In all forms of dog training, corrections need to be made. In that, there are three main types, or ‘levels’ of correction in my system.
One: Voice correction.
Voice correction means i’m just using a word, a noise, or a tone, nothing more than my voice, to make the correction. There’s a wide range available here, from a gentle, ‘hey’, to a loud, sharp, “NO!”, or anywhere in between. This level is the gentlest, and it is my goal to get my dogs to this level ASAP.
Two: The Touch.
The Touch is the first of two levels that are physical, and is also a range. The Touch can be a quick, light touch, like a poke (or when you boop the schnooop), or on the other end of the scale, it’s a sharp smack or slap. No, be mindful that this needs to be used in a corrective manner, not an abusive one, which means it’s just ONE touch, not repeated.
I use this as level 2 for behavior, again anywhere on the scale where appropriate, but after i’ve used my Voice correction.
Three: Let’s get rowdy
Let’s get Rowdy is the highest level, and it’s what I use to get dogs to cooperate. Now again, it’s important to note that this needs to be used in a corrective way, not an abusive way, so you’re not ‘beating the dog up’, you’re simply controlling the dog, physically, until you get the dog to cooperate with you. When using this level, i’ve exhausted the other two levels, and I need the dog to cooperate for whatever reason.
So let’s put this all into perspective. First, I only use the level that’s needed for the issue at hand. If my voice is all that’s needed, if my, ‘no sir’, gets the dog to stop that behavior, then i’m all done, and i’ll give a praise and pet so they understand that listening and cooperating is good, is nice, and they’ll want more of that.
Second, I do make every effort to go through the levels, but I will go through them very quickly if needed; if the dog is simply not listening to me voice recall them in my fenced in backyard with no dangers around, we’ve got time, and things are very slow.
If the dog is barreling down the street towards some small kids after digging under the fence, then i’m moving very quickly (think, ‘greased lightning’, it’s why I eat a lot of bacon).
In this example, i’ve got a dog not listening to my recall, running away from me, which means i’ve use level 1, so i’m working on level 2. I if I can get close enough to the dog for a Touch, i’ll use an appropriate touch to get their cooperation. If that doesn’t work, i’ll go to level 3, which means i’m grabbing the dog, and then physically controlling their body while they’re trying to get away. Again, not abusive/mean/violent, but part of dog training means you may have to physically overpower and control the dog at some point.
So, three levels of corrections. Used correctly inside your training system, you’ll have your dogs down level 1 at no time, and be able to maintain that. Voice controlled dogs are the best! 😀