Tag Archives: obedience training

Three Phases of Dog Training

Phase 1: The teaching and control phase –

During phase one, the goal is to achieve control over your dog, teach them the rules, boundaries and desired behaviors you want.  It’s also the time to teach the dog to pay attention and perform these commands around distractions.  This phase lasts between 6-12 weeks on average, however in certain situations it may take longer to gain the reliability needed before moving on to phase two.  Once your dog is capable of performing commands quickly and reliably around a variety of distractions with minimal problem solving required, then your dog and you are ready to move on to phase number two.

Phase 2: The reinforcement phase –

During phase number two, the goal is to begin phasing out your training aid (remote training collar).  In phase number one, we use the dog training collar on a regular basis to regain attention and maintain our rules.  Now, in phase two, we begin to reduce our dependence on the dog training collar and introduce consistency via variable reinforcement.  You may or may not need your dog training collar, but we want to teach the dog that you are still in control even if the perception of the dog is that you are not.  This phase will last between 6-12 weeks on average.  It’s also not uncommon as dogs mature and age to have to revert back into phase one training again for several days depending on how your dog’s performance and behavior is.  When your dog is capable of performing commands without the need for reinforcement for approximately 6 weeks, then your dog is very likely to be reliable without their training aid present.  We are ultimately looking to have your dog learn how to filter out distractions entirely.  When this is achieved, your dog is much less likely to act out in an unwanted manner because of distractions.

Phase 3: The maintenance phase –

The third and final phase of training a dog is the maintenance phase, and is ongoing for the life of the dog.  During this phase, you will likely be using your training collar or other dog training aid very little as your dog is capable of ignoring distraction.  The catch however is that they are still capable of distraction, they are not robots!  A smart trainer recognizes this and is ready to maintain their rules, commands and boundaries at anytime.  It is not uncommon to have a dog who senses the lack of maintenance and begins to revert back in their behavior.  The benefit of having done your dog training properly to begin with is that regression is easily minimized and dealt with by simply jumping back into training for a short time to remind the dog of the expectations.


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Remote Collar Training

Remote Collar Training

The modern remote training collar is a fantastic tool for dog training!  In skilled hands, it can open up a whole new world of understanding to the average dog.  We spend time teaching the dog the “language” of the collar, so when the verbal commands are combined with the collar “tap”, it creates an immediate and more lasting impression in the dog’s mind.  Much the same way we would convey a point to our children with a tap on the shoulder to gain their attention.  With the remote collar, we are able to put emphasis on the most important words we are communicating to our dogs.
Remote collar training is, by far, the most humane and effective method in use today.  Combined with the natural food drive, ball or toy drive of the dog creates a winning combination for immediate success.  People are sometimes uncomfortable with the idea of the remote electronic collar.  When they can actually feel the level, in their own hands that I use every day during training, they are immediately put at ease, every time!

“Will my dog have to wear his remote collar forever?”

This mostly depends on you as the dogs’s owner and trainer.  We will teach you and your dog the required skills and training techniques.  A strong commitment from you to practice between each lesson session is required for success.   I typically always have the collar on my dog when I’m out in public because she is usually off leash.  The collar becomes a wireless leash.  My dog has her freedom, but I am able to reach out and touch her at any time and at any distance.  Lets face it…Dogs will be dogs!  Even though we do have off leash reliability around home, we don’t have control over our environment – squirrels, rabbits, cats, other dogs or cars.  We all love our dogs and want to keep them safe and secure.


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