Teaching Steadiness using the Traffic Cop Method
‘Steadiness’ for a retriever, a hunting dog, gundog, or duck dog can be taught with an extremely gentle approach using the “soft collar” by Bill Hillmann. He refers to the method as “Traffic Cop.”
Time spent teaching a dog to be steady will pay off down the road, when you can focus on teaching something other than the SIT command. Learning to SIT goes in very small increments. Once SIT is TOTALLY embedded in the dog’s brain, then you can begin the task you’re really after, the thing you really want – – – to have a great marking dog who will SIT with various distractions.
Teaching Older Dogs who Creep to be STEADY
They must learn the difference between sitting and being excited. In order to teach this they must learn what each action feels like in order to learn how to turn the excitement switch OFF. They learn HOT and COLD by feeling it with practice and learn when to react and when NOT to react.
The key is to make a wild and unsteady dog MORE WILD so there is better contrast between being WILD and being perfectly MOTIONLESS. Bill suggests teaching them using his TRAFFIC COP method.