Training Recall, leave it and drop it (give/release) - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-03-2013, 11:46 AM Thread Starter
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Training Recall, leave it and drop it (give/release)

My pup is now 7 months old. We went to puppy head start and now we are going to the first basic obe. class. I really like my trainer but she does go in "baby steps" and I really need to train recall, leave it and drop it now.

Its been a while (17-19 years) since I had to train a puppy and for the life of me can't remember how I successfully taught these commands in the past. So if you have any training tips I would appreciate you passing them on. Or training books/dvd's. I plan on working on my own with these commands as they are needed now .

He knows, sit, down, stay, wait, off, crate, shake.

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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-03-2013, 12:14 PM
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Recall - get a long leash, allow him some freedom then call him. If he doesn't come right away give a tug on the line and talk excitedly to him as he comes to you. BIG party when he's in arm reach, give lots of love and praise then send out again. Do it again and again until he realizes that coming to you when called gets really great rewards. Also, I can't stress this enough - NEVER do a recall and punish. If the dog anticipates that coming to you may have bad consequences then it will never be 100%.

So for example the dog is running offleash and you call him and he doesn't listen, you get mad and call him repeatedly until he finally does come and scold him when he comes. First mistake, never let him offleash until you've got a reliable recall and he understands what's required. Second mistake, even if you had to call twice he DID come so don't give him as big of a reward as if he came in the first place but do mark the behaviour even if it's a simple pat and "good boy"

Leave it - easiest way I use, face the dog with a treat in a clenched fist. Say the command once then allow the dog to sniff and lick your hand but don't reward until they back off. Mark and reward. They should quickly learn that moving away from the object is the key, you can graduate then to lowering your hand until it's on the ground. Then palm up and treat on the open hand on the ground, then drop the treat on the ground.

Drop it - I use a two reward system, either a treat and toy combo, or two toy combo. Give the dog one of the toys, then offer the other toy/treat and shake it to make it enticing. When the dog drops the current toy in favour of the new one, mark and reward with the new toy/treat. Do it a few times until they drop it easily, then use the command and gently tug on the toy in the mouth to encourage the rapid drop and mark.


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Jasmine - Female Miniature Poodle - born Aug 15, 2010
Loker Delgado Von Stalworth - Male GSD - born Jan 26, 2012
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Alex - Male Cocker Spaniel (rescue) - RIP Cuddlebug 2007-2010
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-03-2013, 03:10 PM
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You've had your pup since it was 13 weeks. You already have a recall..leave it...and drop it. Now you need to proof it.

Carry treats with you 100% of the time. When you're in the house and you call your pup to you say, "Come!" and reward.

Instead of saying "NO!" when your pup tries to eat your shoes or rug or arm or say "Leave it!" and reward.

I didn't teach "Drop it". I taught "Bring it". If my pooch has something he isn't supposed to, I want him to bring it to me. I put out my hand, when he gives it to me (will drop it on the ground for a long time at first) I'll provide a reward.

If I'm playing tug and I want my dog to let go, I'll say "out". I'll reward when he complies.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-03-2013, 03:26 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the input. I will be incorporating your suggestions today.
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