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Old 01-02-2012, 03:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Help getting a closer front

Hey everyone, I need some advice on how to get my dog to come closer on the recall / retrieve. I'm talking about nit-picking close here. Nit-picking meaning I need him just a few inches closer... His front is great and speedy and straight but just got used to sitting a few inches too far (his paws are roughly 6-8 inches away from my feet if that helps paint a better picture.

So, how do you "perfect" the front and make sure the dog will come in close as possible? I wish I could give more details to what I've done and how I reward etc etc and I have asked my TD for advice - I understand it's tough to give advice online so feel free to just write a few lines on how you bring the dog in close
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Old 01-02-2012, 03:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I practiced my fronts separate from my recall in the beginning. From a few feet away, I place him in a sit facing me. Have him on a leash and call "here" and tap him towards me on the leash. Just walking backwards a foot or two and continuing to tap him in closer. To reward, I put my hand directly on my stomach pretty much where my bellybutton is, and feed him there. Then he knows to be that close to get the reward.

I'm trying to find my video that demonstrates it. Give me two minutes, lol!
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Old 01-02-2012, 03:34 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I train a close front by making a dog really comfortable in that position. Especially when I know I'm going to use pressure in training, I want front and finish positions to always be a good place to be. If the dog likes food, I just hold it at my belly and move backwards, let them come with and drive into my belly and feed as I go. If they like toys I put a toy under my chin. At some point depending on the exercise there may be pressure to get here but not pressure in this spot. That's just how I do it. I always do this food/toy thing right away with a dog and do this separate from a formal recall. When doing a recall I do not like to use extra cues like me scooting back and/or using my hands to direct the dog straight or encourage him in.
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Old 01-02-2012, 03:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liesje View Post
I train a close front by making a dog really comfortable in that position. Especially when I know I'm going to use pressure in training, I want front and finish positions to always be a good place to be. If the dog likes food, I just hold it at my belly and move backwards, let them come with and drive into my belly and feed as I go. If they like toys I put a toy under my chin. At some point depending on the exercise there may be pressure to get here but not pressure in this spot. That's just how I do it. I always do this food/toy thing right away with a dog and do this separate from a formal recall. When doing a recall I do not like to use extra cues like me scooting back and/or using my hands to direct the dog straight or encourage him in.
That's exactly what my TD suggested I work on thanks I'll start with this today...

Gatordog thanks for the tips I'll try those as well... And I'd love to see the vid if you can find it
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Old 01-02-2012, 03:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Try to reward him coming and pushing into you rather than developing a habit of drawing him in with your hands, if that makes sense? Like, I don't hold out the food and pull the dog to me, I keep my hands right at my belly button and let the dog push in and get the rewards. Once they get the game, if it's a dog that likes toys I pop a ball under my chin and go from there.
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Old 01-02-2012, 03:59 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liesje View Post
Try to reward him coming and pushing into you rather than developing a habit of drawing him in with your hands, if that makes sense? Like, I don't hold out the food and pull the dog to me, I keep my hands right at my belly button and let the dog push in and get the rewards. Once they get the game, if it's a dog that likes toys I pop a ball under my chin and go from there.
I like this idea better. Keeps the dog motivated to move closer forward. My approach is just because I have a less than motivated dog.
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Old 01-02-2012, 04:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The more your dog trusts you the closer it will come. If you're doing recall with toys, never take it from them or let anybody else. To get Vida to come closer I was told to REALLY encourage her be really vocal and active not just standing in the same spot but running around backwards from her. If they don't come at all, like if they stop or don't come close enough crouch down and they may come closer. Other than that turn your back and walk off until the dog will actively participate again.

Vida would rather toys than treats.. just figure out what really motivates your pup and go off of that!
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Old 01-02-2012, 05:07 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Kaity, that's excellent advice, but I think this question is in the context of Schutzhund/Formal Obedience training.

I had the same issues with Gryffon - For some dogs being that close to you is uncomfortable, because they know that they are in your space, and they don't want to suggest that they are challenging you by pushing into you and looking into your eyes. Same as others have said, practiced teaching Gryff that coming in and pushing into me is a fun and rewarding game, and did that seperate from the formal recall.

With Gryff I did it with a tug under my chin since he is more tug motivated than food motivated. I would, for example, work on formal heeling with the tug under my armpit, then I would suddenly move backwards, calling "Heir", and put the tug under my chin. I would move backwards until he was pushing into me. Then I would stop, wait a second or two, and reward.

At first, just being in position got a reward, then later I added a sit command. You know he understands the exercise if you move backwards or sideways, and he moves to stay in position completely in front of you.

Though be careful about doing this when your dog is loaded in drive. A few weeks ago Gryff anticipated the tug release and jumped to catch it and caught my upper lip. Oh well, the scar will give me character . . .
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Old 01-02-2012, 06:14 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Lucia thanks - my dog is also sensitive to space. He's usually careful not to step into others' space and will back up as someone steps into his - more so than I see other dogs. I guess that's one reason why he comes in a little far (the other being that I haven't worked on it specifically or that I made a mistake along the way )

Anyway thank you for the advice... by the way, I used the tug under the chin when doing dumbbell work with him and I got headbutted that way more than one time lol
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Old 01-04-2012, 05:03 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I clicker trained my dog to touch his chin to my stomach (first while he was standing up) and then in the sit. He always sits really close up now and its worked great.
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