off leash dog

What they want to ban is what I love

It maybe out of ignorance. Actually I'm sure it is out of ignorance that a lot of people want to ban one or the other of these two things. The two things I'm referring to is a Pit bull and an e-collar. Both of these items hold a special place in my heart.

My dog, fats, its like a son to me. He is my partner, my buddy, my road dog. I ve been with him since birth and he is 10 years old. We have gotten to know each other likes and dislikes and trust each other.

My dog has aggressive tendencies. As I am a dog trainer now we work on managing his aggression and getting to the root problem. Sometimes I get mad at myself because i caused him to add to the stigma of aggressive pit bull due to my negligence.

I take full responsibility for his actions. How did he end up like this you ask? Well it all started when I was younger and thought I was cool. So if you thought you was a bad ass then you had a big pit bull by your side. I thought it was cool that my dog was game and ready to step to anyone who came near him. People would come by my house and he would lunge at them. He doesn't do this anymore, as far as lunging ( unless you get him excited and he thinks you're playing).

Now I hate when I see pit bulls wild and not in control. They are beautiful dogs who will work to earn their keep, but it is us people who ruin the dog and the dog's name. I deeply regret my ignorance and now fully understand what I did.I now dedicate myself to helping other not make this same mistake.

I remember when I was working in Petsmart and this guy had this big pit bull pulling him. He had the same swag I did when I was younger with my dog. I could tell he didn't understand that these dogs need leaders. They need to be guided what to do.

Anyways, he was walking down one of the isles and his dog was meeting a husky dog about the same age (8 months). The guy with the pit bull was not noticing signs that his dog was trying to dominate the husky. I turned my back for one quick second and I hear growling as I turned back to see the husky cowering back after being snipped by the pit bull. The owner did not notice, but he promoted this behavior.

The same behavior I promoted with my dog 10 years ago. I work hard now everyday to train my dog so that I can make his life as fun now on that I couldn't 10 years ago. I don't have to avoid places being scared he will bite someone. This usually only happens around kids because they always want to do something weird to the dog like grab his tail.

Avoidance is never the key. You have to face the fear and/or problem in order to get over it. I will always promote pit bulls and never let someone who doesn't know any better tell me otherwise.

The E-collar

I was taught first under the positive reinforcement only training. In order for you to understand let me quickly explain the four quadrants of operant conditioning.

The first one is positive reinforcement. This is when the dog does something I like and I reward with a treat of some sort. The second one is negative punishment. This is when I remove something the dog wants in order to get the dog to change the behavior.

The third one is positive punishment. This is when the dog peforms a behavior I don't want and then I give the dog a correction.

The fourth and final quadrant is negative reinforcement. This is when I put pressure on a dog and they learn how to release pressure. This last one is what e-collar training is about. 

Why do some people want it banned? The same as why they want pit bulls banned-ignorance. They don't know how to use the tool. Now in their defense there are people who misuse the tool as well as train pit bulls in aggressive ways, but there are many things they are not considering. 

1. Off leash freedom

Many people don't realize that they can have off leash freedom if they take time to train the dog to the ecollar. It's important to note that I would never put an e collar on a dog and crank it to the highest level and press the button if the dog misbehaves. That is not teaching. That is abuse. I always teach the dog the language slowly. 

2. Low level stimulation

I use low level stimulation. Most times people can't feel the stimulation. It's too low, but the dog can feel it. All the only positive trainers will say it's inhumane, but they can't even feel it. They would ask me if I would put it on myself. I tell them I have and that they should watch my video on it. 

3. Break a dog's attention immediately

If a dog is too focused on something you don't want them focused on like a cat or another dog then you can use this to immediately stop it before the behavior erupts. If your dog is too far away then you wont be able to correct them in time.

This goes along with off leash freedom. Also if my dog is 50 ft away and I need him to come immediately then I can communicate with him what I expect.

These are just a few. Both of these changed my life. My pit bull I wouldn't give up for the world and the e-collar has really upped my level of training and the results I could get. I am thankful for both and I enjoy doing what I do. 

Step by step to get an off leash dog

I knew a man that walked around with his dog as if they were partners. No leash on the dog. Just walking around the neighborhood while the dog sniff the green grass and trotted along behind the owner. I was in shock and amazed. It seemed like he was doing the impossible when all I seen up until that point was people with cute little dogs on retractable leashes or people with big dogs walking their owner.

I wanted to understand the work it took to get an off leash dog. Little did i know it would be a lot of work as moving too quickly could mean risking your dog or someone else safety. First I want to say that many people move too fast when moving to this step. You have to practice these over and over.

A behavior becomes reliable the more a dog practices it and does it every time on command. Just think of it like tying your shoelace. After performing this behavior so many times it becomes automatic.

We want our dogs to perform the behavior without thinking. If your dog sometimes listens to you then he/she is not ready for off leash training. There are 3 steps to accomplishing this task. How long it takes depends on the dog in each phase. Also keep in mind that every dog is different.

You might see someone with their dog off leash, but you don't know how they raised the dog. Its been my experience that people either go through these 3 steps I'm about to share with you or they never put a leash on their dog to begin with and always let them roam free as a small puppy. The latter dogs have never known restriction and probably feel it is normal to be off leash. We must first start with the basics. We have to first teach the dog what we expect from them

Step 1.

We start with the dog on a 6foot leash and we teach our dog the basics. We teach the all the obedience commands that they must know. We use positive reinforcement for all of these exercises. It is important to up the distraction very slowly and to make sure you have control over the environment the best that you can.

 The issue with distractions is when you have high competing motivators. Another dog might be a high competing motivator for your dog so it is important to move slowly when getting to this step. I suggest that you thoroughly work on place and the come command as they are the most important. The stay command also is important.

Step 2.

Work with the dog on a long line. Start with a 10 foot long line and work your way up to a 30 foot long line. Practice the same commands as in step one only with more distance first. With some of the commands, such as stay and come, when you increase distance you automatically increase duration.

With other commands, such as down or sit, you can practice distance first then duration.  After they know what is expected and they have demonstrated this we proof behavior on long line with e-collar.

Step 3.

We first condition the dog to the ecollar. Then we use ecollar to give the dog low level stimulation to get the dog to perform the task everytime since it has demonstrated that it knows it anyways. In this step we first use the long line. After that we move to off leash freedom.