Advanced Platform And Steadiness Training
by: Jennifer Broome of Quinebaug Kennels
0:31 Announcer: GundogsOnline.com helping you get the most from your hunting dogs.
0:40 Today we're going to talk about advanced platform training. If the term platform or the place command is new to you, then feel free to go back to our topic on teaching our young dog the place command.
So what is advanced platform training? Well, once you establish the place command, which is teaching the dog to go to a designated area and here's our platform, our designated place area on command, there's many, many drills that we can do with this platform, such as: bumper work, steadiness work, sending remote sends to send to the platform and even teaching hand signal work from the platform. So we're ready to get started.
1:20 Here we are with our advanced platform training. We have a dog that after hundreds, if not thousands of repetitions to send her to our platform or our place command is an enthusiastic pup, ready to do some work and certainly some advanced work with the platform. So what I'm going to do now is send her on a remote place command so you can see the level of enthusiasm, the desire to please and the technique that she has to know how to go from my command of the place, up to the platform to possibly turn off any pressure.
At this point, I'm not using any pressure. She's just dragging our check cord along.
1:55 Valley, place.
1:58 And this is exactly what we're looking for: enthusiasm, not having to use any pressure. The dog feels this is a comfort zone and is motivated to go up here. Now, I like to use a reward as motivation. And certainly our retrievers love the motivation of a bumper. So initially with a pup I might like to just throw a bumper, and in order for her to be successful to bring the bumper back to me, I want her to return to our place command.
So here we go. You want the bumper?
2:28 Valley, fetch.
2:30 Good. Place.
2:32 The only way to get another bumper, leave it, is to return to the platform. So whether your dog has had advanced training with a conditioned retrieve or any other type of advanced training, this is a great way to get your dog to start on a platform, do a retrieve, and end on the platform.
2:52 So what I really like an appreciate about platform training is simply put, the dogs are either on the platform or correct, or they're off the platform. So for me, even a foot or two off the platform is not on the platform. Therefore the dogs are not being steady.
3:09 Place, gets them back on the platform. And the reason the we do use that elevated platform is there's really not a lot of room to move off of the platform and be able to creep without stepping down. So it's very clear cut.
So with our advanced steadiness training and she's on the platform, I'm able to move to another area, act as a blocker, use one of our retriever's favorite things, which is a bumper, have her stay, place, toss my bumper, relieve her on a command,
3:51 and for the return, send her to her remote, place.
3:58 It makes your steadiness training easy. It makes it easy for the dog to understand. And it's great practice to do advanced drills, including steadiness to birds, which we're going to do next.
4:17 Here we are with some more advanced platform training ideas. What better distraction for our gun dogs then to use live birds for our distraction training to egg the dog on or motivate them to break off of the platform. And again, the idea of the platform is to teach steadiness. So I have the bag of homing pigeons here, which my dog is very excited about, happy to jump off of this platform to go chase, but I'd like to establish with her the steadiness drill.
4:45 If she tries to chase, I'm not going to yell at her. I'm not going to holler no because it doesn't have to do with her chasing the bird. The idea more is that she broke off of the platform. So by me simply repeating the place command, I'm reestablishing that she goes back to the initial spot that she started.
5:01 So I might take a pigeon out of my bag, really motivate her to want to break, and I am standing on the cord here so I can tug her back if needed and she won't take off out of control. So we've got our pigeon.
(bird flying away)
5:14 And she gave a nice spin and I was holding on to her. I didn't quite mean to do that so now I'll give her a little bit more leeway here.
5:25 (bird flying away)
5:31 What if I were...place. And here she goes with the break. And that's good and I don't tell her no, bad dog, because she's not being a bad dog. She simply broke from the platform. I recommend place.
I might take and lock wing a pigeon, locked their wings and toss it on the ground, which might motivate her. But I want to warn her first. Place. Good. Again, what great steadiness training.
6:07 (bird flying away)(whimpering)
6:16 Sit. (whimpering) So we've got quite a motivation with the pigeon walking on the ground (whimpering) Dog really wants it but she's conditioned and trained to stay on the platform. (whimpering) Good girl. (whining)
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