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Recall Command: How to Teach a Dog to Come When Called

Of all the basic commands you can teach your dog, the “recall” command is the most important. Training your pet to come to you when called not only keeps you in control, but it can save him from dangerous situations. While it is a crucial command, it is often the most difficult to train. Why? Think about the world of distractions your pet can face everyday, SQUIRRELS, other dogs, toys, and kids. Let us not forget the endless list of scents that catch his attention! So, with all these diversions, how can you train your dog to come on your command? Don’t worry, it can be done. To help you here are a few tips.

What is Dog Recall Training

Dog recall training is teaching your dog to come to you on command. You may hear the term “reliable recall” when reading about or discussing the topic with trainers. Reliable recall means when you give the “come” command you’re sure he will happily respond by running up to your side. Before we get started on how to teach your dog this obedience command, keep in mind:

  • The earlier you start recall training the better; AKC recommends to begin when your pup is 7 to 8 weeks. 
  • Don’t take his disregard to your command personally! Dogs are easily distracted and your hollering “come” may not be as exciting as whatever has his attention.
  • Patience, plenty of practice (daily is best), and positivity will go a long way in dog recall training.
  • Ensure you have lots of treats on hand.
  • Never use an authoritative or angry tone when commanding your dog to come.
  • Never punish your dog when he comes to you.
  • Don’t repeat the word “come” or his name as it may lose its meaning for your dog.

How to Teach Your Dog to Come

When you start training your dog the come command, begin in a low-distraction area, like inside your home. The quiet will make it easier for your dog to focus. Over time, work your way up to places with greater distractions like your backyard, then a park.

Show your dog a treat or toy and praise him as he comes to you, then offer a reward. Repeat, adding the verbal cue “come” (or whatever term you’ve chosen to use) when your dog looks at you and begins to move toward you. Only use the cue when your pet is moving in your direction. Always give treats and praise. After plenty of practice, ask your pet to come without revealing the treat and add distance between you and him.

Now that you’ve got the basic idea, one of the best ways to teach him to respond to your call command is through games as suggested by the American Kennel Club (AKC).

  • Hide & seek: This game is an ideal way to involve children in dog training. Have your dog sit or stay in a room or have someone hold onto him. You and/or your child hide around the corner in another room, or behind a piece of furniture. Call your dog to come find you. When he does, immediately offer a treat and praise.
  • Go & come: For this game, you will need a low value treat such a kibble and a high value one like meat or cheese. Throw the low value treat and tell your dog to get it. Before he finishes eating the treat, call for him to come to you, using an excited, positive tone. When he responds and comes to you, reward him with the high-value treat and praise.
  • Catch me if you can: Get your dog’s attention then run in the opposite direction making excited, fun sounds and gestures to get him to chase you. When he catches you provide treats and praise. It’s important that you never chase your dog. He thinks it’s a game and will continue to run away from you.
  • Relay races: You can play this game inside (hallway is ideal) or outside in your backyard providing it’s fenced. This game requires two people. One person starts by holding your dog while the other person goes a few feet away and calls him to come. Reward and praise him when he complies. Now the other person calls your dog to come, offering him treats and praise when he does. As your dog gets faster, slowly increase the space your dog has to run.
  • Recall retrieve: This game is for any dog that loves to play fetch. Like the go & come game, you throw a retrievable object, such as a ball or toy. As your dog is returning to you with the object, say come. Have him give you the object and throw it again. If your dog is unwilling to give up the ball or toy, it’s time to psych him out and throw a second ball or toy and repeat. The best part is when your dog finds the game itself rewarding so you won’t need treats because he’s motivated by praise. 

Once your dog listens to your “come” command every time, you can begin rewarding him randomly instead of every time.

Why Won’t My Dog Come When Called?

Does your dog look at you like you’re stupid when you give the “come” command? Expect it; all dogs ignore a command for one reason or another. Here are the top three:

  • Fear: If your dog has been reprimanded in the past when he came to you he might associate coming to you with getting into trouble. 
  • Distractions: Whatever is distracting him is way cooler and more interesting than coming to you. 
  • Confusion: You’ve repeated “come” over and over, and its meaning is unclear or your dog has attached a negative association with the word. (To fix this situation, switch to a different word like “here.”)
  • Motivation: Your pet thinks fun time is over.

While you may not fully understand why your dog is ignoring you, incorporating a few of the above recall games in his training may help you and your dog get past the unwillingness on his part. Sometimes using a training device to get your dog’s attention may be helpful. Learn more about The BarxBuddy in this related post about ultrasonic dog repellers and deterrents.

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Do Bark Collars Work on Dogs (and Are They Safe)?

do-bark-collars-work-on-dogs

Does your dog bark way more than the shelter or breeder led you to believe? Does he bark at inappropriate times all day and night? If you are looking for tools and solutions to train your dog to stop barking, you’re probably finding a lot of information about bark collars, also known as anti-bark collars.

As training devices, all bark collars interrupt unwanted behavior such as barking so that you can redirect your dog. Each type of bark collar does so differently. Types of bark collars include vibration, static (shock), spray, ultrasonic, and combination. 

While they all resemble a traditional collar, bark collars emit some negative stimulus like an unpleasant scent, static shock, or high-frequency sound when your dog barks. 

To answer the question, “do bark collars really work,” the short answer is yes, they work if used properly. That said, some dog owners and trainers question whether anti-bark collars are humane, and they prefer other methods of dog training, which we’ll cover in the last section of this article. 

Do Bark Collars Really Work?

Yes and no. Yes, bark collars can curb unwanted behavior in many dogs, but that doesn’t mean bark collars work on all dogs. There are several reasons why a bark collar may not help stop your dog from barking. 

First and foremost, as the trainer, you must properly use the device. Failure to follow instructions on correct fit and position of the collar can hinder the collar’s usefulness, as can a lack of prompt corrections to your dog’s behavior. 

You need to understand the reason behind your dog’s constant barking. Whether it be the result of frustration, separation anxiety, attention-seeking, or merely compulsive barking, the underlying explanation needs to be resolved for a bark collar to be fully effective in ceasing your dog’s behavior.

With a commitment on your part to appropriately and consistently address your dog’s barking, and its underlying reason(s) through positive reinforcement (praise and treats) training — also known as the train, treat, repeat method of dog training — along with a bark collar will help ensure his relentless barking stops. 

However, a training tool, such as a bark collar, is only as good as the person using it and is meant to be used in conjunction with training techniques such as the train-treat-repeat approach.

Are Anti-Bark Collars Safe?

Most dog owners want to know if a bark collar is safe to use on their dogs. Anti-bark collars use an annoying ultrasonic noise (that humans can’t hear), a spray of citronella or lemon, or a quick electric shock or vibration that will cause your dog to stop in the middle of his barking. All of the interruption stimuli are brief and have no long-lasting effects. 

Based on the above, the answer to whether anti-bark collars are safe is yes, except, there are some cautions. Bark collars mustn’t be used for more than 12 consecutive hours as they can irritate your dog’s skin, nor should they be used while your dog is crated, asleep, or when he’s engaged in positive playtime activities.

Anti-bark collars are also not recommended for puppies younger than six months or dogs under eight pounds.

What Are Alternatives to Bark Collars? 

If you want to stop your dog’s barking but you’re not keen about trying a bark collar, or you’ve had a negative experience, there are alternatives called ultrasonic trainers or repellers. This type of device might be the right training tool for your dog and situation.

One such repeller is the versatile BarxBuddy ultrasonic training tool. This handheld device never comes into contact with your dog and can be used at a distance of up to 40-60 ft. And, unlike many anti-bark collars, with The BarxBuddy, you are solely in control of when to emit the stimulus (ultrasonic sound). A quick press of the button and your dog will stop barking in seconds. When he does, it’s important that you immediately correct or redirect him with a command, followed by positive reinforcement, including praise and/or treat. 

While most bark collars are specifically designed to handle a dog’s excessive barking, ultrasonic trainers like The BarxBuddy can be used to help rid your dog of other behaviors such as chewing on furniture or jumping on people. Read our blog post on the best anti-bark collar and visit our site for more information on BarxBuddy and how it can help you change your dog’s unwanted habits for the better.

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Are Small Dogs Harder to Train?

Woman on a park bench with a big dog and a small dog

If you’re a small or toy dog person, you know the littlest canines are downright adorable. They cost less to care for, and they fit in your favorite designer bag. Everything about them is cute and cuddly. Even when they try to protect and defend, all you can do is smile. 

While small dogs earn lovable points in just about every category, training them to follow your directions or stop barking isn’t one of them. Small dogs are indeed harder to train than large dogs, but it’s not their fault; it’s most likely due to genetics … and you (their owners). 

Let’s take a look at how to get control of your small dog barking. 

Why Small Dogs Bark (Hint: Size Does Matter)

Imagine being so small that you fit comfortably into a purse or teacup. Now envision looking out at other animals and humans, everything and everyone is huge! 

As a human, if you stand as you speak down to your dog, she may view you as threatening, merely because you’re a giant to her. Instead, when you need to address your dog, kneel and keep your hand motions in front of her, not above her. 

Tiny Bodies, Tiny Tummies

Pet owners and pet professionals alike rely on treats-based training. They are easy to use and reinforce good behavior in dogs. The problem is, small or toy breeds have much smaller stomachs and may have more sensitivity to fatty foods than medium or large breeds. This can make them harder to train. 

What seems like a single kibble to a 20-pound bulldog may be more like a full day’s meal to a little canine. Plus, offering treats meant for larger breeds, or fatty foods like cheese might leave your little one with digestion issues. Instead, offer her low-fat crumbs or a lick of baby food off your finger. 

How to Train a Small Dog to Stop Barking

You might expect your small dog to perform new skills as smoothly as her larger counterparts. However, she might have more trouble learning moves that bigger dogs have no problem mastering. Break tricks into steps and reward as she accomplishes them. Another approach is to watch your dog throughout the day. If she performs a skill such as “sit” or “lay down” on her own, use a verbal command that she’ll associate with that behavior, and reward her.

Likewise, when she exhibits unwanted behavior, you can distract her with a tool like The BarxBuddy, which will get her attention so you can stop unwanted behavior and teach her better behaviors.

Anti-Bark Strategy for Tiny Dogs

Small dogs tend to be quite energetic and, in turn, bark, or in the case of most tiny dogs, yelp excessively without regard to your orders. If you yell or punish your dog for her barking habits, she might not understand that this is you telling her to stop; she may think you’re joining in on the fun!

Instead, learn why your dog barks. One way to reduce barking is to make sure she gets plenty of exercise during the day. A regular exercise routine might help calm her down enough to focus on your commands.

Be Consistent With Training Commands

Small dogs rely on you for a lot of things. Unlike larger dogs that can quickly get around, say to jump up on the couch, your little one needs you to lift, carry, and watch out for her. However, her size and cuteness are no excuse to give in to her bad behaviors like excessive barking. 

Remember, any attention you give, good or bad, to your dog’s unacceptable behavior, guarantees she’ll repeat it. Instead, ignore your pet when she is acting up and reward her good behavior. Train, treat, repeat.

About Ultrasonic Training Devices

If even after you practice these tips and find your dog is still struggling with barking issues, proper training might be the answer. The safe and effective BarxBuddy ultrasonic training tool makes it easier to train a dog, even the tiniest ones. An alternative to bark collars, the BarxBuddy distracts your pet without any contact between it and your dog, allowing you to give a verbal command and reward her when she stops the unwanted behavior. 

As a small pet owner, you understand that your adorable and cuddly teacup breed requires some adaptation and patience in your training. Like training medium and large breeds, plenty of patience, persistence, and practice goes a long way when training your small dog — it may be easier than you think.KeywordsJun 30, 2020Query Phrase

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What Is Best Anti Bark Dog Collar? Maybe It’s Not a Collar At All

Barking poodle mix

Anti-bark collars are devices that dogs wear around their necks so their owners or trainers can correct unwanted behaviors.  

To answer the question, which anti-bark dog collar is best, you have to understand what bark collars are, what types there are and how they work. The best fit for you and your dog depends on how much time and effort you commit to train your dog, as well as what your dog can tolerate.  

What is a Bark Collar and How Does It Work?

Most anti-bark collars are controlled by a wireless remote, although some models may be sound-activated when your dog barks.

These sound-activated bark collars are tricky to use effectively because other loud noises could signal the collar, confusing your dog. They may not be the best bark collar if you plan to leave it on your dog at all times, even when you aren’t home.

Remote-controlled bark collars operate on batteries, so they need to be recharged or replaced. 

Some bark collars can be worn with your dog’s regular collar, while others are better alone. Shock collars with prongs are not intended to be worn 24 hours a day. Most manufacturers recommend that you remove no-bark collars when your dog is resting or at night.

Anti-bark collars are training devices, which means they aren’t magic wands that correct your pets’ behaviors. They’re intended to be used along with voice commands, treats and rewards to teach your dog what you do and don’t want him to do. 

For stubborn dogs that bark excessively and don’t respond to voice-only commands, the bark collar can be used to get the dog’s attention. That’s what training devices do: They distract a dog from barking so you can correct her behavior.    

What Are the Types of Bark Collars?

There are five basic types of collars:

  1. Vibrating 
  2. Shock collars
  3. Spray
  4. Ultrasonic training collars
  5. Combination

Vibration collars emit a pulse-like sensation to your dog’s neck. They are thought to be more comfortable than shock collars, which emit a static correction. The vibrations typically can be adjusted from low to high intensities. 

Shock collars use static electricity through metal prongs to signal to your dog when he’s doing unwanted behaviors. They also range in intensity from a mild tingle to a painful shock. If you’ve ever accidentally touched a light socket and gotten a jolt of electricity, that’s very similar to the sensation a dog gets from a shock collar. Some shock collars are used with remote controls, while others are used for training dogs with electric fences; if a dog crosses the fence line, he gets shocked.

Spray collars emit citronella when your dog barks, attacking their sense of smell rather than sight or sound. These collars are a good option if you have dogs that are hearing impaired. Spray collars can be used with remote controls or be sound-activated. 

Ultrasonic training collars are controlled by remotes. When a dog exhibits unwanted behaviors, the trainer/owner presses a button, releasing a high-frequency tone that only dogs can hear. 

Combination bark collars use two or three of the technologies that the other four use. For example, one model offers a combination of sound with vibrations and shocks. The idea is to start with the least intrusive technique — sound — and if your dog resists the correction followed by your voice commands, you progress to vibrations and then shocks. 

What Are Humane Alternatives to Bark Collars (and Do They Work)?

Collarless ultrasonic dog training tools are very effective ways to train your dog to stop annoying barking habits. 

The advantage of this type of training device is that your dog doesn’t have to wear anything special. In fact, the ultrasonic dog training tool never comes in contact with your dog. It is about the size of a TV remote control, and when your dog starts barking, you press and release the button. Only your dog will hear the ultrasonic sound, and it will stop him in his tracks. 

Our ultrasonic dog trainer includes built-in lights, which can add a layer of distraction for your dog, especially if he has hearing issues or is out of range. It’s safe, effective, humane and the best way to train a dog to stop annoying behaviors.

What is the Best Way to Humanely Train a Dog to Stop Barking?

The train, treat, repeat method is best for training dogs to stop barking, as well as to stop all sorts of annoying behaviors. 

It works like this: The dog does something you don’t want her to do. You point the device at her, press the button and she stops, because you’ve distracted her. Before she can resume barking, you give a voice command. When she does things that you want her to do, you reward her with a treat. Repeat it every time; consistency is important. 

You can learn more about this type of training device on our product page, as well as this information guide on ultrasonic anti-barking devices.

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Why You Should Use Ultrasonic Dog Repellers and Deterrents

Dog being trained outside in a field of grass

If you research “ultrasonic dog training,” you might come across some older posts about “ultrasonic repellents and deterrents,” which question the effectiveness of these tools in training dogs. It’s the problem with a lot of information on the internet, isn’t it? You can find information that supports pretty much any point of view.   

Well, we want to set the records straight on ultrasonic dog training tools because much of the information you’ll find is outdated and just not accurate. First, let’s talk about ultrasonic noises and what they sound like to dogs and humans. Then we’ll put on our myth-busting hats and tackle some of the misconceptions about ultrasonic trainers.

What Does Ultrasonic Noise Sound Like to a Dog?

Ultrasonic sound is anything that is greater than 20 kHz (20,000 hertz), which is about the highest frequency of sound that humans can hear. This 2-minute video demonstrates what frequencies sound like from zero to 1 million hertz. 

Caution: Don’t listen to this video if you are wearing earphones or earbuds! The sound could hurt your ears.  

We humans can hear sounds up to 23,000 hertz (Hz), but dogs can hear up to 45,000 and 50,000 hertz. The BarxBuddy produces sounds at 30,000 hertz (.03 MHz) and up, which is why they can hear it and we cannot.

When used to train dogs, ultrasonic sound is simply a tool that you can use to get your dog’s attention. You may have heard stories of people using homemade noisemakers, such as shaking cans filled with coins, to stop barking dogs. We find these homemade tools can startle not only the dog, but everyone else within ear shot. That’s why we developed the BarxBuddy ultrasonic training tool. It’s safe for dogs, doesn’t startle people, and it works.

Misconceptions About Ultrasonic Dog Training Devices

We have found that the biggest misconceptions about ultrasonic training tools come from people who haven’t actually used them. The following are common things we’ve heard, along with our responses. We hope this helps you understand how the BarxBuddy training tool works, but contact us if you have questions.

“It’s illogical to train a dog with a sound it hates.” 

The BarxBuddy ultrasonic device is a training tool for dogs. It’s not a point-and-click remote control that will mute a barking dog or silence barking forever. The ultrasonic frequency gets your dog’s attention and distracts her from doing unwanted behaviors so that you can correct the unwanted behavior and teach alternatives. We encourage you to reward your dog with treats when she exhibits good behaviors. 

That’s why one of our brand’s sayings is: “train, treat, repeat.” 

“You don’t know what sound ultrasonic dog repellers make.”

That is correct — you cannot hear the ultrasonic training device because it is designed for dogs, not for people. And that’s deliberate. We know that high-frequency sounds are effective at distracting dogs so we can train them to change their behaviors. 

“Results for ultrasonic devices are extremely variable, so you can’t depend on them especially in dangerous situations.”

Results for all training tools are extremely variable for one reason: People use them differently and, often, inconsistently. If you consistently follow our train, treat, repeat methodology, the ultrasonic device will be an effective tool to help you correct your dog’s unwanted behavior. 

“Firm verbal commands are better than unpleasant ultrasonic sounds.”

The flaw with verbal commands is that your dog knows your voice, and if you give a firm verbal command while he’s barking his head off, he might misunderstand and think you’re joining him. 

Firm verbal commands paired with the ultrasonic trainer are the best, most effective ways to train your dog. When the dog hears the tone from the ultrasonic trainer, he is immediately distracted, stops barking and looks to you for directions. This is when you give your verbal command. 

“People who sell ultrasonic dog training tools are snake oil salesmen.”

We got into this business because we love pets, and we wanted to create a resource for people like us who want safe and effective products for their dogs. Every product on our website has been personally vetted by our team, and we wouldn’t sell anything that we wouldn’t use for our own dogs and cats. 

If that makes us snake-oil salesmen, we can live with that.

Do Ultrasonic Barking Deterrents Work?

Let us be clear: The BarxBuddy ultrasonic training device is not intended to be used as a stand-alone barking deterrent. It’s meant to be used to train your dog to stop barking, as well as to correct other unwanted behaviors. Yes, they work to deter barking, especially when you use them with the train, treat, repeat method. 

To learn more about the product, shop now or visit the resource center on training tools for dogs.