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A conversation on using the E-collar to push for
My wife (Connie Cleveland-Nolan) and I are working on an updated e-collar course. I will be posting about our program and progress here. The following is paraphrased from the obedience manual I offer for sale on Amazon.
If you have questions or comments about using the e-collar leave a comment below. I’d like to hear from you.
Every dog perceives the stimulation from the e-collar slightly differently. To use the e-collar to push for desired behavior you will first you need to find a good starting point for the intensity setting.
As training progresses and your dog’s drive state and the distraction level of the environment changes you will need to work up and down on the intensity setting dial to get and keep your dog focused on training.
The ideal setting is high enough that your dog notices the e-collar but is not so high that it upsets him.
|Objective 1 — Find the right initial e-collar setting for your dog|
Bring your dog from confinement to your training area. She should be wearing her e-collar and another collar, either a flat buckle or slip-type collar. Attach a 15-foot line to this collar and not the e-collar. Allow your dog to relax and explore her surroundings.
With the e-collar on your lowest intensity setting, push the “Nick” button to “tap” your dog. You may see no reaction. Now continue to “tap” at random, increasing the intensity setting each time. Watch carefully, as the first signs that your dog notices the e-collar are usually subtle. When they first feel the e-collar some dogs stop and look up; others may turn to look over their shoulder or shake their head; some sit and scratch at the collar.
When you see that your dog has noticed the tap, stop increasing the intensity setting. After a short pause, repeat a few taps at this setting to make sure that your dog did, in fact, notice the e-collar. If he did, this will be the introductory or teaching setting for your dog. (Occasionally, once the dog realizes that he feels something from the e-collar you can reduce the setting; do not reduce below the level that your dog responds to.)
The most effective intensity setting for teaching with the e-collar is one that is just high enough that your dog notices the e-collar, but not so high that he shows any panic or distress. If panicked by the e-collar stimulation, reduce the setting; if he shows no reaction, increase the setting.
This video is 10 or 11 years old. Connie and I are shooting new video now for an online e-collar course. I will be sharing new video clips as we go.
In detection training as in many projects in life, it is important
I want a detection dog that is self-motivated and is operating independently under direction.
I want to be able to direct the dog to a distant objective to search.
With these two goals in mind, I want to develop handling skills and detection skills at the same time.
Directionals and detection are taught separately and then combined. When the dog knows a basic
This video shows a dog learning a new odor working off leash on a carousel I built to hold 8 Ray Allen scent boxes. If I remember correctly each box is 30 inches from the center of the carousel and all boxes are 24 inches apart.
I often start with a remote feeder. When the dog goes to the feeder it gives you time to rotate the wheel. Here I am delivering the reward by hand. We start eh session on food reward and end up with tug reward.
With the carousel, the dog works independently from the first day of
I had a great time meeting and training with everyone this weekend in Marion, NY. Special thanks to Debra Zappia of ProFormance K9 for hosting the event and Tim Vaillancourt for all his help.
This video shows the construction of the scent tube carousel. This water heater pan measures 26 inches inside
A trained detection canine must be discriminate and selective. She must identify
There are many ways to accomplish these goals. One method I like uses scent tubes, a carousel, and a Mannersminder. The scent tubes contain controls, distractions, and one target odor. When the pup/dog alerts you “Mark” the behavior and start the feeder. When the Mannersminder pulls the dog away from the carousel you can rotate the carousel moving the target to a new position.
We just held a seminar on nose work at our kennel in Fountain Inn.
We had a good turn out and a good time, I will post some pictures and videos clips.
We had quite a few questions on how to build the scent tubes.
I created the scent tubes in the plumbing aisle of our local Lowe’s home improvement store over 10 years ago. I have made five short videos to show you how I build them.
I needed something that could hold target materials, distractions, and controls that was sturdy enough to protect the dogs from the materials, and that would protect the materials from reward/food bits and dog slobber.
I wanted something that was easily clean. Easy to make, didn’t require a lot of machine work.
I wanted something small enough for training the puppies. It turns out it is large enough for working big dogs too.
There are several shops selling different versions online now so if you don’t want to make your own you can buy them.
But, if you have any interest in building your own watch these short videos. At a minimum, you will need a Drill, a small bit for vent holes and a hole saw. I build mine without a drill press and without a vise.
You can download a parts and tools list by clicking here.
Building Play Retrieve Drive
Whether you are raising a pup for hunting or competition, or you simply want to play Frisbee with the family dog, the play retrieve provides a fun outlet for exercise, is useful for rewarding the dog in training, and lays a foundation for advanced training.
Almost all dogs have some natural interest in retrieving. Your job is to bring that out and develop it to a high degree. Daily play retrieving sessions can begin as soon as you bring your pup home from the litter at around eight weeks.
Just remember that your puppy’s attention span is very short, so end each session while your pup wants more — don’t keep going until she gets tired of the game. These methods work with grown dogs, too.
Typically, pups will show one of three different responses when introduced to retrieving. Some pups will chase a thrown or rolled object but not pick it up; some will chase it, pick it up, and run away with it; and a very few will chase it, pick it up, and return it to you. Most of the well-bred retrievers I have started as pups would chase and pick up; very few would actually return something to me at first. These actions make up the components of a retrieve.
Your puppy’s initial response shows you what you need to work on, and in what order, to develop a full retrieve in the pup. First, you need to stimulate the desire to chase. Once your pup will chase, you need to find an object your pup wants to possess or carry. And finally, you need to teach your pup to bring the object back to you. We will work on each segment individually and try to keep them in balance.
Stimulate the chase or prey drive in your pup
Restrain your pup and tease her with a rolled sock or tennis ball and when she is trying hard to grab it, roll it out about two feet in front of her and let her go. If the pup runs to chase it, great; repeat several times. Sometimes an odd-shaped toy that bounces unpredictably will excite a pup. Alternately, allow the pup to run loose as you drag a sock or ball on a string in front of her to tease her and when she is excited, toss or roll the object low and out in front her. Remember, your pup’s vision is not fully developed at eight weeks so if you toss too high or too far your pup will lose sight of the object. Your teasing and a little tug a war should stimulate the pup’s prey drive and encourage your pup to chase what you throw.
Now that your pup’s chasing, find something he wants to pick up
If your pup will chase but doesn’t pick up what you are throwing, throw something else. You may have to try several different objects until you find one your pup likes to pick up and carry. If your pup is not interested in your new store-bought puppy bumpers, try squeaky toys, knotted socks, or Kong toys. Some pups like empty plastic soda bottles with some of the air squeezed out and the lid put back on. If you cannot find a toy the pup likes, let the pup pick something out. Just watch your pup and see what he is getting into around the house. I have started a couple of pups retrieving my old shoes. Once they get into the game you can switch them to objects you want him to retrieve.
When he will chase and pick up, teach your pup to return to you
With all pups, work on teaching your pup to come to you when called in sessions separate from the retrieving sessions. Food treats work well with most pups for teaching a quick recall. Sometimes if you place the pup on the ground in a new area and run away calling to him, the pup will come to you. In addition to using treats to get your pup to return to you, watch where he goes when he runs off with his thrown toy. Many pups will try to run to a safe spot with their toy when they pick it up. Some will return to their bed or doggie mat. Work with that. Sit on the floor near the dog bed and throw his first retrieves. When he returns to the bed you can praise and reward him with a treat for the good retrieve. Now, this is important: do not grab and take the toy from your pup as soon as he returns. If you do this, he is not going to want to return to you. Instead, when the pup returns, get a hold of him and praise or treat him, but let him keep the toy. When he gives it up you can throw it again. You can also work with two toys. Once your pup returns and he has had a chance to enjoy your praise for that retrieve, tease him with the second; when he drops the first toy you can throw the next.
When should you teach your pup to wait for a command to retrieve?
If you find you have a physically tough pup with very high retrieving drive, begin to teach your pup to wait for your cue to go as soon as he is retrieving and really into the game. Hold the pup in a sit until he stops struggling before you cue and release him to retrieve. He will learn that sitting calmly brings the opportunity to retrieve, thrashing wildly doesn’t. A more sensitive pup with soft or medium retrieve drive doesn’t need early practice waiting to be sent. Let this pup go for the retrieve as soon as you throw as it helps build his drive.
What about birds and the hunting pup?
Birdyness and retrieving desire are two different things. If you are raising a retriever for hunting you need to develop both. Make sure you introduce your dog to birds right away, preferably before he is 12 weeks old. Once he shows interest in the birds, throw some bird marks for him from time to time as he grows up as long as he is not too rough with them. If he gets too rough, put the birds away until after force fetch. With a little effort and a few minutes of play each day you can teach your pup to retrieve. A solid play retrieve offers a fun way to get good exercise and helps build a close working relationship with your pup. You and your pup will reap the benefits throughout his whole life.
This is an old video but shows a puppy that was started in my program.
The puppy is ignoring distractions in the room and on the training rack, working to the source, and staying on odor. Not a polished final but a good start.
Pat Nolan will be conducting a 1-day training seminar on Scent Work at Dog Trainers Workshop, 207 Greenpond Road-Fountain Inn, SC 29644.
When: Saturday, February 9, 8:30am-4:30pm
We will cover;
1. What it means to “imprint odor.”
2. Why you do it.
3. How to do it.
4. Increasing your dog’s search intensity.
5. Increasing the length and difficulty of the search.
6. Introducing a final response (how the dog indicates that he has located odor)
7. Building duration on the final response- meaning the dog does not leave odor but remains in the odor source until rewarded.
Limited to 20 working spots ($120) |
Auditors welcome ($40)
Call Tracy at (864) 862-8626 (M-F) to register or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
May 20, 2019 @ 8:00 am – May 24, 2019 @ 5:00 pm
Law Enforcement only
April 1, 2019 @ 8:00 am – April 5, 2019 @ 5:00 pm
$1032 Working Spots / $516 Audit Spots
March 25, 2019 @ 8:00 am – March 27, 2019 @ 5:00 pm
for police and military only