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Categories: Electric Collar Training

Q. I read that you taught your dog to stay in front of you on the trail, while you were horseback riding. How did you do that?

I have written to you in the past about my high drive Doberman who last summer fractured his patella while hiking with him in the woods. I had asked you about what to do about him chasing everything that moves. I do use an e-collar with him for previously he had gotten into the habbit of chasing bikers and joggers in the woods. That has ended. You had told me to use the leave it command for ANY chase behaviour which I can control at this point. But I feel like I am always saying it, because all he seems to do is run off the path in search for the next thing to chase. I can stop him mid chase on anything, but it seems he is not always chasing something as much as just running full speed looking for something to chase. Recently I had read your responce to another letter stating that while you are hose back riding with your dog, you have trained him to stay in front of you on the trail. How do you do that? I have tried a few things, while we are hiking, I tell him out (which is my command if he is in water, in which he will get out of the water) just in hope he will leave the woods and return to the trail. I can have him wait while up ahead in which he will stop until I say ok. I have tried "this way" where if he is off in one direction he will return to where I am but for the life of me don't know how to keep him on the trail. Just yesterday he was flying through the woods jumping over boulders, logs and I am cringing through each leap! By the time I was back to my truck while checking him over for ticks, I notice two wounds, a rather large scrape on his front leg and a small puncture on his good knee! I love hiking in the woods with him but it has become more of a stressful walk than a peaceful one waiting for his next injury. I would greatly appreciate any insight to this dilema...

The nail biting hiker and her nutty Doberman, Cheri!

A. I think if I had a dog that was so accident prone, I’d be very careful about allowing the dog off leash in an uncontrolled area. Rush now has only certain off leash areas to be in with other dogs, so I don’t have to police him 24/7 off leash. Not all dogs deserve or can handle the kind of freedom you’d like to allow, for their own safety.

Training Rush to stay in front on a ride was done on leash, for many many reps while on walks first. He’s super guidable and voice responsive AND very fluent with the ecollar. He isn’t looking to chase wildlife, so he’s a different type of dog than yours.

If your dog lived with me, I’d be limiting his off leash running to areas where he’s less likely to hurt himself.

Cindy Rhodes
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