Teaching Your Dog To Be Steady With Platform Training

Helping You Get the Most From Your Hunting Dogs

Teaching Your Dog To Be Steady With Platform Training

by Jennifer Broome of Quinebaug Kennels


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0:40 Would you like to teach your young pup how to start at steadiness in the field? Today, we're going to use a place platform and teach your dog an area to go, an area to learn to go to on command and an area to learn to be steady.

0:55 To begin teaching our steadiness and platform training, there's three simple devices and tools that we use for our training.

Start off with a choke chain. The length of the choke chain can depend on the size of your dog's neck. I simply like it to be long enough to be able to wrap around the highest portion of the dog's neck, up under their jaws, behind the ears, tight enough so maybe I can just get a finger underneath. When I bring it around the dog's neck, I will bring the two loops together. And then I take my 20 foot check cord and I clip the two loops together like that. A simple way to use a chain and teach early forms of pressure training.

1:42 The next device that we're going to use is our platform. This platform is approximately two foot by two foot in diameter, approximately four to six inches off the ground. It's important that your platform is sturdy and stable so that the dog is not afraid of it or afraid to stand on it. So I like to be able to test it to make sure it's in a sturdy area. I also like a top on the platform, whether it's a carpet or a rubber mat so that it's fairly skid proof and safe for the dogs.

So these are our three simple tools: our platform, our 20 foot check cord and our chain.

2:26 Thatta girl. Good girl. Sit.

2:32 Okay, so here we are continuing our platform training. We have our three devices: our platform, our choke chain and our check cord. We're going to take this chain, wrap it high up around her neck, right behind her ears. Clipped my two loops together and I can fit a hand underneath here. The higher it is up on the neck, the more control that I can have and the less pressure that I can actually use.

Dogs have a very, very powerful neck. So where their identification collar is down low, when I teach pressure training I want more form of pressure device, which in this case is my choke chain, up higher on the neck.

3:12 How we use this device as pressure, we're going to give a pop, release. A pop, release. So this is the simple form of pressure I'm going to use. Pop, release. Pop, release. Good girl.

3:29 Well, we've had our pup up on our platform and she's fairly comfortable with it. So now we're actually going to give our platform a name and start teaching it as a command. I like to call it place. It's fairly simple.

So using mild pressure, and I like to get a cadence going to my pressure, giving her a pop, release, pop, release, I will start applying pressure, offer the place command and bring her to the platform. Her release of pressure equals being on the platform. And that's our motivation to get the pup up on the platform: mild pressure or discomfort when she's not up there and instant release of pressure when she's up there.

4:08 Let's give it a try. Here comes the pressure. Pop, release. Pop, release. Pop, release. Good. Now that time, because I was explaining, I didn't even use the command. I like to teach initially with pressure.

But the next time, let's chain in the command. Thatta girl. Here. So here comes the pressure. Pop, release. Place. Good. I don't need to have her sit up there each time. The goal is to just get her up on that platform.

One more time; I'm not going to explain it; I'm just going to do it. Here. Place. Good. Good girl.

4:54 Well I think we've done a good job because obviously our pup is fairly comfortable with the release of pressure. As you can see, she's relaxed on our platform. And that's what we're looking for. We're looking to make the platform a positive, good place where they want to be. She's a little more relaxed than I'd like her to be so let's move into the next step of really teaching to drive her up onto that place command. Ultimately, I don't want to be walking her up to this place command every time. I want to be able to send her. So let's up our training a little bit, up our pressure a little bit to really motivate her to go onto this platform on command.

Let's give it a try Laney. Here. Thatta girl!

5:34 So here comes our pressure. Boom, boom, boom. Thatta girl. Let's chain in that command. Laney, here. Place. Notice I stopped short this time and I'm sending her away from me. And that is our goal, to send the dog away on command because I want to be able to step away, say place, have her avoid the pressure altogether, and be motivated to go up on that platform to have that comfort up there.

Good girl.

6:11 [Closing]

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