By Mike Shafer, PetSafe Village Trainer
Using a remote trainer can be intimidating. Many people feel uncomfortable because they are unsure of exactly what to do, but with a little practice and guidance, anyone can learn to use a remote training collar correctly and efficiently. When I first started, it even took me a few days to get comfortable but now it is practically second nature! Some people believe remote trainers are used only to correct bad behaviors such as digging in the trash or chewing, but there are actually several good behaviors you can teach and encourage with a remote trainer. The systems can really enhance your relationship with your pet.
1. “Sit”: This easy behavior can be taught very quickly, and you can add an implied “stay” so you do not have to teach a separate command. Simply, tell your dog to sit while pushing the button. Remember, the static level should be on a setting that gets your dog’s attention but does not scare them. With a treat in your other hand, move towards your dog and hold it just above his nose. As his nose rises, his tail drops. When his seat hits the ground, stop pushing the button. Repeat a few times with a treat, and then remove the reward so he only listens to the communication from the remote. See? Now your pet can sit.
2. “Bed”: This is a great thing to teach, because it gives your dog a specific place to go and stay. It comes in really handy when you have guests coming into your home or the pizza delivery guy is at the door. While pushing the button, with your dog on a leash, lead him to his bed and say “bed” or whatever command you would like (others include place, home, etc.). When he is on the designated spot, stop administering the stimulation. Back away from the spot and watch your pet’s reaction. If he steps away from the bed, move back towards him while again pushing the button, and repeat the command until he returns. Soon he will understand where you want him during that command.
3. Voiceless “come”: Have you ever been in a dog park or open field with your four legged friend running around have a ball, but when it was time to call him back you find yourself yelling to no avail? Using the vibration or beep function on a remote trainer gives you the ability to teach your dog to come back to you without having to say a word. This is something that all of my clients love! You can easily teach this after you have taught the sit command. Simply ask your dog to sit and, while he is on a leash, back away from him. When you are a few feet away, call him to you while pushing the vibration or tone button. When he gets to you, stop the noise or stimulation and repeat. He will quickly understand that noise or sensation means to join you wherever you are.
4. Off leash “heel”: One of the most common problems I encounter is a dog, who has no leash manners. Instead of being drug around or even pulled to the ground, your can use a remote collar to stop pulling altogether. While, you have a dog on a leash, push the static button and pull him to your side to walk where you want him. Instruct him to “heel,” and – as he does as you ask – remove the stimulation. If he begins to pull again, return to the stimulation to encourage him to behave. Your dog will quickly understand what you are asking of him.
With these commands you can have a well behaved dog, and all of them can be taught in a few weeks. Remember to be patient and relaxed during your training seasons. Treat your pet often and of course give them lots of love to keep it fun for them. In no time, you will see the improvement in your pet’s behavior and the relationship you share.
Mike Shafer is the trainer for the PetSafe Village, where he works with multiple dogs every week and teaches them to be on their best behavior using PetSafe Remote Trainers and other products. He also writes a weekly blog called Training Tuesdays.