Her German Shepherd Dog Has Become "Collar-Smart"

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Will wrote to me about his dog, Lexi, and said:

"Hello Adam. I have purchased your book and DVD set, and my 14 month-old shepherd Lexi and I have made great strides.

We started agility training at six months and thanks to the long line training, she no longer takes 1 or 2 obstacles and takes off running. We also are involved in training for show obedience.

Now here's my question that I need serious help with. I use the pinch collar during training as I should and she responds incredibly. The problem I have is when we are in the ring and she's wearing AKC standard collar, it's a whole different story, like we've never trained. She won't heel the way she does on collar (she lags behind) and on the handler recall she will usually blow past me. And obviously there are no corrections allowed at any AKC event. She's obviously collar smart, so please Adam, I need your wisdom.

Thank you in advance.
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-- Will and Lexi."

Dear Will,

You say you that you are using the pinch collar during training' Are you training only during specific times of the day or is the collar on her all the time' Keeping the collar on all day (when you can supervise her) will allow you to correct her whenever she does anything wrong, not just when she's in "training" mode.

Do exercises during the day that aren't formal show obedience, but that make her obey, anyway. Work her in different environments; the driveway, the park, kitchen, neighbor's yard, etc.... So that she learns how to listen to you in any situation with multiple distractions.
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Stage an event so it has the feel of an AKC show. Have friends and family come and even "judge" the show. Perhaps have a few other well-behaved dogs around doing their exercises. Put her show collar on as well as the pinch collar. Put her through her paces and the moment she messes up, give her a correction: this isn't an AKC event, this is your event and you say what is and isn't allowed.

About the Author: Adam G. Katz is the author of the book, "Secrets of a Professional Dog Trainer: An Insider's Guide To The Most Jealously Guarded Dog Training Secrets In History." Get a free copy of his report "Games To Play With Your Dog" when you sign up for his free weekly dog training tips e-zine at: http://www.dogproblems.com