Administrator & LOTR Addict
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Bloomington, IN, USA
I teach a dog first to mark and go to a location using food. Then I move outside using a toy, show the the toy (usually a ball) on a small stand or a hanging tree, tell them mark and send them. As they learn the idea, I move farther away. Then I add in heeling, halts, before sending. Then I do blind send outs without the ball. Then I chain the send out with the retrieves.
I do the down in two ways. First I will ask the dog to down when it gets the ball at times. I also work random downs away from the exercise using toys and either a long line or an e-collar if needed (some dogs are very compliant and will down despite the drive to chase the ball).
Last thing I do is put the down with the send out. On the day I do this, there will be no ball there since I don't want the dog to be rewarded for being wrong. If they down, I go out to them, pretend to remove the ball from the tree, go to my dog and reward it. Sometimes I actually hang the ball (with my back to the dog), pick up my dog, turn around, and send them. I NEVER just send them after they have downed. I usually do it from a closer distance so I can run after my dog (haha run) and make sure they down and don't just run around searching (the reason why I never put a toy on the ground). Then it becomes random where most days I send the dog with the toy and then I will throw in a down (no toy) like in a trial. Depending on the dog I don't do these very often. Some dogs are harder to stop especially when judges wait until they are almost to the end of the field. These dogs might see the down more often. The random downs are very important, though. Nike never saw a down on a send out until the two times I trialed her. Vala, on the other hand, saw quite a few. LOL
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SG1 Deja IPO3 AWD1 KKL1 B/HOT, SG Elena IPO1 KKL CGC B/HOT, LB (the ugly little sable) IPO2 KKL B/HOT, and gone but not forgotten, Vala SchH3 AWD1 FH2 CGC B/HOT, Donovan IPO1 TR2 AD, Nike SchH1 OB1 TR3 AD CGC HOT, Treue SchH3 CD CGC HOT