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Helping You Get the Most From Your Hunting Dogs

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When the dogs fight against the stakeout chain, they "stimulate" themselves on their necks with the collars. They soon learn to turn off that stimulation by not pulling or tugging against the chain. The whoa post works much the same, Smith says.

The whoa post teaches dogs to stand still upon the "whoa" command. By tying a half hitch around the dogs’ flank, then back to the post and back to the trainer through the dogs’ collars a point of contact is established around their flanks and necks.

Dogs will fight a stakeout chain as hard as they can in the beginning. Over time, they learn the chain is a form of structured discipline.
"The idea," Smith explains, "is to transfer the point of contact around the dogs’ flanks and necks to the e-collars. This way, the dogs can still turn off the stimulation from the collars by standing still when the ’whoa’ command is given. It is extremely effective and harmless since the collars are set on the lowest level to get the dogs’ attention. Usually the first one or two levels do the trick, and the dogs learn quickly what you want them to do." The beauty of being able to transfer the point of contact from the stakeout chain, whoa post or check cord to the electronic collar is that you can enforce the command from 2 feet to 500 yards away, he says.

Shock Values

It is essential to find the level of stimulation from the e-collar that gets your dog’s attention, Smith says. That stimulation-attention level is "not the highest levels. Usually, you can use the first one or two levels. Hit the button momentarily and see if your dog notices anything. Maybe he cocks his ears, turns his head or something similar. When you reach the level where your dog notices the stimulation, that’s the one to use for your training."

Smith admonishes dog owners and trainers who use the highest levels on their dogs. "It’s just not necessary to use the highest levels in training. All that does is punish a dog for something he probably hasn’t been trained to do properly in the first place."

Smith cautions dog owners that the e-collar is not a cure-all. "You can do a lot with the e-collar, and it is probably the greatest training aide in the past 25 years. However, improper use of the e-collar is about the worst thing you can do when training or hunting your dog."
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