Long before the invention of vibration based systems I had to dealwith the issues of training a deaf dog with a remote collar. It hasbeen my experience that some hunting dogs tend to have substantialhearing loss as they reach "old age."
DDEAF's List of Vibrating Collars - Deaf Dog Education Action Fund
The keys to training your dog to respond to a vibrating collar are, as with any training, patience and consistency. In the early stages of training, treat your dog every time you page him, even if it seems as though he ignores the vibration. The dog may not understand what the vibration is, where it is coming from, or that you are causing it. But eventually, the dog will associate the vibration from the collar with treats. Your dog may respond immediately, after 3 tries, after 20 tries, etc. Don't give up! Your dog will respond eventually. As he becomes more reliable with responding to the vibration, then you can also begin to vary the treats. Also, do not ever reprimand your dog when you page and he comes to you. You want to be sure that he associates coming with good things like treats and praise (you don't want him to even consider whether or not it will be a good idea to respond this time). Remember, as with any command, it is important to practice regularly, and use some sort of reward all the time (treats, praise, whatever works best for you and your dog). And above all, remember, you and your dog should be having fun!
How to Use an Electronic Remote
Training Collar - Drs
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Remote Dog Training: Dog Training Mat :