|Pet Planet Tried & Tested|
A couple of years ago my partner Dougie suggested we take our three dogs, Sophie, Jemma and Katie, on a camping holiday. Great idea I thought, but I had a recall problem with one of my Golden Retrievers and was therefore more than a bit concerned. However, having read all the info I could get on it, I bought the Spray Commander a few months in advance of our holiday and put it to the test. It was expensive but the results were amazing!!!!!
In the past it was 'Sophie come, Sophie come, Sophie come!', getting louder and louder by the minute, me getting hoarser and hoarser, and Sophie totally ignoring me, doing what gundogs do: SNIFF SNIFF SNIFF and getting farther and farther away from me; then having the audacity to look back at me, turn her head and set off again in the opposite direction. (Recognise this scenario?) Not only was it really concerning, it also meant when she did eventually come back, I was giving off bad vibes which did not encourage her to ‘want’ to come back to me in the future. A vicious circle!
After reading up on it and practising with it in the house it seemed to be having the correct effect. However, I must confess to being really sceptical when we decided to venture outside. With all the fabulous smells, other dogs, muddy puddles, etc available outside, would the outcome be as successful? On went the Spray Commander and off we went. We got to the field and off came the lead. My heart was in my mouth. I let her go about 20 metres away from me and called her. She looked at me but did not come back instantaneously. Action Spray Commander, and a galloping Sophie came screeching to a halt at my feet 2 seconds later!!! And it wasn’t a ‘one-off’! Every time I called her back it was the same! I was speechless and just about in tears! This was going to open up a totally new way of life for both her and myself. After a few weeks, although she was still wearing the collar, it never needed to be sprayed. I was then brave enough to go ‘cold turkey’ and the collar was removed.
So three months later off we went on our camping holiday and had the most wonderful, carefree time on all our walks. I will admit I did take the collar with us, but did not have to use it once! A remarkable achievement, believe me!
And the results were just as good on an ongoing basis:
About a year later, Sophie went off in full flight after a hare. It was in a huge field and I never noticed her starting off after it. She was a good 200 metres away from me and heading straight for a busy road when I shouted her name and Come! Lo and behold, she stopped in her tracks and came straight back to me and I must mention she was not wearing the collar at that time! I was delighted with her! Helen-Jane, a dear friend and work colleague, was with me with her own 4 dogs at the time, and Ollie (who has been agility and obedience trained) also took off but it was Sophie who obeyed first and got back to us first. Even Helen-Jane was impressed!
If I feel her recall is not as sharp as it can be, I put the collar back on her and after literally one spray, the message is reinstated.
I would however say that, in the first few weeks, especially if you have a high drive dog, you should be constantly watching for possible 'chase' situations and be ready to use the collar immediately. If he/she gets the scent then, I will admit, it may be more difficult to get his/her attention. Just be vigilant at all times and you should remain in control. Do not remove the collar until you are absolutely certain the recall has been enforced.
I have recommended it to loads of people and the feedback from them all is wonderful. If you decide to buy one of them, I would suggest you read the instructions carefully and practice in the house before you venture out into the big world. Please also remember to call your dog back ie his/her name (to get their attention) and then 'Come' first and if ignored, action the commander, then loads and loads of praise when he gets back to you... and don’t forget the titbits!
And, another plus, no more a filthy, dirty Golden Retriever to take into the house after her walk. I can stop her BEFORE she heads off into that inviting, muddy puddle!
A fabulous product, I can't praise it enough!!!!!!! And do remember, recall is only one of the many problems which can be overcome with this product. Any number of training or behavioural issues can be addressed with it.
The Spray Commander costs £79.99 - I know it is a lot of money but if you decide to buy one and it does not work, as long as you keep it in a pristine and resaleable condition and keep all the packaging intact and clean, you can return it to us for a full refund less the cost of a replacement canister. You will know within a couple of days if it will work. You really do have nothing to lose!
See further information about the Spray Commander here