Core Principles / Prep Work
Commitment vs. Completion
Why prioritizing 'commitment' in early learning is critical to the dog's success.
1 min 15 seconds
When we use pressure in our training, it is important to recognize that the moment we release the pressure, we are essentially telling our dogs that they’ve made the right decision. By focusing on our dogs commitment to an action, rather than their completion of an action, we can influence their decisions and choices far more accurately.
Here is an example of what I mean:
If I ask someone to hand me an object from across the room, they generally make the decision to do so when they start towards the object, not when they place the object in my hand.
By using this principle in our training we maximize the opportunities to reward our dogs for making good choices, and we will see the dog commit to the correct behavior with greater frequency.
Operant Conditioning: a focus on negative reinforcement
and positive punishment.
When using the electronic collar, we are using either Negative Reinforcement or Positive Punishment. If you’re not familiar with these terms, they will be defined in the glossary section of this course, and I highly suggest that you familiarize yourself with the concepts. This course is not designed to go into great detail about the overall concepts of Operant Conditioning, but understanding how this part of learning works is very important to overall success.
Directional vs. Non-Directional Pressure: why the leash creates clarity
1 min 21 sec
Teaching our dogs how to respond correctly to the electronic collar, is obviously of the utmost importance. That being said, one of the ways that we can maximize our dogs success is to make sure we can physically guide them into the correct response if we need to. The stimulation from the electronic collar does not tell the dg what direction to go in. This is where the leash comes into play. By using the leash in conjunction with the electronic collar, we give our dogs a “directional” understanding of what response we are looking for. This will help us with any dog that is confused, or is perhaps being a bit stubborn.
Continuous VS Momentary Distinction & Considerations for Both
2 min 21 sec
Timing is important in dog training no matter what we are using. The electronic collar is no exception. Throughout this course, I will be using the continuous function on the electronic collars I am using. The reason we are going to use the continuous function vs the momentary function, is to get the best timing for our dogs to understand what we are trying to teach them. The dog will learn that the choice that leads to the removal of the pressure is the correct action. If we were using the momentary function, this would involve us tapping the button repeatedly. Some collars allow this momentary tapping to happen faster than others, but it still doesn’t give our dogs the best understanding of exactly when the pressure was removed.
Let's Talk About "Pressure"
1 min 10 sec
I define pressure as anything that can be applied to and removed from a dog in order to influence their choices and behaviors. This could be a leash pulling on a training collar, it could be an electronic collar sending stimulation to a dog, or it could be my physical proximity to a dog when we are using “Spatial Pressure.”
All of these things have their place in training. But keep in mind, that when I refer to pressure, I am not talking about the type of physical pressure that can force a dog to comply. I am talking about the type of guiding and teaching pressure that the dog learns to control through their behavior.