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The 1st Action - Come to the Handler  at Cabela's

The 1st Action - Come to the Handler

Author: Tri-Tronics

The best place for this first lesson is a large field without too many distractions (no other loose dogs, for instance). It should be fenced for your dog's safety.

introducing new training areas

Lesson One - Make a U-turn Goal: The dog learns that making a U-turn towards the trainer causes the stimulation to "turn off."

The best place for this first lesson is a large field without too many distractions (no other loose dogs, for instance). It should be fenced for your dog's safety. If you don't have access to such a field, keep your dog on a long rope at first to keep the dog from leaving the training area.

Go for a walk with the dog, allowing the dog to move off freely. Wait until the dog is distracted by smelling something. Then turn and walk away from the dog. If he looks up and follows you, that's fine. If he doesn't, press the button on your transmitter and give him the command to come. If you use a different command to let the dog know just to come around or bend (as you might use for a hunting dog), use that command. As soon as the dog turns toward you, release the button. Keep walking along. Don't say anything else to the dog.

Let the dog overtake you, then you follow him for awhile. Following the dog for awhile will keep him relaxed and moving freely. Then watch for another moment when the dog is distracted by a smell, and repeat the procedure.

Keep repeating the procedure until you see the dog start paying attention to where you're going so that he won't miss seeing you turn. He should automatically adjust and turn whenever you change direction, without your needing to call him or to press the button. Now he's ready for Lesson Two.

Make a U-Turn

Let the dog move off freely. When he is distracted, turn and walk away. If he doesn't turn to follow on his own, press the button as you call him. Release the button the moment he starts his U-turn toward you. Keep walking and let him range ahead of you again.

Lesson Two - Come All the Way Goal: The dog learns that once he is called to Come, he needs to come all the way to his trainer or the stimulation will "turn on."

The best place for this lesson is a smaller area, not the large field where you worked on Lesson One.

When the dog is at least 20 feet from you, call him. Stand still while the dog comes toward you. Standing still instead of walking lets the dog know to come all the way to you instead of just making a U-turn towards you.

If the dog runs past you or gets distracted and doesn't come all the way to you, repeat the command to come as you press the button. Release the button when the dog starts to come.

Praise the dog when he gets to you.
Come all the way

Call the dog. If he doesn't come all the way, repeat the command as you press the button. Stand still to let him know he is to come all the way to you.

Lesson Three - Walk With You Goal: The dog learns to heel off a leash.

The best place for this lesson is the same training area you used for Lesson Two.

Give the dog several repetitions of the procedure in Lesson Two until you see that the dog tends to stay with you. Then call him and, just as he arrives, start to walk away from him. Give him the command to heel as he comes up beside you. Keep walking.

Picture a circle eight feet across, with you in the center of it. Any time the dog is outside this circle, press the button as you repeat your command to heel, and turn 180 degrees away from the dog. Release the button only when the dog is back inside the imaginary circle.

Praise him whenever he re-enters the imaginary circle to show him that this is where he should be.

After the second practice session on Lesson Two, you can start requiring the dog to stay on one side of you when he heels (most people like the dog on their left when heeling). To do this, just correct the dog by waving the antenna of your transmitter level with his face whenever he is on the wrong side. Give him lots of praise when he's on the correct side. He'll decide that's where he wants to be.
Walk with you.

Call the dog and tell him to heel. Then, every time he leaves an imaginary circle around you that is eight feet across, press the button as you turn 180 degrees away. Release the button when he re-enters the circle.

Lesson Four - Introduce New Training Areas Goal: The dog learns to respond reliably in any situation.

Find as many new areas as you can to practice Lessons One, Two and Three. Practice each lesson every time you train.

In new training areas, you may find the dog is so interested in new things that he ignores your first command. If this happens, increase the intensity by one level when you give your second command. If he still ignores your command, increase the intensity by one level again.

Practice the lessons with stronger and stronger distractions. Praise the dog enthusiastically when you see him make the effort to resist a really strong distraction. To make the dog reliable, try to find very tempting distractions.
New Training Areas

When the dog has learned Lessons One, Two, and Three in familiar training areas, practice them in many new areas. Take advantage of strong distractions to make the dog reliable about coming. When the dog is very distracted, you may need to increase the intensity level.

Some dogs can progress through all of these lessons in a few sessions. Very sensitive or unruly dogs need several sessions on just a single lesson before moving on. You must "read" your dog and determine how quickly he can progress.

Spend about five sessions on the First Action, repeating the lessons and making sure your dog has a good understanding of each lesson. As soon as you see your dog moving more quickly than "normal" to comply with your command, that is your signal to phase out using stimulation the first time you give the command. Only use it if you need to repeat a command.

These time estimates are just that, of course - estimates. Your dog's own rate of progress determines how many sessions he really needs. He might need more than five sessions to finish learning the First Action.

It is important to practice in different locations! Dogs are very place-oriented. If you only work in one training area, your dog will not learn that he must obey your commands in every location. He will think that obedience is something he only has to do in his familiar training area. Make sure that sessions occur in various locations.

Continue To Action 2.

Continue To Action 3.

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