Deaf And Blind Dog Training - Recall With A Vibration Collar
Step 1: Desensitization Start by getting your dog used to the vibration. Pair the vibration with treats in an area less sensitive than the neck. I like to start with the legs or shoulder, depending on what is most comfortable for the dog. If you find your dog is a uncomfortable with this interaction, start instead by touching the collar (without vibration), and pairing it with treats. Once he understands this concept, you can wrap the collar in a piece of fabric to dampen the vibration, and repeat the same exercise. Remember that a vibration collar should only be used in a positive manner. Using vibration improperly can cause your dog to become fearful of other stimuli in the environment, as well as his human handler.
Step 2: Luring Once your dog understands that the vibration means good things are coming, you can start to increase criteria. Vibrate the collar, and immediately lure your dog towards you with a treat. When he takes one step forward, release the treat to him.
Step 3: Adding Distance When vibrating the collar causes your dog to curiously move forward, you can start to increase the distance he must travel in order to get his reward. When he comes to you - shower with a jackpot of treats.
Remember to keep these sessions short - even just a few minutes at a time, to keep things interesting for the dog. Always end sessions on a high note, and set your dog up to succeed. If you find yourself, or your dog getting frustrated, take a break and try again later.
While these methods have worked for us, it is important to remember that every dog is different and what works for one, may not work for another.