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Stop Your Dog

To me the two most important things a cattledog must do is release off of cattle and come to me when called and stop instantly when told.

I cannot handle cattle correctly and I donít think anyone can if they can not stop their dog instantly when they want to. What I mean by stop is either the dog or dogs lay down or stop moving and stand. Probably the most common and the biggest problem I see in cattledog handlers and attendants to my clinics is having a good stop on their dogs.

For me the beginning way to teach a dog to stop is to teach him to down.

There are different ways to teach the down and whatever works for you is fine as long as you get the job done. I usually donít teach this until a pup is around 6 months old or so but it can be done at an earlier age if you want to.

I work on this quite a lot when I have time, but I donít over do it to the point the pup is sick and tired of it, as with all training of young dogs I believe in a whole lot of a little bit instead of a little bit of a whole lot. I like to just walk around with the pup on a long cord and whenever I give him the command I can reinforce it. When I give the down command it is a sharp quick command. I want the dog to hit the ground instantly. After the pup is doing this pretty well I introduce the there command. For me the there command means stop and wait for another command. The there command is given slow and long. Theeeeeere. It is like slow down, put on the brakes, and then followed by a sharp down. At this time my dogs will down when given the there command but in time will learn that they donít have to down and can remain standing. If you want you can teach the dog to only stand on the there command. Some people do not teach their dogs to lay down and only stand and this is fine if that is what you want. It needs to be understood that a standing dog is more intimidating and is putting more pressure on cattle than a dog laying down in a submissive posture. The main thing though is that when given whatever stop command you use the dog or dogs must stop instantly.

There are different ways to reinforce the stop but for me the only thing that works 100 percent of the time is the Tri Tronics collar. I do not like ruffing up a dog. When this method is used you make your dog afraid of you and most of the time by the time you get your dog caught he does not know what he is being disciplined for. When a dog is young and just getting started I am not too critical about his stop but after time when the young dog knows better and is ignoring me I start using the collar. It is very important to introduce the collar to the dog right before it is used on him so he understands what it is all about. Also keep the setting low to where it just is uncomfortable for him. When I give the stop command and I know the dog has heard me, if I get no response I push the button and give the command again. He needs to learn that one time is all I need to give a command. This is what the dog must learn, that when I tell him to stop, one time is all I should have to tell him.


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