Teach me how to do this: - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-11-2011, 10:56 AM Thread Starter
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Teach me how to do this:

Here's what I'd like to do:

I have Kira, and 4.5 month GSD.

I would like to eventually have her drop on a dime if necessary.

I'd like to paint a scenario....

Let's say my kids open the front door, and run outside. Kira sees this, and decides to chase her
I notice this is a spit second, and want to stop her dead in her tracks, and drop her to a down position.

How would I go about doing this?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-11-2011, 11:02 AM
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Step 1 - place dime securely on floor

Sorry I couldn't resist!

The two most important commands (IMO) are recall and leave it.
Get her solid in these two and that will cover the scenario above.
On a side note, never ever scold after a recall. That is the quickest way to ruin a good recall.

Oh and yes the wait command Dawn mentions is also in the top 3.

Last edited by GSDAlphaMom; 11-11-2011 at 11:11 AM.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-11-2011, 11:03 AM
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You'll just have to have your kids play out that scenario with you and try it for yourself. Do it repeatedly and she'll learn it in no time.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-11-2011, 11:05 AM
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Here is your answer: https://www.germanshepherds.com/forum...pens-soon.html
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-11-2011, 11:09 AM
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Teach her to WAIT! she can never go through a door (crate, house, car) without being told to. Dont be surprised when she doesnt come INTO the house without being told to. My DH couldnt understand that last part. Dog doesnt know the difference of in or out, it is still a door.

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-11-2011, 01:45 PM
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I tend to use a drop down more often than I do a recall. I get quicker, more reliable results with that than I do a recall (even though my dogs have a solid recall) and sometimes I just want my dog to lay down where they are and not come to me (say I have a scared kitten or something in my arms, I don't want my dog to come, I want him/her to lie down when he/she is immediately).

I taught it by first teaching a drop on recall:
- get a mat or large towel
- put dog in a sit stay and walk out from him
- face the dog and put the mat/towel at your feet
- call the dog and when he steps onto the mat, tell him to down
- repeat step 4 a few times
- begin to increase your distance from the mat once you see your dog anticipating (he will start laying down on the mat right before you tell him)
- always tell the dog to down right when his toes hit the mat
- when you see the dog anticipate that he has to lie on the mat, starting making the mat smaller until it is nonexistent.
- A couple of sessions, depending on how well the dog knows how to learn" and you should have a dog that will drop on recall

The dog will quickly generalize laying down at a distance just to the word.

Also, you want to make sure that when you practice this, you mix it up every now and then as your dog may generalize a bit too much and will start downing on his or her own every time you call her.

Here's hoping this made sense... I just woke up

edited to add: you may find it helpful to also teach her a drop at heel (google for more info). Don't expect too much since she is so young, but I teach the beginning of complex commands to all of my pups, I like how it gets their brains working.


Last edited by BeautifulChaos; 11-11-2011 at 01:49 PM.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-11-2011, 01:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony8858 View Post
Here's what I'd like to do:

I have Kira, and 4.5 month GSD.

I would like to eventually have her drop on a dime if necessary.

I'd like to paint a scenario....

Let's say my kids open the front door, and run outside. Kira sees this, and decides to chase her
I notice this is a spit second, and want to stop her dead in her tracks, and drop her to a down position.

How would I go about doing this?
The "down" is a very important command to train. The dog should be able to down immediately from any position and distance with respect to you.

You teach it in small steps. Start with down in front of you then beside you, then with you facing away. Next do the same exercises in your back yard, then in the pet store, in the park etc etc. It will take 4-8 months and with proper training you could down her in any circumstance/distraction level.

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-11-2011, 01:53 PM
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I don't know. I like an emergency down. Sometimes I think it's much safer than a recall. I've had situations with strange dogs coming to me and I dont want my dog near, so I can yell platz and they stay safe over there while I handle the situation. I've also seen disasters where dogs have been called back across a road, I'd rather be able to down my dog until I can get him safe.

You would teach it like any other command. We have the down on the voraus in SchH and I teach it as an emergency down. You would start by teaching down. Teach it happy and teach it quick. Clickers and fast rewards are good tools for this. Once your dog is doing this you can start to teach them to hold it and generalize it to being in motion. Then you start adding in distractions. At this point we usually add in a correction phase, where there are consequences for not doing the down command. One thing we do for our ball crazy dogs is throw the ball, have them hold the down and then release them to it. Then throw the ball and down them on the way to get it. Then are usually on a leash at this point and I issue the down command quickly. Generally speaking you have more control the closer you are to the dog to issue the command. If they ignore the command, the hit the end of the leash, receive a correction. I repeat the command. When they perform it, then I release them to the ball. At some point I will graduate to the ecollar to proof it at long distances. In this way the command is reliable. They know they get something for the executing the down but they also learn there are consequences for not complying.

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-11-2011, 02:08 PM
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I will add one thing. When you train the down, train it with the dog standing (from stand to down). If you sit the dog first then train the down from a sit, it defeats the purpose of "drop on dime" command as the dog only knows how to do it from a sit position. The dog should be able to down from stand, walk or run and it is trained that way.

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-11-2011, 02:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony8858 View Post
...have her drop on a dime if necessary.
I am unclear if the other posters read the same thing I did....the OP is asking about a platz or down command, and most everyone is talking about recalls and other behaviors???

Anthony, I believe you're thinking is aligned with how I train....certainly a strong recall is key, but developing your dog to a point where he/she will drop on command it a very important safety behavior to me. I use the German command "platz" but certainly down, lay or any other word employed consistently will work.

To begin, with the dog in a standing position I use food to teach the behavior, and either a clicker or the word "yes" to mark when the dog has it correct. For me, the mechanics of how the dog downs and the specific position is very important, but for a family companion, simply achieving the down should be sufficient.

With a piece of food in your hand such that the dog knows it is there but can't get to it...lure the dog to the floor such that he/she lays down to sniff and lick the hand that holds the food. As soon as the pup drops to the floor, mark the correct behavior with a click or "yes" and immediately reward with the piece of food...on the floor in the down position....then free the dog. Repeat this process over and over for brief intervals (10 mins at a time or so) over what could be several sessions over several days....or could be one or two sessions in one day....depends on you as a trainer and the dog.

Once you're at a point where the dog is anticipating the behavior such that he/she drops to a down position at the moment you start to move your hand/food to the floor, you're ready to put a name to the behavior.

At this point clarity of command is important. Say the word/command, offer assistance, mark the behavior, and provide the reward. "Down", motion your hand/food to the floor, when the dog downs say "yes" or click, and immediately offer the treat. If you perform this in any other sequence, the dog's learning will be hampered.

Once the dog begins to anticipate the behavior on the verbal que, this is when you start to fad the assistance with respect to the physical motion toward the floor with hand/food. Key is to keep up with the marking and reward.

Once the dog has learned the behavior, stay aware of speed. You want the pup to drop quickly, so once you're confident they have learned, and know the behavior, you hold back reward for a slow, leisurely down....say "no", withhold the reward, and on the next que, offer the assistance at a rapid pace such that the dog works to keep up with the hand/food, and when they quickly drop with the hand/food, mark and reward with excitement....but no so much as the break the down.

Once the dog has learned the behavior, you'll want to put a command on allowing the dog to get up...I use "free". They quickly learn that "free" means they can get up and move about.

Another aspect to work on is duration and proofing. Once the dog knows down, start making them hold the position for longer and longer periods of time before freeing them. At first the down should be just a moment, then free....later, minutes, then free, and eventually 15 minutes - half an hour....or until you tell them otherwise. Proofing is when you're at a point where once the dog is down, a deer could walk by and they should not move.

Best of luck.

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