The Three Action Introduction - Moving Away from the Handler
From Tri-Tronics Retriever Training Book, By Jim and Phyllis Dobbs with Alice Woodyard
Reprinted by permission of Tri-Tronics Inc.
You have already taught your dog to get into a crate on command in order to earn a food treat. That training taught the dog what "Kennel" means. Now you're going to use the dog's knowledge of the "Kennel" command to teach it to turn off stimulation by moving away from you.
TRAINING "KENNEL" WITH THE COLLAR
Take the dog crate into the training yard. Run a long check cord through the back of the crate. Attach the snap to the dog's collar and have a helper hold the other end. If a helper is not available, run the check cord around a post behind the crate and back to you.
Without applying stimulation, have the dog go into the crate. Use the check cord to hold it there for a moment before putting slack in the cord. The instant the dog steps out, apply stimulation and tell it " Kennel!" as you guide it back in with the check cord. Stop the stimulation the moment the dog is back inside the crate. The dog will soon realize that inside the crate is the place to be.
TEACHING THE DOG TO ACCEPT PRAISE
Have the dog go into the crate. Use the check cord to bold it there for a moment hefore putting slack in the cord
When you start working on the "Kennel" command, you have the ideal time to teach the dog to accept praise without breaking your command. When the dog is inside the dog crate, praise it calmly, then move away. If it tries to leave, repeat your "Kennel!" command and the dog will quickly learn that praise is not a release command. Repeat this procedure a few times and add more distractions. When you see the dog think about leaving the crate and then change its mind, it is ready to progress to the next step.
TEACHING THE DOG TO TURN OFF STIMULATION BY LEAVING YOUR SIDE
Walk with the dog toward the crate. When you are about four feet from the dog crate, command "Kennel!" as you use the check cord to guide the dog into the crate. Stop the stimulation the moment the dog begins to enter the crate. Give it some time to settle, then return to the dog and praise it. Take hold of the check cord and lead the dog out. At this stage of training, do not use the Tri-Tronics collar to reinforce "Here" when calling the dog out of the crate. Once the dog enters the crate without being guided by the check cord, it's ready to advance to the next step.
Now position the dog in front of you facing the crate. Stand still as you send the dog and be sure there is no slack in the rope. Keeping the rope taut prevents the dog from being able to turn around and come toward you. Command "Kennel!" and stop the stimulation as the dog enters the crate. Repeat this a few times, but move closer to the dog each time, until you can send the dog from your side. Remove the rope when you see that the dog will perform correctly when the rope is slack.
After the dog will leave your side and enter the crate with confidence, gradually move your starting point farther back from the crate, until you are sending the dog from twenty feet away. Once the dog's starting point is farther than four feet from the crate, stop the stimulation the moment the dog leaves your side. Then, if the dog stops moving toward the crate, repeat "Kennel!," and apply low-level stimulation until it enters the crate.
The instant the dog steps out, apply stimulation and tell it "! Kennel" as you guide it back in with the check cord. Stop the stimulation the moment the dog is back inside the crate. The dog will soon realize that inside the crate is the place to be.
Let the dog remain in the crate for a few moments. Then call it out and as it leaves, skim a fun dog training bumper along the ground directly behind you. It won't be long until the dog will go into the crate from a distance of twenty feet, wait there until you call it, race out for its fun bumper, and view this whole procedure as a game.
TEACHING THE DOG TO TURN OFF STIMULATION BY TAKING A CAST
Now is an ideal time to introduce the dog to turning off stimulation by taking a "Back" or "Over" cast. Because of the dog's recent training on the "Kennel" command, it will readily head for the crate in response to a cast combined with "Kennel!" and wait there in anticipation of a fun bumper.
Sit the dog about four feet in front of the crate facing you. Press the bottom button and give a "Back" cast as you command "Kennel!" Release the button the moment the dog turns toward the crate. If the dog already understands left and right-hand "Back," you can repeat this procedure alternating left and right-hand "Back" casts.
Now try the "Over" cast. Sit the dog with its side towards the crate. Stand just in front of the dog and give it an "Over" cast toward the crate, while commanding "Kennel!" Release the button the moment the dog turns. Repeat this procedure with both left and right-hand "Over" casts, giving the dog several repetitions of each and extending the distance the dog must travel. Always release the button the moment the dog turns to go "Over."
Walk with the dog toward the crate. When you are about four feet in front of it, command "! Kennel" as you use the check cord to guide the dog into the crate. Stop the stimulation the moment the dog begins to enter the crate.
Once the dog is proficient at casting into the crate, introduce silent casts. Give the hand signal and hesitate a moment. If the dog doesn't go, command "Kennel!" Soon the dog will try to avoid the stimulation and go on just your hand signal. Don't forget to throw frequent fun bumpers when you call the dog out of the dog crate.
TRANSITION TO THE AVOIDANCE RESPONSE
During this training, the dog will start to comply quickly. The periods of stimulation will become shorter and shorter. When you see this happening in several sessions and in different locations, give the dog the opportunity to avoid stimulation entirely.
From now on, give the "Kennel" command without applying stimulation. If you see that the dog does not respond quickly, apply stimulation and repeat "Kennel!" Release the button as soon as the dog moves toward the crate. It will soon learn not to wait for a second command and will be willing to obey immediately.