Front Command - Closing the Gap - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-08-2018, 04:46 PM Thread Starter
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Front Command - Closing the Gap

So Alyska and I have been working on the front command and its going pretty good. Get centered is a bit of a challenge but using guides has helped and she's getting better, but now I'm facing difficulty closing the gap between her and I. She has a bad habit of sitting distant and won't come closer even with food lures (high quality or not). I've read that some people use chairs to help close the gap, but was curious if anyone else has a suggestion?

I did notice that whenever she has more speed behind it at a greater distance, that she'll slam her nose into me and the gap is closed. But we don't normally have alot of space to train so thats not often that she gets to "Front" at a quicker pace.

TIA
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-08-2018, 04:57 PM
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Move quickly a few steps backward,stop when she's close enough,Yes!Reward!Only accept the correct position,never reward for 'almost good enough'

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-08-2018, 04:59 PM Thread Starter
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Move quickly a few steps backward,stop when she's close enough,Yes!Reward!Only accept the correct position,never reward for 'almost good enough'
I'll give that a try! We did do that as we first started training (last week) whenever she would sit off to the side, but she didn't quite get it. Maybe now that she's more centered it'll work better for closing that gap. Thanks for the tip!
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-08-2018, 05:12 PM
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Try having her just sit, then you step into front position real close and just feed her there, then release her. See if you can just make her more comfortable right in there, close. See if that has any effect on her. If that doesn't help, have you used toys with her ob?

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-08-2018, 05:44 PM Thread Starter
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Try having her just sit, then you step into front position real close and just feed her there, then release her. See if you can just make her more comfortable right in there, close. See if that has any effect on her. If that doesn't help, have you used toys with her ob?
I'll try that too, I did have really good success just a few minutes ago by holding the treat up higher then I had it, there were probably some other factors too but I didn't quite catch everything. I was just very proud of her position and ended it there.

I have tried training with a ball since she normally has a pretty high ball drive, but she gets frustrated pretty easily and loses interest and then that makes it hard to really use the ball as a lure. I'm wondering if maybe using a ball on a string would be better... I don't think I've tried a squeaky/soft yet. This is my first time training for competition so its all been a learning process and a lot of trial and error on my part and definitely ALOT I haven't even tried but am extremely willing to learn and try anything to help engagement.

I do know that out of all the rewards I've tried with her, Praise is her ultimate one so whenever she does something perfect she's allowed to jump up and I go crazy with praise and that has seemed to really help with motivation. I'm wondering if I were to pair that with a ball if that would really get her engaged.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-08-2018, 05:53 PM
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If you're going to use toys in ob, 2 of the things that are important, they have to really want the toy, and they have to learn to cap all that to access it. In real general terms, you tease them with the toy, make them hold a position, and take it on command. There's different techniques, but this is one:


When the dog is sitting with hard focus and anticipation like that, that's capped.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-08-2018, 06:04 PM Thread Starter
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If you're going to use toys in ob, 2 of the things that are important, they have to really want the toy, and they have to learn to cap all that to access it. In real general terms, you tease them with the toy, make them hold a position, and take it on command. There's different techniques, but this is one:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XqBPiZK4BcU

When the dog is sitting with hard focus and anticipation like that, that's capped.
Oh this is awesome, I actually work similar to that just when playing outside with her (Making her sit and stay until I'm ready to throw the ball) to work on compulsion.. I think this may be a very viable technique to try. Thank you so much for sharing this!
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-08-2018, 10:41 PM
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Being aware of your own positioning can help. Slouching, leaning forward, arms, etc.. It can make a difference in how the dog comes in. I found myself sending mixed messages just through body language. Might be something to keep an eye on.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-08-2018, 10:46 PM
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My girl made a gap because of what Nigel said - my body positioning and luring position wasn’t in the appropriate place for my dog. It helps to have someone review what you’re doing. Lots of times it’s us and not the dog.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-09-2018, 12:45 AM Thread Starter
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Being aware of your own positioning can help. Slouching, leaning forward, arms, etc.. It can make a difference in how the dog comes in. I found myself sending mixed messages just through body language. Might be something to keep an eye on.
Yes! The trainer and I talked about this just today. I was infact leaning forward so now I'm working on staying straight or leaning back. Our next problem being addressed is that she always wants to sit more left or go into a heel, I've been working on that with barriers and then a continuous moving backwards to help. It seems to be encouraging proper position but only time will tell for sure.
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