Dog Training Information Tips

Introduction

Getting started training your dog – The Tri-Tronics Owner’s Manual contains a thorough explanation of the product, product use, and basic training. In addition a basic training DVD is shipped with all but the PRO units.

To further help you reach the highest level of performance for you and your dog, top pros in the sporting dog industry have provided us with some valuable training tips. Be sure to check back often for new ideas for training.

Keep it Simple and Consistent

Some folks have the terrible dog training handicap of thinking like a human being.  But you see, successful dog trainers don’t think like people; instead they think like dogs.  Thinking like people often results in a strategy that’s too complicated, or too out of balance and unpredictable for a dog to completely and thoroughly understand. One small, simple step at a time is how a dog thinks and learns.  Successful dog trainers know and understand that.  They know you must look at the world through a dog’s eyes and think of the world with a dog’s brain.  They know you must keep it simple and uncomplicated.  Sometimes it’s hard, but they always remember that!

Beginning

Basic commands – Make sure your dog understands the command before you reinforce the command with the electronic Collar.

Have fun – Make training sessions fun and enjoyable for your dog. Use plenty of praise and play.

Your training plan – Have a “game plan” in your training, work on each command one at a time. Keep a log of your dog’s progress.

Trainer protection – Be sure to wear a pair of gloves when you first begin working with your dog on a rope to prevent painful rope burn to your fingers or palms if your dog should decide to take off.

Intensity levels – Use proper intensity levels for each training session. Your Owner’s Guide and DVD show how to determine the proper level.

Collar wise – If you have a dog that is “collar wise” for some reason, one of the best ways to work that kind of dog is to put an e-collar on him 2 hours before you work him. This gives the dog plenty of time to forget about having the collar on. Then start your training as you normally do.

Gaining confidence – Keep a long lead or check cord on the dog along with the e-collar until you are confident enough in the dog to go “off-leash”.

Puppy motion sickness – Condition a young pup to riding in the dog box–first trips should be on an empty stomach–keep the trips short and fun, then gradually extend them as pup gets used to vehicle motion. In this manner, the first few actual hunting trips that the hound experiences won’t be marred by uncomfortable motion sickness.

Methods to use for stimulation – One way to teach a dog to obey new commands is with the use of continuous stimulation. Pick the correct intensity level for your dog as described in the Tri-Tronic’s manual. Press the low button or set the intensity on low just before you give the command (not afterwards) and release the button the moment the dog complies. He will learn to “turn the collar off” by obeying the command. Remember, in the beginning the dog may need the guidance of a leash to show him what behavior will shut off the stimulation. You should start with the low-level button and go up to medium if the dog will not respond. You should reserve the high stimulation for rare circumstances when the dog is very distracted

If the dog is not responding to the low at all, you will need to go up one level. Using sit as an example, you would push the low-level button and give the sit command. Guide the dog into a sit using your leash and release the button when the dog is sitting. Very soon, you will no longer need to guide the dog with the leash.

During the first few lessons, you should press the button before each command. After several training sessions on a command, you should see the dog trying to obey quickly. When you see this reaction, the dog is ready for you to phase out using continuous stimulation. Now you can give the command first and if the dog does not comply, say “No, sit” and push low momentary. If the dog appears confused, go back to using continuous stimulation and show him what you want him to do.

When you use the collar to stop your dog from doing things he shouldn’t – like digging or jumping up – press the button the moment the dog makes the mistake (use momentary stimulation). You want him to think he caused the correction by something he did. Say nothing, as you do not want the dog to associate the correction with your presence. This technique would apply for boundary training as well. When the dog approaches the flagged boundary then hit the tone button and follow it with the stimulation. If you need a stronger motivation, you can use the high momentary on whatever level you are using. I suggest starting at one level higher than you use for training commands.

More Advanced Tips

Extended sit – The first step toward an extended sit is to be able to walk in a small circle around your dog without him/her moving, initially doing so with the training rope in your hand. Then back into a larger circle. Learn to work your training rope so that it doesn’t get in either your way or the dog’s as you progress in training maneuvers

Heel with distractions – When working on the “heel” command, second phase of teaching, walk past items such as an open kennel door, open truck box, etc., doing so initially with your body between the dog and the object of invitation. Then repeat by doing so with nothing between the dog and the inviting place, as you will be on the opposite side of the dog. Be sure to have your dog on a leash or long lead rope during this phase, as you are teaching.

Extended stay – When teaching “stay”, walk away from your dog, who will be on a sit or down position, by initially leaving him with your outside foot/leg. When you want him to come with you at heel, resume walking by leading off with your inside leg, and initially use the command “heel”, while you are teaching.

Discipline in the field – This tip is more for a trial or contest dog that has been completely trained but lacks discipline. Turn the trained dog loose in the field to run with a couple of birds that have already been planted. When the dog makes game and points, do not say anything. Let the dog stand there for a bit, then turn an untrained puppy loose to knock the bird and chase it. The trained dog might stand for a few seconds, but then will chase the bird as well. This gives you the perfect opportunity to train. Use this method occasionally to really proof the dog. If done right it will instill discipline in your dog in almost all circumstances.

Discipline at gate or door – A dog that tries to run past you at the kennel gate or in the house can be “set up” to really mind his manners. The dog needs to already know what come here means, and should be properly introduced to the e-collar. Create a situation so that it thinks it just escaped, then call the dog to you (not in a mean or excited tone of voice) using the e-collar to enforce the command. Repeat a couple of times and you will see a big difference in the dog.

Retriever

Helping with water blinds – Try this with a dog who is apprehensive about water blinds: Find a small, somewhat oblong pond, and place orange bumpers periodically along the shore from one end of the opposite bank to the other. Then, set up the dog and send him. Let him get whichever one he launches for, despite what you may have wanted. This isn’t a battle of the wills at this point in his training; you want him to look eagerly forward to water blinds. Once he/she is more comfortable about the process of water blinds, you can gradually ease back into more demanding precision with regard to where he is going.

Reinforcing a line – If you are having trouble on an initial line or a difficult entry with either a young dog or an older dog, try breaking down the session by throwing a hand-thrown bumper straight across/over the tough area and sending the dog quickly. Sometimes doing this relieves the pressure from the overall situation, as well as makes the communication more black and white to the dog as to what it is that you want from him. Then go back to work on your original session.

Bird Dog

Top three quick tips for bird dogs from Bryce Mann –

  1. Bird dogs are sometimes soft of attitude so an easy introduction to the e-collar is essential. Adjust the Transmitter to the lowest level of stimulation for which a slight response is seen.
  2. Refrain from using e-collar corrections while on point or during a retrieve so the dog does not associate the correction to the bird.
  3. When teaching whistle commands and hand signals give the dog one chance to do it correctly. Then if a correction is to be given make it correspond to the whistle (time & duration) using the continuous control on your Transmitter. By using this method your bird dog will quickly associate the correction to the whistle & hand signal. Praise your dog after the task has been successfully completed. In this method the whistle makes the correction and never the trainer.

Proper Use of Bird Launchers – Some folks are trying to break dogs before the dog is ready, causing the dog to “circle birds”. My thoughts on this are the way they plant the birds. Pop up release traps not used correctly can cause this (which in my opinion is a form of “blinking”). People let the dog get right on the trap then spring it open, smacking the dog in the chops. The dog either starts to circle the bird or, even worse, blink the bird.

The best way I have found to use the release traps is to teach “stop to flush”. At the start of this training, I never let the dog get scent of the bird and I always use a check-cord with the dog. When I work the dog into the general area, I release the bird while the dog is 30 to 40 yards away. When the dog starts to chase, I stop him with the check-cord, stand him up and pet the dog for standing, never giving the “whoa” command. I want the bird to be the cue for the dog to stop (I think “whoa” is the most abused word in dog training. Go to a field trial and you will think half the dogs at the trial are named “Whoa”).

Later in the stop to flush training, when I see that the dog is starting to understand, I will use the e-collar in the momentary mode at the same time that I stop the dog with the check-cord. If yard training has been properly taught with the e-collar, this comes together very fast. The dog will understand it and will not be intimidated in any way.