how can I teach my puppy to sit,down,etc from distance? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-18-2010, 11:37 AM Thread Starter
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Question how can I teach my puppy to sit,down,etc from distance?

My puppy will be 6MO tomorrow and im wondering how can I teach him to 'Down' even when hes not right next to me or in front of me.
If i leave him in 'stay' and walk away a few steps off him he'll get in front of me after saying 'Down'.
He always stands in front of me when I say the command IF he's not near me.
How can I make him understand that theres no need to get closer in order to do the command?.

Last edited by Helios; 09-18-2010 at 11:40 AM. Reason: Typos
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-18-2010, 12:49 PM
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You can put him on a leash and tell him to sit and stay, then back up- praising him for staying. Each time the dog gets up, you'll have to calmly go back, put him in a sit and stay, then slowly back up again. Eventually you'll be able to get farther away. He's pretty young to be able to do this off leash, give him time
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-18-2010, 01:06 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stosh View Post
You can put him on a leash and tell him to sit and stay, then back up- praising him for staying. Each time the dog gets up, you'll have to calmly go back, put him in a sit and stay, then slowly back up again. Eventually you'll be able to get farther away. He's pretty young to be able to do this off leash, give him time

He actually sits/stay/down and stays like that when I tell him to, i can move around him, walk away and he keeps the down/sit/stay command unless I dissapear of his sight but that's okey.

What I want to know is how to make him sit,down, when im not in front of him or near him.

Last edited by Helios; 09-18-2010 at 01:11 PM.
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-18-2010, 01:25 PM Thread Starter
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EDIT: how can I teach him to SIT or DOWN even when hes not right next to me or in front of me.

Example: When I leave him in 'stay' and walk away a few steps off him and then I say DOWN first he'll get in front of me and then do the command after saying 'Down' instead of doing the down command in the spot where i left him.


How can I make him understand that theres no need to get closer in order to do the command?.

Hope you can understand me xD..

Last edited by Helios; 09-18-2010 at 01:28 PM. Reason: Typos
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-18-2010, 02:05 PM
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I do understand what you're saying, and what he's doing is pretty typical - most of us start training our dogs with them right in front of us, basically toe to toe, so that becomes part of how the dog learns the command. If they're a few feet away they run to us and sit in front because they've learned the command in a very context specific way, which is why generalizing is an important step with any command. Once he's reliable in one context, change it up. He sits in front of you? Great - how about at your side in heel position? How about when he's in the car, or you're sitting on the couch, or laying on the floor? Standing on a chair? With your back turned? Use your imagination!

When you feel that he understands and has fully generalized the command you can start working on it at a distance. Keep in mind that any time you change the criteria (adding distance, duration or distraction) it's new to the dog, so you may have start at the beginning again, using hand signals as a reminder even though he's consistently responding to a verbal cue at that point.

There are a couple of ways to teach distance commands that I know of, others may know of more. I usually have a pretty strong stay command so I can combine that with whatever else I'm teaching - I have the dog stay, (it sometimes helps to use a hand signal here, like a traffic cop would signal you to stop) back away a few feet, and then command sit or down or whatever I'm working on. Work pretty close at first before adding distance, and if he starts to move forward, step in and back him up to the original place. I like to use a negative marker (often referred to as a "no-reward" marker) which lets the dog know that they've done the wrong thing and will not get a reward. So as I'm moving towards the dog after he breaks I say "ah, ah" (or "oops" or "wrong", whatever you want to use), and put him back in place.

Another way is to tether him to something with the leash so he CAN'T move towards you. In either case, step in to reward him and then step back again.

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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-18-2010, 02:17 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassidy's Mom View Post
I do understand what you're saying, and what he's doing is pretty typical - most of us start training our dogs with them right in front of us, basically toe to toe, so that becomes part of how the dog learns the command. If they're a few feet away they run to us and sit in front because they've learned the command in a very context specific way, which is why generalizing is an important step with any command. Once he's reliable in one context, change it up. He sits in front of you? Great - how about at your side in heel position? How about when he's in the car, or you're sitting on the couch, or laying on the floor? Standing on a chair? With your back turned? Use your imagination!

When you feel that he understands and has fully generalized the command you can start working on it at a distance. Keep in mind that any time you change the criteria (adding distance, duration or distraction) it's new to the dog, so you may have start at the beginning again, using hand signals as a reminder even though he's consistently responding to a verbal cue at that point.

There are a couple of ways to teach distance commands that I know of, others may know of more. I usually have a pretty strong stay command so I can combine that with whatever else I'm teaching - I have the dog stay, (it sometimes helps to use a hand signal here, like a traffic cop would signal you to stop) back away a few feet, and then command sit or down or whatever I'm working on. Work pretty close at first before adding distance, and if he starts to move forward, step in and back him up to the original place. I like to use a negative marker (often referred to as a "no-reward" marker) which lets the dog know that they've done the wrong thing and will not get a reward. So as I'm moving towards the dog after he breaks I say "ah, ah" (or "oops" or "wrong", whatever you want to use), and put him back in place.

Another way is to tether him to something with the leash so he CAN'T move towards you. In either case, step in to reward him and then step back again.
Thanks for the idea, imma start doing that

The idea of tethering him to something with the leash came to my mind but yet i wanted keep reading other ways of teaching him that.
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-18-2010, 09:38 PM
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Tie him to something. Start the known commands right in front of him as he's used to, then a step back, another step back, back and to the side, 20 feet away, etc.

For this training using a marker such as "YES!" or a click at the moment he does the right thing will be useful. That way as soon as he goes down from 20 feet, he knows he did the right thing when he hears the "YES!" and you can bring the treat to him a few seconds later.

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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-18-2010, 10:40 PM
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As I understand it, your dog is technically responding to your commands. You give the command, and the dog performs it. The issue here is that your dog doesn't have a solid stay, so that is actually what you need to work on.

Each time the dog gets up when you give the command down (or whatever command), you need to take the dogs leash and return him to the spot he was supposed to stay in. No talking to him, no coddling. Calmly and quietly return him, tell him to stay, and walk off again. If he tries to get up, give him an "ah ah" and initially, another "stay" command (from a distance). If he does stay, give him a second, then tell him "down" again.

Repeat as necessary.

If he gets up, return him, and try again. Persistance is the key.

If the issue was actually with giving the command "down" from a distance; he wouldn't be laying down at all. Your dog does listen, and does "down." He just doesn't "stay."
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-18-2010, 10:49 PM Thread Starter
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@Ucdcrush Imma do that !
@Rerun that makes sense now! Imma so doing that too.
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-19-2010, 12:47 AM
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teach him hand signals.
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