Week Three - The Third Action (Becoming Stationary) - Page 2
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Helping You Get the Most From Your Hunting Dogs


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By now you should see the dog resist the tugs with obvious determination. Practice until you can command "Sit!," drop the leash and walk briskly away with no break in your stride.
TRANSITION TO THE AVOIDANCE RESPONSE
Once your dog is trying to sit quickly, the required periods of stimulation will become shorter. Now allow the dog to make a comparison and understand that quick obedience avoids stimulation. Give the command "Sit!" without electrical stimulation. If the dog sits immediately, have it remain sitting a moment and then release it with "Break" and a fun dog training bumper.

REINFORCING SIT AT HEEL
Now you can teach the dog to sit automatically at heel when you stop moving. As you come to a stop, tell it "Sit!" without using stimulation. After a few repetitions to familiarize the dog with this idea, just come to a stop and hesitate a moment before commanding "Sit!". Soon the dog will start trying to beat the stimulation and it will sit automatically when you come to a stop.


You can correct a slouching sit by stepping slightly on the foot that is under the dog's body. It will pull that foot back and sit correctly.
If you have a dog that rolls over on its hip, correct it by stepping lightly on the foot that is under its body. It will pull that foot back out and sit correctly. With consistent repetition, the dog will learn to sit straight the first time.

REINFORCING THE "SIT WHISTLE"
The dog is now ready to learn that one short whistle blast means the same as "Sit." This is easy for the dog to learn if it first hears the whistle, immediately followed by the verbal command combined with low-level stimulation.


Follow the "Sit Whistle" with the "Sit!" command, using stimulation. The dog will chain the two together and quickly learn that the whistle preceeds the "Sit!" command. It will soon start sitting on the whistle to avoid the stimulation.
Repeat the sit-while-running drill a few times, using the single whistle blast followed immediately by a verbal "Sit" command, without stimulation. (Use stimulation if you need to give a second command.) After a few repetitions to introduce the dog to the response you want, begin following the whistle blast with the "Sit!" command. The dog will chain the two together and quickly learn that the whistle precedes the "Sit!" command. Now it will start sitting on the whistle to avoid stimulation.

If your dog already knows the "Sit Whistle" from prior training, the above procedure does not apply. Instead, you should just teach the dog to turn off stimulation by responding to the whistle. You can do this by applying low-level stimulation just prior to giving the "Sit Whistle." After several repetitions the dog will respond quickly to avoid stimulation. Now you can give the whistle without stimulation and only use the collar if the dog fails to sit.

When the dog sits on the whistle command without verbal or electrical reinforcement, release it by saying "Break" and throw it a fun dog training bumper. Now go for a walk and make sitting a game. The quicker the dog sits to the whistle, the quicker it gets a fun bumper. The dog will believe that sitting can cause fun bumpers to happen.

Once the dog becomes equally adept at sitting on both the verbal command and the whistle, begin using the verbal command when the dog is next to you and use the whistle for sitting when the dog is at a distance.

STEADYING

Go for a walk and make sitting a game. The quicker the dog sits to the whistle, the quicker it gets a fun bumper. The dog will believe that sitting can cause fun bumpers to happen. Go for a walk and make sitting a game. The quicker the dog sits to the whistle, the quicker it gets a fun bumper. The dog will believe that sitting can cause fun bumpers to happen.
The best time to teach the dog to be steady is after it has learned to turn off stimulation by sitting on command. In addition, allowing the dog to retrieve is part of steadying so your dog should thoroughly understand "Hold" before you begin. Understanding "Hold" will help ensure that the dog does not develop any mouth problems during this stage of training. Also, be sure your dog's desire to retrieve has developed sufficiently to withstand the restraint of waiting to be sent. You don't want the dog to become confused and think that it's not supposed to retrieve.

To begin steadying the dog, have it sit facing you about ten yards away. Be prepared to command "Sit!" instantly if the dog's butt should leave the ground. Now toss a bumper over your shoulder so that it will land several yards behind you. This will leave you standing between the dog and the bumper so that your position blocks the route to the bumper and discourages the dog from breaking.

On the first few throws, help the dog by repeating the command "Sit!" at the instant the dog training bumper is thrown and again as it hits the ground because that's when the dog is most tempted to break. Use the Tri-Tronics collar to instantly reinforce "Sit!" if the dog should get up. Release the button when the dog's butt is back on the ground. After the bumper lands, hesitate a moment and then send it to retrieve.

Use the dog's name as a command to send it for marked retrieves. Teaching the dog to wait to hear its own name before going is helpful at times when the dog must remain steady while hearing commands meant for other dogs. By utilizing your placement and your timing, you can guide the dog through this steadying drill. Without a dog leash the dog feels free and the decision to behave correctly rests with it. By using the blocking technique, placing yourself between the bumper and the dog, you simplify the concept for the dog. Once the dog is steady when you throw the bumper behind you, begin moving off to the side so you do not block the direct line between the bumper and the dog. Gradually move closer to the dog until you are standing next to it when you throw. Now repeat this procedure but use birds instead of bumpers. Be sure you keep a close eye on the dog to prevent it from creeping. If you cannot throw and still watch the dog, have someone else do the throwing.

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