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Discussion Starter #1
Hi there peoples!

Can someone give me some insight on check cord training. It doesnt seem to be used much in the UK and I am wondering if it would be good practice with Leo.

He's 15 months now. He was getting on great. Quartering, drop to shot, stop to whistle, directions, retreving well etc... But now hes become a bit of a nightmare.

He starts off steady for a few minutes then he just decides to give me the finger and just run around like a mad dog. If I do get him steady for a while throwing dummies around, when I do send him for one he just wants to run around will it and then the sessions is ruined, I cant get him steady then or back on lead. Then the next day he will (well maybe) be great. H eknoiws what to do and what I am asking of him be he just wants to run run run run............

Does anyone think this could be a age phase? Would check cord be of any good? I dont know what you do with them.....


Help!

Thanks People
 

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You're kind of past the initial phase of when a check cord is used, but there is nothing wrong at all with taking him back to basics and reinforcing behaviors.

The checkcord is basically an "extension of the leash". It can be 30-150 feet long depending on conditions, and objectives. Every command given can now be enforced from a distance, or the lesson brought back, reset, and began again from the heel position. It is all about imprinting on the dog that you can enforce your command, even at a distance. He must obey.
Start off at the heel and go through 5-10 minutes of heeling exercises. Twist, turns around object, 180's, left and right 90's. Do this at the walk, jog and run. Mix it up, don't let a predictable pattern emerge. Jog/run forward and backward. You are trying to engage his mind to focus on you.
Let the slack out of the check cord and move him at a distance from you. Give him the "Come" command, and release him again and again. Make sure that at a distance he is focused on you, and moving with you.
Work in the retrieves using the same principles, out and back, out and back. He starts to get his own ideas, gently bring him in line with the check cord.
With a 15 month old dog. You should come away from these sessions a little out of breath. You are going to me moving continuously, to keep him off balance.
There is no jerking, or yanking of the check cord. Everything is done systematically using even pressure. He is the one that will correct himself, by not paying attention. Every time he moves in a direction that you haven't directed. Give him a come command and immediately go the opposite direction.
There is also lots of praise and positive enforcement. Lots of talking.

His age has a lot to do with it. He's testing you right now to see if you really are in charge. For the next few months you may want to assert yourself as more of an authority figure and less of a buddy or pal with him. He may be looking for order and once it's established you'll have your buddy back.

I remember with my three previous males that 15-18 months was about the time they "found the wall". It seemed like all three of them decided to find out who was really in charge,and began to assert themselves in different ways. Ultimately leading to a confrontation of wills.
A very brief well controlled moment re-established me as in charge.
I'm not a big fan of terms like "alpha dog", nor training techniques that utilize some form of pseudo dominance like Alpha rolling or mounting to simulate dominance. I believe in a quick, no nonsense correction, followed by lots of praise. I don't want to "dominate" my dogs. I want to work with them.

I hope this helps.
 

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You're welcome, and thank you for the compliment.

It's all about keeping the dog's mind focused on you, the handler. Keep the dog engaged, and they'll be under control.
Vizslas are very smart dogs, and I have found that the more things I give them to do, the less they find their own things to do. Nothing sucks worse than having to chase your dog down. It can really put an end to a good day. BTDT. :(
Of course Gunnr can still make me look a little foolish at times. She's too darn smart for her own good, and she is very quick. In the blink of eye she can be gone.
 

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richmondestates said:
Wow thanks again. Much appreciated!

One other thing, do you hold the end of check cord all time or leave it trailing?
From what you are describing you will be holding it.
Obviously your boy has a solid foundation, or he wouldn't be where he is at 15 months old. He's more than likely starting to "come into his own"now. His physical and mental abilities are starting to meet with his increase in maturity. It's time to "up his game".
I don't think you'll need more than a few sessions to get him back.
Keep him moving during these sessions, with the exception of the come command. Initially you will always make him complete the come command on the check cord, followed up with the heeling exercises and then let him go again.
Work the stay also. Put him in a spot and move 360 degrees around him. He's allowed to move his head, but if he changes that body position to track you, come in and put him back in exactly the frame he started out in. Do it each time. Control the feet and the mind.
From the stay position move out and call him too you. Now start to put the "Whoa" in. Get him about 1/2 way to you, and whoa him. Then bring him to you.
As he picks it up, which will be pretty quick, from the whoa send him in different directions. Left, Right, In and Back. These are not easy lessons and he will get confused. If you use whistle commands, or hand signals you will want to use them in these exercises.
When he's responding on the check cord without correction. Drop the cord from your hand. He doesn't know that you don't have the other end. If he gets a little squirrely, you only have to get get ahold of the check cord, or step on it, and not try to get ahold of him.

Remember to have fun during all of this. Make it fun for both of you. If it's not working at times. Bring him in to the heel and go for a run with him. A lot of training goes on jogging with your dog at the heel, and neither party realizes it. ;D

The check cord has been replaced with the eCollar for most people and certainly most trainers. It's still a valuable tool though. I like the physical connection aspect of it personally.
Don't spend a lot of money on a check cord either. A package of soft cotton clothesline will be more than adequate. Stay away from the plastic clothesline though. It has a steel wire in the middle. The dog hits the end of the cord too harshly, and that plastic can leave nasty abrasions on the inside of their rear thighs. I actually like to have the last section be a used portion of a horse lead line. The lead line is much bigger in diameter, and softer, should it get tangled up in their legs.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks Again Gunnr!

I bought a lenght of climbing rope today which i have put a carabiner on the end to snap onto a modified/shortened slip lead. Think it will do the job just fine.

I did a session today with a lenght of what we have here as training line, but its 1 inch webbing and cut into my hands nicely. Think it will take a few sessions for me and him to get used to the long lead, but from today I can see the control it has at a distance silimilar to the ecollar, but in a way better. I really dont like using the ecollar to be honest. They are not popylar with trainers here at all and in Wales they have been band. Leo became collar wise and I never wanted to use it forever so I stopped. Maybe half the reason why hes been a lightly harder to control lately.

Gunnr I really think you need to write a Vizsla Training Manual/book, I have a couple books but they dont seem to be that indepth i found. I really think you would write a good one!



Thanks Again

Andy
 
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