Training Around Distractions
Dear Adam: I have eventually received your book and cassettes. The post office apologized for the delay caused by a petrol shortage over here. Your book was worth waiting for and I hope to action some of your advice. [Editor's note: Those British sure do talk funny, eh?] [To read about the book and tapes he's talking about, take a look at: http://www.dogproblems.com/secretsbook.htm] I would like to ask a very simple question: My working red setter is 18 months old and is generally regarded as being well-trained EXCEPT in two main areas:
1.) He will not obey at training classes when there are a large number of dogs and bitches which may prevent use in the obedience shows.
2.) His second fault. or should I say mine. is that I cannot train him to quarter when looking for game. I am generally training on the Moors alone. I have all the training aids you mention in your book. Thanks again, George Dear George: Regarding your first question. all I can really recommend is that you re-read the book and pay special attention to the issues of timing, consistency and motivation. As I DO go into very specific detail in the book about how to train around distractions, I can only infer that I'm missing the details regarding what specific you're not understanding. In general, you must remember that: AS THE DISTRACTION BECOMES MORE MOTIVATIONAL, YOUR CORRECTIONS MUST BECOME MORE MOTIVATIONAL, TOO. But before you can do this, you must make 100% sure that your dog understands your command-in a variety of different locations, and WITHOUT the distraction of other dogs. It's only after you've achieved this level of understanding that it's really fair to correct a dog of disobedience. As for your second question: I'm a behaviorist and street-oriented obedience trainer. Hunt dog training is one of the areas that I have no experience. By quartering, I suppose you're talking about having the dog run back and forth over an area of ground, while slowly advancing. (At least that's what Webster's dictionary suggested.) If I knew the intent and application in which you were trying to get the dog to work, I could most likely devise a training program to teach your dog this behavior. That's all for now, folks! Adam
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