Advanced Whoa Training With An E-Collar
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0:38 Hi folks. I'm Jennifer Broome, owner and head trainer of Quinebaug Kennels, New England's premier gun dog training facility. Here we are on another gorgeous fall afternoon working on some gun dog training drills. I have here a German shorthair Pointer. She is four years old. She's a show champion in the show ring and she's a master hunter. I've owned her since she was a puppy and I've trained her myself. We're going to be using her from some teaching drills today. I want you to understand this is a trained gun dog. This is a master level hunting dog. I'm specifically using her for the videos for a good demonstration dog for the element of teaching. Typically this is a drill I would do with a little bit of a younger dog because it is a drill and it is a teaching drill. But Elsie will give us a wonderful demonstration today, which will enable some of you viewers to learn further about how to use the remote electronic training collar to reinforce the whoa command.
1:38 In previous videos, I've taught with a young Brittany Spaniel how to teach the whoa command starting with leashes, then going with the e-collar tickle sensation around the belly and now through hundreds of repetitions with the dog, we're ready to move on to reinforce, this isn't teach, to reinforce the whoa command with the sensation of the e-collar tickle around the belly. My Brittany was a little more sensitive dog. This German shorthair, she's a little tougher dog. She's got a little higher tolerance to pain and pressure. So with her I'm actually at a level two tickle around her belly to reinforce. You can tell by her attitude: she's got her tail wagging, she's standing there nicely. Again, this is the desired response that I like to see with a dog as long as I've done my training with consistency and with repetition. I have a dog here that is comfortable with having an e-collar around their belly. Because once we're able to complete some of these commands through hundreds of repetitions, I'm actually ready to move the e-collar up around their neck to reinforce the whoa command with the e-collar around the neck instead of with it around their belly all the time.
2:44 So how about some great drills that I can practice with this dog. I release her on her name and just to set up a demonstration here, I'm going to do a couple of drills with her where I release her remotely and I stop her remotely on the whoa. When I say whoa, I am going to go ahead and tickle with this e-collar. That will elevate her belly and help to reinforce the whoa. Because after that, I'm going to go ahead and use a starter pistol to reinforce the whoa and I'm going to use some birds and these are my distractions.
Again, please remember, this is a trained dog for the purposes of good video demonstration. This is not her first introduction to birds and it's not her first introduction to gunshots. When I do this with a young dog, I make sure that they have had fun, positive introductions to birds and fun, positive introductions to gunshots because we're doing some control and pressure training here and I don't want them to associate pressure and control around their first introductions to birds and gunshots. We've already done that. This is a dog in its more intermediate level of training.
3:48 So I'll show how I can release her on her name, stop her on the whoa, without distractions. Elsie, here. Whoa. Tickle. Whoa. Good. Now she gave me a little bit of a slow response and I may have to modify my collar a little bit. I may have to go a little up in intensity. We'll see. If she moves, I'm going to reinforce the command. Good. So it's only four days here or a couple days actually before our hunting season, so this is a good drill for me to work with her especially since she didn't whoa as nicely as I wanted her. Got some homing pigeons and I want to be able to throw a homing pigeon, repeat the whoa command and reinforce it. Here's a bird, [bird flying]. Whoa. And I gave her a tickle. So it shouldn't be a negative response. I don't want to see her try to run from the pressure, lie down to the pressure, squeal to the pressure. I want to see her comply to the e-collar pressure which is for her to comply with the whoa command. Here's another bird. [bird flying] Whoa. Tickle. Good. Good.
4:54 I might be able to lock wing a bird, toss it on the ground...and if needed, reinforce the whoa command which you can see practice with the e-collar around the belly has enabled me to get this dog to be really staunch and real steady. I can further practice this drill with the use of a starter pistol which is going to get her a little more excited. A lot of things going on here. I've got a bird. I've got a gun. I've got to be ready on my e-collar. And the purpose of the e-collar is it has to be important timing here. So I want to be able to release this bird [bird flying away], give a shot, [gunshot]. And good for Elsie, I didn't even have to reinforce the e-collar around her belly because she's doing her job properly.
5:58 Another drill that I actually like to practice is simply with the starter pistol and I like my dogs to actually whoa when the starter pistol goes off. So I want my dogs to whoa to a bird flush automatically and whoa to a shot. Teaching her this enabled us to be really successful with her AKC hunt test and allowed her to achieve her master level title fairly successfully because I taught her if she saw a bird, she had to whoa. If a bird flushed, she had to whoa. If she smelled a bird, she had to whoa. And when a gun goes off, she has to whoa. And these are the drills that we practiced.
Elsie, here. [gunshot] Good. No, I didn't use e-collar pressure because she's been conditioned to this. But did you see how she stopped to that shot? I'm going to do it again. Elsie, here. [gunshot] Good. Repetition of these drills with e-collar around the belly, tickle to reinforce the whoa helps to get your dog nicely steady to gunshot.
7:04 Now we'll move on and do that same drill with a bird flush. So the drill here is going to be...the drill here is going to be, I'm going to call her but I'm going to flush a bird. And I want her to whoa on her own to this bird flush. Elsie, here. Elsie, here. [bird flying away] Good. Good. So when I teach that, that was me sort of testing her to see her response to that bird and she passed her test well.
But let's show how we actually teach that. Any movement like that, I just gave her a whoa and I reinforced. Good. So I'm going to call her, and as this bird, as I flush this bird, I'm going to command a whoa and I'm going to give her the tickle around the belly. So she's going to start to associate bird flush, she has to stand still. Look how intent she is. She's ready. Elsie, here. [bird flying away] Whoa. Tickle. Good.
Now, hundreds of repetitions with this drill, fortunately I've got these homing pigeons, can use them over and over again. Here. Whoa. Whoa. Tickle. Good. Whoa. Good. If I command whoa once and she doesn't do it, then I'm going to repeat the whoa command with a tickle of this e-collar. Again, look at that tail wagging. This dog is not offended by the e-collar pressure. She's compliant to the e-collar pressure and once I have worked a young dog through, I'll call it hundreds of repetitions of this drill, whoa to shot, whoa to bird flush, then we're ready to move on to and reinforce the actual whoa in the hunting field. But not until I have a happy, compliant dog that whoas to the bird flush, whoas to the bird sight, the bird smell and the gunshot in our yard situation. Real pleased with Elsie's work here. It's an effective way of teaching. And I wish you all good luck with this method because I think that it's very, very effective.
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