Release to eat? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 10:11 AM Thread Starter
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Release to eat?

I want to teach Pistol to wait until I release her to eat when the food is sitting right in front of her. I haven't taught the older dogs this (although I probably will if I have Pistol doing it). Is it just a sit-stay with a normal release or is there a better way to train it? Pistol's 10 weeks old. She does have sit down very well since we use it for putting on and taking off the leash when we go out for potty breaks, walks, etc. She doesn't have a stay yet. So I'm just trying to figure out the progression I need to follow to get there. Also...do you think the release for food should be the same as her normal release cue (we're working on "Free" for that). I would like to have "Amen" for her food release (yeah...I'm nerdy like this). I just wanted to see if you guys thought I was on spot with how to train this or to see how you guys trained your dogs to do it.

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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 10:23 AM
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Just a sit-stay with a normal release.. unless you want to do it differently. My dogs know they don't eat when the food goes down. I don't sit or stay them. They just stand over the bowl and drool into it, watching me. Your pup is too early to do this with though... you could train it, but its asking too much for a puppy that young. For now, just make him sit-stay while you prepare it, and take a while walking to put it in front of him, making sure his eyes are on you as much as possible.

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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 10:34 AM
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I just use a basic sit/wait at meal times. However, I also expect my dogs to NOT eat any food w/out permission. This means if someone drops food, the dog is expected not to eat it - if someone's plate is w/in reach, the dog is expected not to eat it....they get permission or they don't eat it. This is something we were expected to instill in the guide puppy my sister raised over 20 years ago and it has just stuck with me.
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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by BOHICA Bay View Post
I just use a basic sit/wait at meal times. However, I also expect my dogs to NOT eat any food w/out permission. This means if someone drops food, the dog is expected not to eat it - if someone's plate is w/in reach, the dog is expected not to eat it....they get permission or they don't eat it. This is something we were expected to instill in the guide puppy my sister raised over 20 years ago and it has just stuck with me.
Not to hijack, but I would love to know how you did this, if you could share the details (which might help the OP too).

So far Saber (12 weeks today) knows to "wait" (sit away from the food bag) while I dish up her food, and sit before I will put the dish down. I think that's a good start at this age, OP. You can get that down pat and then add the release later, maybe?

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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 10:48 AM
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I did this for a while, but in my household the "wait" became like a starting line before a race. It got to where they were choking, they were bolting their food down so quickly. The only thing that changed was me making them sit and wait to be released. So I stopped and the eating slowed back down.


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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 11:31 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by hunterisgreat View Post
Just a sit-stay with a normal release.. unless you want to do it differently. My dogs know they don't eat when the food goes down. I don't sit or stay them. They just stand over the bowl and drool into it, watching me. Your pup is too early to do this with though... you could train it, but its asking too much for a puppy that young. For now, just make him sit-stay while you prepare it, and take a while walking to put it in front of him, making sure his eyes are on you as much as possible.

Thanks... I know she's too early to do the entire thing now, but I also know that if I have the finished product in mind while I'm working on baby stuff now I can make teaching the finished product a lot easier. I just wanted to make sure I was going to follow the right path to it.

@Bohica...I like that idea...hmmmm

@ Cassadee... I don't think you were high jacking the thread...what you were asking did go along with the topic. At least in my opinion it was helpful. Let's hope Bohica comes back to explain!

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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 12:22 PM
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It was a progressive work on impulse control really. If you think about it, a working guide dog must ignore/resist any and all food that they are not supposed to have. Because their human is sight impared, it would be all too easy for someone to give the dog inappropriate food or for the dog to pick it up on their own. To avoid this issue, the puppy is taught to eat only from their bowl or from their handler/someone only after express permission from the handler to take/eat the food. Some guide schools that do puppy raising actually go so far as to require use of only praise rewards vs. treat rewards on the theory that it will help to eliminate the temptation for taking food, etc even further. The school we worked with at the time was okay with treats but the treat had to become associated with having permission to take it. The pups were expected to learn to refuse any/all food whether dropped, found or offered by someone without the express permission of their handler to eat that food.
It was not easy, but it was done as a basic impulse control training.
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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 12:26 PM
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I don't utilize verbage to release my dog - I have a hand signal. I may say something at that time, but he looks for the signal to be released. As we have livestock, I wanted to make sure if I have him in a down (for his safety) that he doesn't release because I'm speaking to the livestock.

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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 12:37 PM
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We started training this at 14 weeks with our GSD. We would put the leash on him and one of us would prepare food and the other would put him in a sit-stay. Every time he went to get up we corrected and put him back into sit-stay. We started putting the food down and making him wait 2 seconds, then 4, then 6 etc. before releasing to build up to it. Hunterisgreat is right she is too young to be expected to resist very long. If you try to make her wait to long your just setting her up for failure.
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 02:29 PM
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I put my dog in a down all the way across the room on his bed then every week or so i'd wait a little bit longer to release him. I use a work completely different than his release word for stay/wait. Stay/wait = Hund Food= Bird. I wanted random words we don't use in typical conversations. I'm slowly moving him closer so he understand that even if he's right on top of the food he can't touch the food until released.

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