Better Training with Tri-Tronics

Visit :

In their never ending desire to help our TRI-TRONICS’ customers achieve more and better results, TRI-TRONICS has recruited John Wick to write a monthly web article. Nationally respected and trusted in the tree dog field as a breeder and trainer, John is known for his commonsense, yet innovative training tactics. Although tree dogs are his specialty, many of his philosophies and methods can be adapted to dogs of all types. We, at TRI-TRONICS, believe you and your dogs will benefit from his many years of experience and his sincere efforts to help all dogs and their trainers. ENJOY!


Whether we choose to call it an E-collar, shock collar, remote trainer, or tickle collar, many of us have them but few of us get maximum use and value from them. Although some novice trainers use these wonderful and helpful gizmos too often, too harshly, too inconsistently, and set on too high an intensity, many other trainers are needlessly frightened of pushing the button. With some helpful coaching and information sharing, it’s a sure bet we could ALL improve our dogs and become more correct and confident in our training ventures.

Each month I’ll offer some food for thought designed to help you confidently move forward with your training efforts and ensure that owning your TRI-TRONICS’ equipment is a wise investment which will pay for itself over and over.

If you wish to discuss a topic further, you’re welcome to call me any day from noon until dark Central Standard Time at 573-564-6146 or 573-564-3028. About two-thirds of that time I’ll be available. The rest I’m Gone Dawgin’!

We Can’t Enjoy or Profit From Dead Dogs

They don’t know it, but our hunting dogs are engaged in a very risky business. In fact, to be completely fair to our young prospects, we should probably read them their rights before we ever start hunting them. The first line would state “Beware, becoming a good hunting dog could be hazardous to your health.” Indeed, much of the world has become a very hostile environment for all types of outdoor working or companion dogs, but especially for the trail and tree specialists.

Over my many hardcore hunting years, I’ve had dogs hurt or killed just about every way possible. It’s not just my imagination that it’s almost always the good dogs that suffer due to the many dangerous situations they’ll have to contend with. Of course, we owe it to our dogs to do everything possible to protect them in every way we can.

Next to deadly diseases, the world’s worst dog killers and the hardest things to protect our dogs from are cars and trucks. Every day there are more roads built through more hunting woods. More vehicles travel these roads, going faster and being driven by people who have less and less respect for each other, and little or none for a hound that happens to get in their way.

It would be hard to guess how many roads a good trailing dog crosses in its lifetime. When you stop to consider that it takes only one vehicle to kill him, it seems amazing that any dog lives long enough to die a natural death. I’ve had some of my favorite hounds killed on highways, and it’s extremely hurtful and hard to take, especially if you believe the driver made no effort to prevent the tragedy.

Without going to the unpleasant effort to carefully recall and count each dog I’ve had killed on the roads, I’m going to guess it’s about twenty. Some didn’t bother me as bad as others because they either weren’t very good or I hadn’t hunted them enough to become proud and attached to them. Other special canine friends still terribly hurt to recall and think about, and many years, miles, and lessons have washed under my life’s bridges since then.

Every week several sturdy grown men are reduced to sobbing sissies as they kneel on a road in shocked horror and look down at their mangled and lifeless canine hunting buddy! Some of those types of horrible happenings sure make a guy or gal think seriously of better ways of doing things and of finding some untraditional methods of at least attempting to prevent future tragedies and tears.

A bit of your time and effort may keep you from watered eyes and thoughts of quitting your hunting sport. Here’s a helpful but untraditional way to make more use of your underused E-collar.

When you have a nice prospect that you’re starting to hunt, I’d suggest you spend one hour per week for about four weeks, day and night, tying the dog near the edge or shoulder of a lightly traveled country road. Three to five vehicles per hour is just right.

During this hour, the well prepared dog is wearing your TRI-TRONICS’ remote trainer, and as far as she knows, you’ve left her all alone. You’ll go at least a few hundred yards away and comfortably hide and carefully watch. Every time a vehicle passes your dog, shock it lightly on level 2 or 3 for one or two seconds, depending on the sensitivity of each dog.

After a few sessions of this, most dogs easily learn that vehicles can reach out and hurt them. At that point, but not before, hit ’em on level 4 about two seconds when the next vehicle passes them. Let them calm down for ten minutes, then calmly pick them up and take ’em home to quietly absorb this life-saving lesson.

Give the dog at least one daytime and night refresher course every year.

This controlled preventative method can and will save the lives of at least 80 percent of these dogs if they’re crossing or wandering a road! After this experience, they don’t go crazy whenever a vehicle comes near, but they definitely do take notice of it and get the heck out of the way. After this schooling most hounds will leave the road anytime a vehicle gets near them. But don’t worry; they’ll normally come right to you and your truck if you’re trying to catch ’em. If we all did this exercise in vehicle awareness, or something like it, we’d have far fewer dogs squashed on the highways.

At this point I should caution you NEVER to use any vehicles the dog knows and is accustomed to being hauled in. Use only strange vehicles or whatever traffic happens to pass. Note: Very occasionally a vehicle may stop because the driver noticed the dog. Usually the person is trying to be helpful and check on a dog they think has wandered off or been dumped. However, others may have bad intentions and are trying to scoop up a fine hunting dog.

For those of us who run our hounds at night, the new TRI-TRONICS’ Tracer light can also be a life saver. I like and recommend them.

Possibly three out of five hounds killed on the highways were either running some kind of trash game, or they got splattered after they quit chasing the junk and were trying to find their way back to the starting point. By diligently breaking our dogs off unwanted game when they’re young and getting started, we will avoid many unnecessary and potentially fatal risks.

Did you notice the words well prepared dog earlier? They’re the most important thought I just shared. Next month, we’ll thoroughly talk about that often neglected but critical to remote training success issue. Until then, best wishes and happy training, regardless what kind of dog owns YOU! Smiles.