Didn't really know where to put this so "how to.." seemed appropriate because in the end, I will ask a how to question.. But here's the story first..
After a while doing SAR training and deciding for the better of him and I, we needed to take a break. I wanted to work more thoroughly on his OB and get him on point, because admittedly I have been complacent with it. I have been working with him the last month or so just on OB.. and he's been doing great. It's all been in home and in the back yard. We do OB in the front yard off lead on occasion. He has done well in these areas. Not quite as sharp as I want, but we are getting there.
Today was the first day in a few weeks we have gone to the baseball fields for in public training and he did awesome, as far as focusing the "task" and what I wanted instead of the people around us.. I was working on a few things today.. I don't know the official names for any of these things.. so I apologize ahead of the time to those that are very knowledgeable. one was while in motion, putting him in a down while I keep walking. Also, his recall, with a down in the middle of him coming back. As well as recall and having him go around me and sit on my right side. None of these are within competition standards (I don't think at least) More just me wanting to teach him new things for our own fun. Today was the first day we used a toy SOLELY as a reward for OB. No treats what so ever. This has only been done in SAR training. for OB usually it's almost all treat based and then we bring out the toy for play and incorporate it into certain OB commands and he does well.
a few things I noticed during training were....
1. He is focused completely on the reward, in this case, the frisbee. SO much focus on that toy vs me. But he's always been that way. During training, or even just play time. I can get him to look at me directly by saying "eyes" but it's only about 90% solid. Anyways. To test my theory, I dropped the frisbee, and continued training without it to see what he would do. He did everything but gosh, it was a snail's pace. I also put him in a down stay next to the frisbee, then walked a few feet and called him.. it took him a second because he was trying to decide whether to bring me the frisbee at the same time.. he didn't. Just came but still.. Once we picked the frisbee back up and he knew I had it.. he was all game for anything.
2. He does fairly well on drop it as a whole when a fetch toy is involved. If I'm not touching and tell him to "aus" he will, if I grab it while it's in his mouth, he takes a few extra seconds to drop it, almost contemplating it's worth.. UNLESS I have another toy in my hands to "trade" and it's out in a heartbeat.
3. When we do the walk and down while I keep going.. he does it decently but it isn't as sharp as I want it. He doesn't just drop, he wants to keep walking with me. Which is understandable, it's natural for him since I trained him to always walk with me when we are outside.. Same with down on a recall.. when I say "here" and then "platz" he keeps walking a few feet then slowly goes down. I say "good" and he comes to me.. so how can I help get these more solid.
I think that's all.. lol.. I wish I had a video but it was just me out there so I couldn't. Any advice would be awesome, just keep in mind that we are not competing for anything, this is just for mine and his enjoyment, and I realize competing is a whole new ballgame..
thanks in advance.