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GPS collar for dogs?

(6 Posts)
takeaturn Mon 16-May-16 22:28:15

Has anyone got one? Would it be useful on the rare occasion one of my dogs (beagle) gets a scent?

She's on the lead at all times at present. Have done oodles of recall training. It feels like she'd benefit from being off lead and gps collar could be a good back up if she does bugger off?

She wouldn't be caught by anyone else so I'm not overly worried about her being picked up and nicked. Guess if she's far enough away to need one then I haven't actually got her under control have I?

tinymeteor Tue 17-May-16 08:39:30

We rented one on a trial basis for our beagle. Decided not to buy it because it was only useful in areas where you have a phone signal for the tracking app, and we wanted it for places like the Norfolk coast where there was no 3G. I would consider it if I was walking them in lots of new places where they might wander, eg if I was travelling in Europe. For general walks though, there is no substitute for recall training!

Happy to share some beagle recall tips, so DM me if that would be helpful. Ours is 95% reliable nowadays, which I reckon is pretty good for a scent hound!

takeaturn Tue 17-May-16 13:31:59

Oh I'd love recall tips. If you're able to post here or dm that would be great, thank you.

tinymeteor Tue 17-May-16 14:18:33

Ok here goes! Sorry if you know all this but here's what I've learned.

Beagles are bred to look for and follow scents. They will always fan out from the group they are walking with and stay further away than many dogs. A beagle off the lead won't be by your heel. This doesn't mean they are out of your control but does mean you have keep an eye on their body language for signs they are about to head the wrong way.

The good news is they are pack dogs who don't actually want to be alone so they will always come back (in their own sweet time). It's all about incentives. High value food treats and fear of missing out are the two things that can usually bring them back to the pack.

Top tips:

1. Don't try recall training near any irresistible temptations. Hot days mean picnics in our local park and you can't let our beagle off the lead within 200 yards of a picnic. Got to be realistic!

2. While training for recall, try walking with other dogs as much as possible. If the beagle sees another dog getting a treat from you they'll be back pretty quickly and you can use that to praise, reward and release again.

3. If they think coming back is always the end of their freedom they will stay away as much as possible. So make a point of 'giving' then their freedom to show that it's by your say so, but that you will nearly always let them go. To do this, establish a release command. When you take the lead off, make them sit and stay until that command is given, then enthusiastically let them go. Do this every time you recall them, and they will learn that coming back means a treat AND your freedom again.

4. Don't call them too much. Use body language to show which way you are going and give a short call to correct them if they are going to wrong way, but otherwise, take the attitude it's the dog's job to keep up with you. Calling them repeatedly makes them deaf to it. Save it for a few times per walk and give a good reward when they obey.

5. Mix up your walks so you aren't always trying to get the lead on in the same place, or they'll learn to avoid you there.

6. Recall is strongest with the people they like and respect, so what they'll do for you won't always translate to friends or dog walkers.

Good luck, hope it helps!

tinymeteor Tue 17-May-16 14:19:09

Wow that was long grin

takeaturn Tue 17-May-16 17:39:13

That is actually really helpful. Thankyou.

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