Re: Long Line Training??
The long line is simply a means to keep the dog from running off. I don't actually use the long line for anything else unless a huge distraction (typically a moose in my area .. *L*) shows up and I have to reel the dog in.
I will play a lot of recall games with my dogs so that it becomes automatic for them to turn and race to me when they hear the command. I will use treats and/or toys or sticks or snowballs - whatever works for that particular dog - and I'll also run away and hide behind my car, a tree, whatever so that my dog has to search me out.
A fun game is either the two treat or two toy game. I start with treats (since I train chows, typically non-toy dogs). I toss one treat a few feet away and say "go get it!" and then as soon as the dog picks the treat up, I call them and then back away quickly. When the dog catches up, I drop a second treat right between my feet. The reason I drop the treat that closely is that I want my dogs to learn to come ALLLLL the way to me .. *L* .. I hate it when they're playing that "catch me if you can" game right out of arm's reach.
As the dog learns the game, I can start throwing the first treat farther away and the second treat can be thrown THROUGH my legs to land behind me. I do send my dogs through my legs because for competition obedience, the dog must come straight to you and sit. But for pet obedience, there's no reason you can't turn your body sideways and throw the treat behind you so that your dog can race to it. Then I very quickly throw a third treat the opposite way (where the first treat went) and then a fourth treat back past me. This gets the dog running back and forth with me in the middle. After a few times, I face the dog as it races to me and I hold a treat in my fingers at my stomach and say "SIT!" when the dog is about six feet out. By the time the dog processes the sit, they're at my stomach and tucking into a sit, looking up at the treat (which I then give them).
Then we go back to the back-and-forth game. This can be done with toys, too, but you either have to have a whole bunch of toys or run to get each dropped toy (more exercise for the human!).
The reason I like them to race back and forth is that it keeps me as the center point of their attention, and it encourages a very fast recall.
Once my dogs are really racing to me, I start adding in distractions. I may play this at a parking lot, fairly far away from the activity near the store at first and staying out of the way of vehicles (may have to shorten the long line and do short fast recalls). I go to places where there are livestock animals grazing in a pasture and practice. I practice outside playgrounds where kids are playing noisily. There are lots of places that can add in distractions.
There may come a point where your dog needs a bit of correction when distractions get too high, but not all dogs need this. Trick, my older shepherd, never had much other than the occasional "NO!" in the recall training. Even with moose, she quickly learned to respond to me instead of going after the moose. It will really depend on your particular dog.
Melanie and the gang in Alaska
Positive 1ST! More reward, less correction makes a GREAT trainer.
Chows: Khana CD RE SD & Dora NA NAJ GSD: Tazer SDIT
Total of 2UDs 3CDXs 12CDs 2REs 8AgilityTitles 1BH Chow!
20 Yrs Training/Teaching Experience