Training "Down" When Newlie Is In Motion - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-13-2017, 11:09 AM Thread Starter
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Training "Down" When Newlie Is In Motion

I have been working with Newlie on something new. He knows "down," but I have been working on getting him to go down when he is already in motion, like if he were to get loose, I could make him stop before he runs out into the street, for example. So far, I have only tried it when he is running toward me because I know when he is running away from me, chasing a ball, that is going to be a lot harder to get him to do. Newlie does do it, but he does not do it immediately, he runs a little bit more before laying down. I praise him for doing it, but I am having trouble thinking of a way to tell him "Yes, you are right, but you must do it as soon as I say it." Can anyone give me some ideas? Also, any ideas for when I start using that command when he is going away from me?
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-13-2017, 11:28 AM
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Try moving him around casually with the ball in your hand so he's paying attention to you, give him the command and as soon as he's down all the way, toss the ball right in front of him between his front legs, or at least as close as you can. Don't do it from any static position, move in large circles, turn towards him sometimes. Change it up.

When he's pretty good with that, you could try doing something along the lines of a send out. Put him in a sit, walk away from him and place his ball 6-10 feet from him. Come back to him and let him get his ball, as soon as he has it, down him. If he doesn't just walk towards him and give him the command again and maybe cue him with your hand pointing down as you come towards him. You can add distance as he understands, and if you wanted to, you could fade out placing the ball and use a marker like a traffic cone to send him to. At that point, you can try downing him on his way to the cone, and if he does, you go to him and reward him in that down. There's a lot of ways to play with it, but see how that works.

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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-13-2017, 12:31 PM
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I'm curious to know what you all think about using a tether of some sort to get the "immediate response" communicated. I've been working on a stop command, which for me means "make no more progress" toward or away from me. Is there a reason to prefer "downing" rather than just stopping?
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-13-2017, 12:49 PM
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My trainer uses paper plates & hotdog pieces for the send out. You walk out, drop a plate with a piece of hot dog on the plate, return to the dog, and send him to it. Same basic idea. He uses it in class as part of training the recall, but you could do the same thing as Steve describes. He's deliberately working with equipment everybody has in their kitchen, so nobody can say "I don't have time to go buy a traffic cone so I can't practice that at home."
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-13-2017, 01:07 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the responses. Newlie actually already knows "Go out" and he picked that up pretty quickly, too, but I never thought of pairing it with this new thing I was trying. I hadn't done "go out" in a while, but tried it again this morning and he still remembered. What I do is put Newlie in a down, walk some distance away, and put a couple of tennis balls on the ground. Then I come back to him, say "Go out" and he goes out and gets one of the balls and races back to me where I throw him another ball. It goes to show you how smart they are that in a yard full of tennis balls in every condition, he knows I want him to go to the ones I just laid down.

I will try what you suggested, Steve, and let you know what happens.

Tim, I just prefer him in a down because it may buy me a few extra seconds to get to him in an emergency.
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-13-2017, 01:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tim_s_adams View Post
I'm curious to know what you all think about using a tether of some sort to get the "immediate response" communicated. I've been working on a stop command, which for me means "make no more progress" toward or away from me. Is there a reason to prefer "downing" rather than just stopping?
It seems to be easier for the dog to understand if you give him an actual position to go into.Stand/stay or down/stay.
I don't like the thought of my dog being yanked by his collar running full out so I taught a stop/stand and stop/down initially by walking next to him holding his collar.Then trotting with him,progressing to him coming toward me and next chasing a ball away from me.Then what Steve posted above^^^.I just took it slow,adding distance and distractions.He wears an e collar but I only ever used it once when he started after a rabbit.This is what worked well for us anyway

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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-13-2017, 01:29 PM
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My trainer uses paper plates & hotdog pieces for the send out. You walk out, drop a plate with a piece of hot dog on the plate, return to the dog, and send him to it. Same basic idea. He uses it in class as part of training the recall, but you could do the same thing as Steve describes. He's deliberately working with equipment everybody has in their kitchen, so nobody can say "I don't have time to go buy a traffic cone so I can't practice that at home."
How do you get them to go out without these plates with treats? assume gradually making them smaller? Don't they go searching for it if they don't see it?
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-13-2017, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by tim_s_adams View Post
I'm curious to know what you all think about using a tether of some sort to get the "immediate response" communicated. I've been working on a stop command, which for me means "make no more progress" toward or away from me. Is there a reason to prefer "downing" rather than just stopping?
Do both if you want. The down, I think in general just requires more attention to you and when its reliable, maybe its just a little more distraction proof. I use wait when mine is walking out ahead of me, to change into heel position. I don't tether him for any of those things though.

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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-13-2017, 01:43 PM
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Thanks for all the responses. Newlie actually already knows "Go out" and he picked that up pretty quickly, too, but I never thought of pairing it with this new thing I was trying. I hadn't done "go out" in a while, but tried it again this morning and he still remembered. What I do is put Newlie in a down, walk some distance away, and put a couple of tennis balls on the ground. Then I come back to him, say "Go out" and he goes out and gets one of the balls and races back to me where I throw him another ball. It goes to show you how smart they are that in a yard full of tennis balls in every condition, he knows I want him to go to the ones I just laid down.

I will try what you suggested, Steve, and let you know what happens.

Tim, I just prefer him in a down because it may buy me a few extra seconds to get to him in an emergency.
This is my dog Newlie, in the beginning its motion exercises in the context of formal ob. If you skip to 6mins, its just a simple way of making sure he's following the commands, without being dependent on any formal cues. Just my voice.


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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-13-2017, 02:17 PM
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So my stop command stems from what inadvertently came out of my mouth the first time I had Nyx offleash, she was 5 months old. We stopped at a lake that had a huge grassy area around it and not another soul in site, so it seemed an ideal time to see how she'd do. Things were going very well until she spooked up a couple quail. They took off and flew just over the tops of the grass, and of course Nyx was in hot pursuit! Fearing that she'd run off too far I literally SCREAMED STOP, then recalled her. Though she'd never been told to stop before, I'm sure the maniacal tone in my voice at the time played a role, and she recalled beautifully. Thinking about this on the way home, I realized how important some command like this would be in keeping her safe down the road. So I started trying to formalize it. I began by walking around our front yard with her on leash and having her "stop" at the boundary. She's really good at this now, as I also have a garden I didn't want her in, so I put up a ribbon barrier and worked on stopping there as well. So, in essence it is a stop-stand command. Now though, as I've tried to get her to stop while coming toward me, she does eventually, but not immediately, which made me think of utilizing a tether initially to convey the intention of immediate response. I was thinking once she understood that at a walking pace, it would easily extend to faster gates with reinforcement without the tether. I've also been teaching her to sit, then lay, then stand in place. She does all these things well, except for the stand...she always advances toward me a few steps. So again I thought perhaps using a tether and having her go through these different positions would help her understand that "stand" does not include walking forward.

Anyway, I'll incorporate the techniques mentioned by Steve above, I was just curious as to whether there might be some good reason NOT to try using a tether.
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