old (65 lbs) Belgian Malinois. Have had trouble with him fence fighting. He pays too much attention to the dogs behind the fence because they are barking at him. I need to work on his recall. I have been working with someone that has me putting him on a long line and calling him when he starts to get too close to the fence. I was watching some of your videos on YouTube and I saw the restrained recall with the tug toy. Is there a video you recommend to learn more about the recall? Do you recommend a tug toy? If so, which one do you recommend for his size and age? 

Also I am using a prong collar right now. What do you recommend to take him off the prong? He doesn't really like a collar slipped over his head? 

A. Hi,

I'd recommend the video Training the Recall.

As for tugs, the intermediate set would have a variety of tugs that would work for your dog. I like to have several different biting surfaces for the dogs to experience.

The prong could be left on him, but I'd recommend a harness or at the least a buckle collar for restrained recall work. You may eventually want to go to a remote collar but for the beginning stages of this work, a long line and collar paired with lots of rewards are how I would proceed.

I hope this helps.
Cindy Rhodes

  Response:

Cindy,

One more question. Do the tugs promote biting? I mean, I don't want to train him for "bite work" with the fence fighting issue. I just want to work on the recall.

Thanks for the info.

  Follow-Up Response:

Tugs promote interactive play with the handler, which is why they make such great rewards especially for the recall. The toy or tug motivated dog runs back to engage in a game with the handler. I do this with all my dogs from my working dogs to my Border Terrier to my Shih Tzu. It has nothing to do with bite work. It’s about engagement with the handler

Cindy Rhodes

Thanks:

Thanks. That is great information. I was always under the impression that it promoted aggressive behavior and stayed away from it. I think he will really like that sort of play.

Thanks again.
  
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