Prerequisites: Completion of Basic Obedience, Advanced Obedience, Recall 1 - 4, Endurance Stay
What is a throw chain? A throw chain is a small circle of chain, welded or attached to form a circle, that you project at
the dog's rear end when it disobeys a 'come' command, or a 'heel' command, or otherwise ignores you. You can
make them yourself, or purchase them here: J&J throw chains
Some trainers call throw chains the poor man's e-collar because they allow you to convince your dog you can reach
him from a distance.
The key to throw chain training is all in the set up. You must find distractions juicy enough to grab and keep your
dog's attention. If you've been doing your homework up to now, this should be pretty hard to do, but persevere.
Find things you just KNOW will grab your dog's attention, and set up those distractions.
There are 3 Rules you MUST follow when working with throw chains.
1. NEVER let your dog see you throw them. (Your dog must think your arm length just extended by 6 to 20 feet!)
2. NEVER let your dog see you pick them up. (Your dog must not think the 'zing' he felt came from anything but your
3. NEVER miss. (Your dog must not know you could miss. If you could miss, he doesn't really have to respond
How to use the Throw Chain:
You may have to do quite a bit of 'acting' to convince your dog that you're not setting him up - even though you are!
This acting can include slowing your walking pace DRAMATICALLY - move only ONE of your feet every 5 to 10
seconds, not looking at your dog while you do so, and meandering very slowly without direction.
1. Have your throw chain in your hand and be READY to throw.
2. You dog should be on 6 to 50 feet of leash, but should be physically close enough to be in your throwing range.
3. ACT disconnected from your dog. Read a magazine or book. Sit on a park bench or picnic table. Work on your
laptop. Talk on your cell phone, or to another person. Convince your dog that you are completely distracted from
4. Wait for your dog to disengage mentally from you and become interested in sniffing, watching something, etc. Do
not let the dog wander outside of your accurate throwing range. (see rule #3) Be sure the dog is facing away from
5. Give your dog the 'come' command - in a very quiet voice (you must be loud enough so he can hear it, but not so
your voice is carrying very far, or sounding loud and in control - you don't want him on the alert that this is a 'training
drill'). If the dog does not immediately abandon the distraction and come to you, here's your chance.
6. Whip your throw chain at his butt, and reel him into you as fast as you possibly can. When he gets to you, make
him sit and praise him as usual. Have him 'finish' his come as usual.
7. Repeat as often as necessary to get the dog coming to you under all circumstances without hesitation.
8. You can also use this under high distraction levels for correcting the heel. If your dog forges ahead for a
distraction, zing him with the throw chain and THEN do a right about-face turn. Do not repeat the heel command
when you throw or when you turn.
FINAL NOTES: If used correctly, your throw chain will never hurt your dog. Remember, you're purposely throwing
only at his meaty little butt. If you said 'come' and the dog turned toward you, there is no need to throw, because
he's doing what you said. Therefore, no need to hit him in the head, etc. Only use the throw chain when your dog's
back is turned to you. This reinforces throw chain rule #1.
Rule #2 is accomplished by having many throw chains with you. You can tie long bits of colored yarn or string to 'flag
them' for later when you need to pick them up. Pick them up out of sight of your dog - take him to the car, etc. and
then go back for your throw chains.