KPA Tip of the Day: No More Chasing Your Dog at the Dog Park

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If your dog evades you and avoids being caught when you call him, here are two ways to teach him that coming right up to you is the best thing to do.

Condition your dog to allow you to grab his collar. I do this by touching the collar with two fingers before giving the dog a treat. Gradually, I touch the collar with more fingers until I can grab it with my whole hand and feed the dog a treat while holding the collar. Just like “charging” the clicker, I am classically conditioning the dog that grabbing his collar means good things are coming.

I also teach dogs to hand target, and show them my open hand (the hand target cue) while they are running to me. I keep the back of my hand tight against my body so the dog must come in close to me. Then I can hold his collar and give him a treat. No more chasing dogs around the dog park!

KPA Tips of the Day are brought to you by Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partners. You can find more great tips here.

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Katherine Ostiguy, KPA CTP, is the head trainer for her businesses, Crossbones Dog Agility, located in Smithfield, RI, and Spring Forth Dog Services, servicing eastern Massachusetts. An avid dog agility competitor, she also competes in conformation, obedience, rally, and weight pull. When not trialing with her own dogs, Katherine inspires the next generation of dog trainers by helping out at regional 4-H clubs.