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- Nov 1, 2018
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- New England
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~ Exit Safely ~
Gun dogs MAC and TRAD are viewed remaining at SIT on the tailgate after having exited their crates. They have been trained to remain at STAY based on the training concept that the command STAY means STAY. As an extension of obedience training and patience conditioning, the dogs have been taught to remain inside their crate until granted permission to come out, at which time they must remain seated on the tailgate. Once released to leave the tailgate, they have been conditioned to SIT upon making contact with the ground and to remain seated in that place until given a release command they have been conditioned to.
Obedience is a way of life for well trained gun dogs and is foundational to all levels of advanced training. This training for the proper exit from a vehicle is focused at the safety of our K9's. A dog so trained is far less likely to be injured in this process than a dog that is allowed to leave the vehicle in an out of control manner, possibly running out into the path of a moving vehicle. Most often, I manually lift my dogs off of the gate to place them gently on the ground or I use a ramp, these actions being employed to reduce impact injury to the K9, sustained by hitting the hard ground upon jumping from the tailgate. Repetitive impact of this nature takes its toll, especially noticeable in older dogs allowed to do so.
Dogs that have been properly crate trained and having been patience conditioned by use of a place board, can easily be trained to understand that the STAY command used for those locations also apply to the tailgate. Dogs can be so conditioned by requiring them to STAY at the location commanded for both random and increasing durations of time.
As in all K9 obedience training, planning, guidance, patience, and a success based training model coupled with reward, are all critical factors in conditioning the desired behavior. Consistency in application of demand for the behavior is most important in maintaining the standard set throughout the life of the K9.
Take the initiative to train your dog to exit a vehicle safely and you will never regret having done so.
THE DOG WHISTLER