Article Indication - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-12-2016, 02:09 PM Thread Starter
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Article Indication

I need HELP with article indication for tracking. My dog is VERY food driven and would dig to China for 1 piece of kibble. So tracking has been easy to teach. However, we have been working on article indication. I have done: "marker" training away from the track, article tracks, games with the articles.

So.. she has a very nice platz with the article in between her paws, but will blow right over them if I didn't tell her to
platz and show me. I have just started using NO food except 3 paces right after the article( to keep her nose down) and placed the articles farther apart and reward heavily over the article while she is looking at it. I am trying to attach high value to the article and the indication.

Any ideas??
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-12-2016, 02:14 PM
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Using food paces after the article is the reason she's blowing them. I would do food reward in a small plastic container(like a fast food condiment cup with lid) and place it under the article.
Show her off the track first, then put it on the track when she understands. I wouldn't verbally mark it, but give her the reward, a calming stroke down her body to her tail, keep it low key when she correctly platzes.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-12-2016, 02:49 PM
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Article indication is basically an obedience exercise. I would go back to working the articles off the track. Ensure the dog has a solid, down stay. Lay a track about 15 yards long and place articles every 3 yards or so. Bring the dog up, keep the leash short and proceed to each article. When the dog gets to the article, command Platz and enforce if the dog doesn't down immediately. Pay between the dogs legs, dropping the food between it's legs. Before, you move on to the next article, cover the dog's eyes with one hand and toss a piece of food a foot in front of the dog. This way the food appears after the dog has indicated on the article, there is no odor to pull the dog past the article. When you do this, it is like a "slight of hand" trick. You cover the eyes, so the dog doesn't see you toss the food. Praise, calmly and restart the dog. This also corrects any dogs that "jack rabbit" start after the articles. Dogs that bounce up and want to fly down the track. It causes the dog to start slowly and check for footprints right after the article.

I am assuming that you have already taught the articles with food either on the article or just in front of it.

After you back up in tracking training with the articles, go back to adding them on the track. It is very important to know exactly where on the track the articles are before the dog gets to them. You may need to stop the dog at the article and give the platz command. Make sure the dog downs, correctly and praise and reward. After the indication, cover the eyes, toss a piece of food a foot in front of the dog and restart.

See if this helps?

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-12-2016, 07:49 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much for your replies. I will give them a try!!
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-13-2016, 05:54 PM
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Like "slamdonc", I see the article indication as an obedience exercise and would do almost exactly as he said. But for the re-start, I'd extend the obedience portion of training & purposely slow the dog down. this can be either strictly an obedience exercise or you can actually hide an article one or two steps away from the original article and either restrain her on the re-start so she finds it herself OR you can let her jump off the original article & correct her to the second article, offering a lot of praise once she indicates it. Some view this as very minor "forced" tracking or obedience tracking.
Another way of doing this is decreasing the size of the article to the point where it's no larger than a dime then correcting her if she overshoots it. The smaller articles will do two things: slow the dog down and increase intensity in the search often increasing precision in the tracking.
The "trick" (?) with all this is having the dog motivated to track and knowing EXACTLY where the article is.
Lance Collins, an SV judge in Canada is an EXCELLENT tracking coach & I'd highly recommend you seek him out.......
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-13-2016, 08:46 PM
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I've done article indication the way Slamdunc described it, and have very reliable indication now. If yours blows an article, bring her back and make her indicate it. They can smell the article 10 feet away, trust me!! Many dogs indicate early because they can smell the article way before they come across it (my dog was indicating five paces prior to the article - I had to show him that he actually had to indicate ON the article, not just the smell), so blowing an article to me is a lack of focus, and a lack of caring, because they know the article is there, they are just not making the effort to pinpoint it and indicate it.


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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-13-2016, 09:00 PM
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Put the article at the end of the track. When you get to it, give the down command and treat on top of the article. You have to be ready with the treats in your hand and with the down command. Easy. Clear to the dog.

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-13-2016, 10:02 PM
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lLet's see... how many different things have been suggested? Pick one and work on that for a couple of days. See if that works. If not, try another one, etc.

But concensus= no food directly after article. After you pick up the article you can drop more food right there for her to hold the down while you straighten up or perhaps drop a few on the advancing track. But not ahead of time.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 01:48 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks to all. We have finally made progress. No food at all. Articles spaced closer than 10 feet to begin with. Lots of food with indication. She is now truly searching for the article and platzing without correction. She understands the articles have value. If the grass is short, very small articles. Will move on from here.
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