“Training With Mitch” Using the E-Collar with Platform Training

June 19, 2010

Welcome to “Training With Mitch.”  Below you will read the next lesson in our series on platform training.  If you have any questions at all, please feel free to contact Mitch or myself.

As always, when using an e-collar you must use it carefully.  If you do not know how to use one, please contact one of us or someone who you may know before you use your e-collar.  If e-collars are not used properly and/or are used in an abusive manner, they can ruin and harm any dog mentally and physically.

Please never use your e-collar if you are becoming discouraged with your retriever and your training lesson.  Your lesson should be fun for both you and your retriever.  If at any time it is no longer fun, please walk away from your training lesson until a later time.

E-Collar Sessions to Platform

Now comes the pressure/release part of the training.

Set your E-Collar to the lowest setting that your dog will feel but without a visible or audible response.  Mitch prefers a collar with incremental settings so he can start very low and move up the threshold with small increments.  The dog should appear that no stimulation has been given on your 1st trip to the Platform.  Always check the e-collar for adjustments as the collars can loosen as the dog moves.  Readjust until contact points are firmly against the side of the neck.  Do NOT put the contact points in the throat latch.  The photo below of our model Angel shows the proper way to put the e-collar on your retriever.

Shadowhill's The Hunter's Little Angel

Shadowhill's The Hunter's Little Angel

Go to your same starting point.  Command heel on lead to get you and your dog moving to the platform.  Now you command “Kennel” while holding down the continuous stimulation button.  As soon as the dog’s front feet touch the platform RELEASE the button so that the dog feels pressure enroute to the platform and feels relief as soon as his front feet touch the platform.  It is IMPORTANT that you DO NOT use collar pressure while your dog is on the platform.  The platform is his “safe place” and it represents relief.  Timing is everything to the dog’s learning.  Watch your dog for signs of pressure such as a head twitch.  This is where the dog’s head moves toward the area of the collar contact points.

Webfoot Kennel, Mitch Hainsfurther

Webfoot Kennel, Mitch Hainsfurther

Command the dog to heel on lead away from the platform and back to your starting point.  Check dog’s e-collar for correct tightness and now increase intensity level to the next level.  Repeat the previous step by heeling toward platform on lead and command “KENNEL” while holding down the constant button.  Release as soon as your dog’s front feet get to the edge of the platform.  Release the pressure and command “SIT” as soon as he is on the platform.  The dog has the lead on so that you can help him get on the platform and release the pressure.

Webfoot Kennel, Mitch Hainsfurther

Webfoot Kennel, Mitch Hainsfurther

Repeat the previous lesson while giving a “Free” no collar stimulation on every 3rd time.  The collar pressure needs to increase each time to the point of seeing a reaction from the dog, the head twitch.  If collar pressure causes a vocal response, STOP and reduce the pressure.  As you have continued up the ladder with increasing pressure and have found the level that you see a visible reaction.  Now, start back down the ladder by decreasing the level of stimulation each time and continue giving free ones with no collar stimulation every 3rd time.  End the session on low or no collar stimulation.

Repeat the session 2 more times over the next few days.  Each session should work up the ladder with pressure and with free ones every 3rd time and down the ladder with lower intensity stimulation.

Below is a photo that shows you the end results of platform training.  You can use your platform training in a boat, in a duck blind, in a holding blind, a crate and in your vehicle.

Webfoot Kennel, Mitch Hainsfurther

Webfoot Kennel, Mitch Hainsfurther

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.  You may contact me at Total Retriever Photography & Supply Store or Mitch at his website Webfoot Kennel, Carlinville, IL Both Mitch and myself are able to reply to any posts here on this blog.

Have a great weekend and Mitch and I hope to see you at the line!

Wendy Porch
Total Retriever Photography & Supply Store
Shadowhill Retrievers

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