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Old 03-29-2014, 01:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Training this morning...

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.
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Old 03-29-2014, 01:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Unless you are luring the reward should be out of eye sight. The command is given. The action happens. You mark. Then you pull the reward out and let the dog access it.

Another thing to help with that is make eye contact contingent upon reward. Sometimes I'll ask for eye contact with "You ready?" then when I get eye contact I'll mark and reward.

If you are holding the reward in his face you are essentially bribing the dog
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Old 03-29-2014, 05:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I didn't even think about it like that. Sometimes I would fold the frisbee in my pocket, but other times I had it visible in my hand. Also, the toy means nothing unless thrown. So would that mean, I command, mark and reward could be tossing it aside for him to get?

I should also correct myself, it's not the toy specifically that he is obsessed with or finds rewarding.. its the act of fetching. I could throw my shoe. He just wants to go get something and bring it back to me.
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Old 03-29-2014, 05:52 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Yeah pocket the frisbee or hide in different places command, once it's done, mark, then reach to pull it out and throw. Be safe some like to fly at it as soon as it's visible. Never get into too much of a pattern about where it comes from until you are sure the dog is clear on the reward item meaning nothing until a marker to get it comes.
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Old 03-29-2014, 05:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Do you clicker? or how do you personally mark?
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Old 03-29-2014, 06:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
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You ready?- marks the start of obedience. Direct unwavering attention is required.

Yes- free to access reward and free until next command is given.

Good- keep doing what you're doing. On the right track for a yes. Early on a good might get rewards too but behavior must be maintained. I use nice here sometimes too.

Free- dog can stop doing whatever.

All done- obedience is over and you are free for whatever. No longer in working mode.

No- you screwed up punishment probably incoming.
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Old 03-29-2014, 06:08 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Awesome.. thanks for breaking it down barney style.. I sometimes need that

So since I have never really marked, would it make sense to start with the basics, that I know he is solid on to introduce the marking?

I am also curious on your punishment for screwing up? I sometimes don't know what is ok to do and appropriate for OB mess ups. He's a good dog otherwise, never usually have to punish for bad behavior in general. So like today when he kept coming when I told him down I said No, followed by a scruff grab to bring him to the point that i said "platz" and made him down in the spot and said good and we continued. How wrong was I there?
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Old 03-29-2014, 06:21 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Depends on whether your dog really knows the down in motion or not. If he doesn't know it it was unfair. If he does know it then I don't see an issue with it per se.
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Old 03-29-2014, 06:38 PM   #9 (permalink)
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K so I was wrong.. He isn't 100% on it yet.
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Old 03-29-2014, 07:26 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Good info there Baillif!

Wyoung, can you stand your dog and walk away and down it from a distance? I taught it by breaking it down and working on down from a distance and once when he was proficient on downing from a distance then I would combine the two parts.

I also did a lot of drops and then released to get the toy or food that I'd throw behind him. This helped in stopping forward movement. If the reward is with you, that tends to give them a reason to keep on coming into you.

Mix up straight recalls with the down on recall to keep your dog guessing. If you practice the down on recalls only, they start dropping whether you gave the command or not.

Good luck!

Last edited by Karla; 03-29-2014 at 07:27 PM. Reason: Typo
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