Step 3: Distraction Training – Part #1

What’s the goal: your dog is will be faced with different distractions on a daily basis which will get him excited and likely challenge his ability to “remember” all previous training. Distraction training is aimed at fixing such issues. Before you continue, make sure you read Step #1: Boundary Training and Step #2: Static Correction Training.

Very Important! never call your dog or use commands to force it out of the Play Zone.

How Long Should This Training Phase Last?

Generally speaking there is no time limit on this one. While there is a very predictable time frame for the completion of the former two training phases, this one will take as long as it takes, and will depend on a few different factors:

  • The temperament of your dog
  • How well your dog’s training has gone so far
  • The type of distractions your dog will be facing

You should however expect this phase to last a few weeks. Please remember never to have your dog receive a static correction more than once every few hours. Also, keep in mind that by this point your dog will be fully capable of respecting the wireless collar receiver static correction, and as long as there are no serious distractions presenting themselves, the dog will stick to his contained play zone.

Preparation For The Training

All the things that applied to previous training phases will apply to Distraction Training as well:

  1. Make sure the collar is fit properly – not too tight, but snug. As long as you can fit a finger between the probes and your dog’s skin, you’re fine.
  2. Make sure the static correction level is set appropriately, based on what you determined is appropriate during the previous phases of training your dog.
  3. Only train one dog at a time to avoid unnecessary distractions.
  4. Make sure not to over stress your dog. with too much training.
  5. Always praise your dog when he performs as he should.
  6. Keep it light and fun; play with your dog for a few minutes right after and right before each of your dog’s distraction training sessions. This will help keep your dog relaxed and make it easier for him to learn all the new things being taught.

Step By Step: Distraction Training

First you need to determine the type of distractions you would like to train your dog to resist. There are no hard rules here, and it depends entirely on the distractions your dog is most likely to face near your house. We will provide a few very specific examples further below, however before we do that we want to lay out the general blueprint for how to carry out the distraction training phase:

Step one: with the wireless fence collar worn by your dog, and a second collar with a long leash worn as well, simulate an environment very similar to the one where the distraction would have arisen in natural circumstances. You should try to get your dog as excited as possible to test his boundaries as much as possible.

Step two: if your dog follows the distraction and stops before crossing the training flags, give the dog a treat and some well-deserved praise.

Step three: if your dog follows the distraction and does cross the training flags, wait up to 3 seconds to see whether the dog will come back on its own. If it does not, pull the dog back into the Safe Zone with the leash, praise it and give a treat.

Please continue to Part #2 of distraction training to learn about the most common distractions your dog might face, and how to train your dog to resist them.

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