2 sets of commands? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-12-2015, 01:15 AM Thread Starter
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2 sets of commands?

a trainer reccomended me starting to use 2 sets of commands. 1 for regular stuff like walks and around the house which is more lax and one for outside training and are expected to be more explosive and on point. anyone else do this?

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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-12-2015, 02:53 PM
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'Down' and 'Platz' is a good example for me.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-12-2015, 03:22 PM
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IMO this seems to add ambiguity to your communication with your pet. The behavior should be conducted the same way each time or your 'fairness' in correcting is in question.

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-12-2015, 03:38 PM
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If you're expecting two different, albeit similar, outcomes, I understand, and we were also trained that way (AKC style obedience).

I expect something very precise when I say "Front!". If I say "Here", or "Come", the dog is correct by coming within arm's reach, regardless of position. All three words will bring my dog to me, but only one has a precise expectation.

Hope that makes sense!
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-12-2015, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by SchattenHaus View Post
a trainer reccomended me starting to use 2 sets of commands. 1 for regular stuff like walks and around the house which is more lax and one for outside training and are expected to be more explosive and on point. anyone else do this?
Yeah, I have formal commands and casual commands. Its all situational so they understand the difference.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-12-2015, 05:17 PM
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I use formal and informal commands. But I truly think the dog reads my body language as well as my vocal tone when providing the command. By tone, I certainly don't mean volume.

So if we're walking in the pasture and I walk across a snake. I'll do the snake dance, squeak a little (ok, a lot) and words will spill from my lips. They may or may not be a language that I even know, much less my dogs. At that time, my dogs will run up to me as if I just said, "Hey! Let's forget everything I've ever taught you and see how high you can jump on me! Yea, see if you can knock me in the head as I involuntarily do the snake dance!"

They don't care WHAT I'm saying. They are reacting to my body language and tone of my voice.

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-12-2015, 05:38 PM
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I use formal and informal commands. "Come" is come to me, "hier" is come to me fast and sit in front of me. "Lay you bum down" means find a comfy spot and put your belly on it, "platz" means drop, like Sphinx right this second and fast. I use "with me" or more likely "quit pulling" when I want a dog walking next to me on a loose leash and "fuss" or "heel"(my lab uses English words) if I want a specific position and focused attention.

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-12-2015, 10:39 PM
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Originally Posted by DogWalker View Post
IMO this seems to add ambiguity to your communication with your pet.
Not necessarily - you'd have different criteria for more formal commands that you'd use in competition vs casual commands that you'd use everywhere else. As long as you're consistent in enforcing those separate criteria it shouldn't confuse your dog at all.

Keep in mind that dogs don't generalize that well anyway, so to them, an immediate sphinx down like gsdsar describes isn't even the same thing as a relaxed down where the dog rolls onto a hip to get comfy. I think it would be more confusing for the same word to mean different things in different contexts, and having more relaxed criteria under different circumstances would probably degrade the command overall.

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-12-2015, 10:55 PM
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I don't bother. Your body language is completely different in the house and just out and about than on the field training or trialing. They are masters at body language. I"m not smart enough to have two lists of vocab words. the only one I do not use informally is fuss. I don't need him to have a focused heel when we are just walking. For that I just use 'with me'

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-12-2015, 11:49 PM
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I plan on using formal and informal, though I am planning on doing it in all English. I know some use multiple languages, like English for casual and German for Schutzhund or French for French Ring.

You just need to be consistent and clear with the rules and expectations for each command. Also, as others have stated, dogs are masters at reading body language, tone and situational context so the command is paired with environmental factors. I do think it is possible to have a single command, however, you have to ask yourself, are you really asking the same thing of the dog every time? If you are actually asking for two different things (laying down near you at home on the couch vs a hard fast down in competition), I'd just put it to two different commands. Others have great success using only the one.

For example, COME will be my word for a casual come to me, like in my house, where as HERE is for a hard recall/performance recall where I want my dog to come to me and front. HEEL means we are competition heeling, if we go on a walk, we will practice general loose leash walking and then LEFT or RIGHT if I want my dog to do a casual heel at other side of me (depending on crowds/location I want to be flexible where I can put my dog in relation to my body). You can train a dog to do virtually anything if you make the rules really crisp and consistent.

The problem people sometimes have if you use, for example, HERE for both your at home and competition command is, unless you want and enforce your dog to constantly do a competition HERE, even when causally at home, on the field it might become confused and not perform as crisply, leisurely coming to you instead of doing a nice straight front.

Really it is all preference. What works best for you and your dog? If you feel like having multiple commands is too confusing for you, it will probably confuse your dog! Environmental cues should be enough that your dog can pick up on your intent, if you are consistent with the body language aspect of training.
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