In my opinion the puppy development stage is the most important stage of training the animal. A dogs most
impressionable times are ages four to eight months. If a dog learns to run off during this age, more than likely
this instinct will stick with them for life. If a dog learns to stay within your eye site during this time, more than
likely again he will stick with that.
Somewhere we need to find a happy medium. Where does the medium begin? Believe it or not, it begins two
feet in front of you. In that two feet the dog will need to make a decision to forget about everything else that might
be happening around it and give their (2) head to you. Without saying anything we will manipulate the situation
with a (14) check cord. We will not hold the dog in position. If we hold the dog in position the dog will not be able
to learn what he/she has decided to do. In other words we have made the decision for the dog and he/she has
not learned to make the right decision. We will lightly check the dog nagging him/her enough until the dog will
decide to give two eyes to you. (When I say check, think of it like a electric collar. If the check cord was a electric
collar or shock collar, you would be pushing the momentary button, or you might know it as nick, and you will
keep nicking the dog until the dog has given you the desirable behavior.) At this point the stimulation will
immediately be turned off. From there we will help the dog learn to pay attention to the direction of your body.
Using the check cord we will allow the dog to have all twenty feet of it and by turning to the left we will check the
dog till he/she gives two eyes and comes across. Then we will do the same to the right. It is very important at
this stage that the dog is pulling to the end of the check cord thinking about going further. If you would drop the
check cord the dog would run until he/she couldn't anymore. At anytime that the check cord is not taught, the dog
may be patterning him/herself less than twenty feet away.
If the dog is not pulling to the end it could be because several of reasons. Most important reasons might be that
the timing of the stimulation when given and released is not on cue for the dog to understand what he/she was
asked to do; or again we should not be saying anything to the dog. The dog should be making this decision on
its own. If we have been saying something, we have taken the purpose of the direction of your body out of the
picture. Lastly the dog may not have had enough time (1) chasing birds and therefore the excitement is gone.
From this practice the dog will learn to watch with their eyes. When we turn our body to the left or right, at some
point they should have looked back and saw we did so and turned with us. If they learn first to pay attention to
you, again with their eyes, they will always go back to that if they don't hear your foot steps, or hear a whistle, or
hear your voice, which you may later want to use to help direct the dog. You might also find out that if you are idle
the dog will generally check back in on its own to see what the hold up is.