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Place collar on your dog 1 hour or more before training session and remove 1 hour after each training session.
Collars should be removed at night to prevent neck sores.
A session consists of 10-20 minutes of training followed by 10-20 minutes of play in the yard, 2 or more times daily.
Objective: Teach your pet to turn the gentle stimulation on and off.
Goal: This step allows your pet to make and learn from mistakes using gentle pressure.
Collar: Setting should be between 1-3, increased incrementally.
Leash: 6’-20’ Leash on dog, held by handler. Handler allows dog to go no more than 2-3 feet into avoidance zone.
NOTE: Do not allow longer corrections. Your pet’s responses may vary from very startled to unaware. The more mistakes your pet makes and can learn from at these lower levels, the less firm corrections will be needed later.
Helpful Hints: Examples of mild temptations include family members standing 10 feet or further outside of the yard or outstanding taste value treats thrown 3-6 feet beyond the flags.
Remember: Return the dog to the safe zone using the leash within 2-3 seconds and emphasize treats and or play.
When to Move On
Progress to step 2 when your pet shows some avoidance to the flags and shows comfort 5-6 feet from the flags.
Average collar setting: 3-6, increased incrementally.
6’-20’ Leash on dog, held by handler.
Since the collar setting is higher, handler should use leash to bring pet back to safe zone quickly, 1-2 seconds maximum.
Use increased temptations, as your pet should now avoid the flags for mild distractions. Along with increased collar settings, handler should increase treats and play time. Training Guidelines4
Temptations may include a family member walking quickly and playfully about 10’ outside the flag line, with dog and handler walking along flag line about 20’ behind family member. Pet may make multiple attempts to cross the flag line. Handler should keep mistakes brief and follow with cheer and treats. Alternatively, in the event handler is working alone, toys thrown past the line can serve as temptations. Also watch for passing neighbors, note bus stop schedules and look for neighbor activity that could serve as real world temptations.
Repeat this step to strengthen flag line avoidance even with moderate real world temptations. Progress to step 3 when your pet avoids the flags for moderate temptations and shows comfort 5-6 feet from the flags.
Average collar setting: 6-9, increased incrementally. (Concentrate now on areas your pet would most likely escape from.)
6’-20’ Leash on dog, held by handler to prevent longer duration corrections at these higher levels.
After 1-2 corrections have been felt and pet is avoiding for all available temptations, allow 20’ leash to drag on ground as dog is supervised and temptations continue.
Real world temptations should include family members walking away from the property, dogs outside the yard, bicycles, children, balls thrown past flags, etc. Even watch for deer, rabbits, squirrels etc. if they excite your pet and use them for temptations.
This step will teach your pet to avoid the yard edge even for highly tempting real world distractions. When your pet rejects each real world temptation 3-4 times consecutively, they are ready for step 4, supervised off leash play time.
Your pet should be outside 30-60 minutes per day if possible.
Goal: Your pet should avoid flags despite major distractions, but remain comfortable 3-6 feet into the safe zone for at least 60 days.
You are ready to allow your pet free run of the yard when your pet has not felt any corrections for at least 2-4 weeks.
Flag removal: Between 30-60 days, remove every other flag. Then every few days remove a few more until they are gone. (Increase supervision during flag removal stage.)