Will your dog listen without any training aids?

Will my dog listen even if he’s not wearing his collar?

This question is asked to us at Sit Means Sit dog training quite often. In fact, it is asked often enough that we usually do our demonstration for the people both with, and without the Sit Means Sit dog collar on.

Over the years, Sit Means Sit dog training has attracted a number of competitive dog handlers, police dog trainers, and people in the field of Search and Rescue a long with handlers of other dog related activities because of the reliability in dog training that the Sit Means Sit dog training system brings. Sit Means Sit dog training does not in any way recruit competitive dog people, nor is it a requirement in any way for people to compete. However, any one looking for an edge in dog training, whether it be competitive, or to make their pet dog more reliable, and trained in a faster, more efficient manner, these people will inevitably come across the Sit Means Sit dog training system. A lot of dog training systems that are out there, do not attract competitive people at the highest levels, and do not also have successful pet dog business trainers as well, basically because their systems may be limiting in the type of dog, or the training that they do. Sit Means Sit dog training rises to whatever the occasion might be. In many dog trials and tests for dog performances, the handlers are not allowed to use any sort of training aid during the testing of the dog. This is a great policy, and most certainly is a factor in how reliably a dog will listen and perform. It also makes the selection of the right type of dog a big factor in these tests and trials, which will only further dog breeding and dog temperaments. The cream will always rise.

Dog Training Aids

Many things are used as dog training aids to assist a dog in learning a specific, or many specific types of behaviors. There are common aids such as toys or food, which can assist in the learning, or also referred to as motivators. There are also other sorts of aids such as using a hand placement on the back side to aid or assist a dog into a sit position. Groomers use tables, as do many dog trainers, to aid or assist in keeping the dog stable when grooming. Many dog trainers use a stake tie out, to aid and assist the dog in learning to stay put when teaching a stationary command. We are all familiar with choke chains, prong collars, halti’s and other aids or devices to help in the learning process of many commands. Agility competitors use wires as aids in teaching a dog to go through weave poles. In it’s simplest form, all dog trainers use leashes to aid a dog in learning to a certain degree. A leash is an aid, and for the most part a restrictive device, and is put on a dog to prohibit him from being out of control for the most part. I have personally never seen a person that claims to use nothing but positive methods, be able to take a roomful of random dogs and control them without using aids such as leashes to restrict the dog in some manner. If we just let dogs do whatever they wanted to do, without restrictions, we would not be able to do something as simple as eating our dinner in front of our dog.

On the other hand, when a statement is made such as: Will the dog work without the collar on? People are referring to the dog working without a particular aid, or aids that has been used in training the dog. In this case, they are referring to an electronic dog collar, but we could replace that with ANY aid, or aids that have been used, because they are usually not allowed at most trials and tests for dogs, as it should be. You are not allowed to use a leash in an off-leash trial on the day of the trial, but most people use their leash constantly to build, and maintain building their reliability, up to, and including the day and moment right before the trial. The same with cookies and treats, barriers, your hands or any other sort of aid that is at your fingertips. I can also give numerous examples, where aids are ALLOWED in the training, and it still does not matter because they are still dogs. A lot of trials have ‘on leash’ obedience, where in this instance the handler is actually ALLOWED to bring his aid into the ring, which in this case would be the leash itself. However, we still see most dogs far from performing perfectly even though the leash is on the dog, and they are employing it to a certain degree. We also see many instances of a dog having it’s highest score 2 years into the training, even though the individual may compete the dog for 5, 6, 7 years or more! The dog obviously has more training the more time that he has into it, but things don’t always go as planned because of a variety of factors, one of which is the fact that they are living, breathing creatures that things constantly change with, and that is the main reason why aids are used so much in training, on a continual basis, and rightly so. Here is a video of Lianne Hassen of Sit Means Sit dog training getting a perfect score in an advanced obedience competition, placing in a Police dog championship, and winning a National Championship in a sport where a dog has to be free from worry to compete, or even a World Championship.

Obviously, from an emotional standpoint, people do have a tendency to look at a remote dog training e collar as some sort of different aid because of their lack of understanding, and lack of education on our training process, and of the tool itself. This is very normal and to be expected. When you look at the fact that very few professional dog trainers are familiar with successful remote dog training in general, it is not unusual that the average layman would not have much knowledge either, and we thoroughly understand our position as an educational source in the scheme of things, and we understand that we need to educate people by showing them. Talk is cheap, we show you.

In the above video, Ashton Fitz-Gerald from our Las Vegas dog training office is seen doing a demonstration and he has just been asked to take his collar off for the demonstration. I’m sure trainers are also asked to put the cookies away, and the leash away and whatever else the aid might be. We all strive to have the dogs the best they can be with or without training aids, and we are very strong believers in that our dog training collar is the best training aid available to have the dog the most reliable, and in the shortest amount of time, with or without any aid available in the end.

Here is a police dog training video also showing a demonstration involving search and bitework with a Police K-9 dog working with and without collar on.

The well known Canine Good Citizen test, or “CGC” as it is commonly referred to as, is another well known recognizable test in which no training aids other than a leash are allowed.

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  • Wenja Harrah

    The video doesn't really represent what you describe. Ashton is still using an aid...his toy. I'm sure Trell would still do the tricks because he wants to please his owner. Just saying it could have been done for just a 'good boy'.

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