Training Challenge #4 - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-22-2009, 10:34 PM Thread Starter
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Training Challenge #4

Melanie gave me the go-ahead to post this challenge. Challenge #4 is geared toward the novice, those with young dogs, and those who just want to brush up on the basic commands. There are two parts to this challenge since they do go hand-in-hand. Your dog must know what "sit" and "down" mean (whatever language is used).

Challenge Part One: Can you put your dog in a sit or a down, leave the room, and come back to your dog still sitting or holding a down? How long? Your first challenge is to work up to being able to leave your dog in a sit or a down out of sight (in a SAFE environment) for an age-appropriate length of time. I'm starting light and will be working towards 60 seconds but Renji has had a lot of work with this already. Can you do ten seconds? 30 seconds? Three minutes?

Challenge Part Two: So your dog can sit and down and stay there until you give your release command. But will your dog hold a sit or down while you do jumping jacks? Walk over her back? Walk all the way around him to the left and to the right? Jog in place? Clap your hands? What about sit down on the floor and stand back up? A lot of dogs have problems holding a sit and down while their owners jump around and dance and do things that look fun. Work up to doing a myriad of activities while your dog holds position.

Both of these activities will firm up your dog's basic obedience and will be VERY helpful if you decide to go for a CGC or a rally or OB title. Even if you don't do any of these, they will make your dog a lot easier to live with and the training also will help drain your dog's energy. So arm yourself with treats or toys, a clicker or your voice, set a small goal, and go for it! Remember to start with small baby steps- in the first challenge, just being able disappear around the corner for a half-second with your dog holding position is a success and for the second challenge, being able to walk from the front of your dog to its side and back with the dog holding position also is something to be rewarded.

My Part One goal is to reach one minute and go from there. My Part Two goal is to be able to bang on pots and pans and do a silly dance while my dog holds. He HATES pots and pans banging.

Renji - 6 y/o M GSD x chow rescue


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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-22-2009, 11:20 PM
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Re: Training Challenge #4

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Quote: be able to bang on pots and pans and do a silly dance while my dog holds
Diane, in our advanced classes we do proofing exercises every week while working on holding sits and downs. We have used everything from the obvious (tennis balls, squeaky toys, dropped food) to creative (walking around each dog with a mop and bucket, rattleing chains, kids push toys that make noises, etc.)

We also (besides jumping up and down) quickly kneel and put our arms out to the sides (typical 'here puppy gesture,) make kissy sounds, clap our hands, etc.)

I love proofing exercises.

Reminder to everyone - add seconds, or add distance but never do both at the same time. Baby steps so your dog is successful.

Thanks, Diane. I like this one a lot.

Bonnie

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-23-2009, 07:23 AM
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Re: Training Challenge #4

This is a good one even if you have a dog that knows the stay - it's easy for people to become lax on the stays and they really are very important exercises.

If someone has a dog that's really great on the stays and wants to try something harder, lay down on the floor and call your dog to you - give the "sit" and the "stay" command while you're laying on the floor. You might be surprised at how hard it is for your dog to respond to commands when you're flat on your back.

Another more difficult proofing exercise is to have one dog on a stay while you practice recalls with another dog - or even ask the second dog to do a recall that makes them jump over the dog that's in a down-stay (something we used to do in classes back in the 80's and early 90's).

For now, though, I'm going to work on little busybody Tazer and see if we can get a basic out-of-sight stay. She has the basics down but I haven't actually worked on the out-of-sight part. So this will be good for her. I'll probably do it with Khana, too, since we're working on open exercises and we don't do enough stays.

Trick and Dora, at nearly 13 and 12 years respectively, don't have to do much anymore! *L*

Melanie and the gang in Alaska

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-23-2009, 07:33 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Training Challenge #4

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Quote:Another more difficult proofing exercise is to have one dog on a stay while you practice recalls with another dog
The most DIFFICULT thing in the world for Renji is keeping still while other dogs are moving, and when they're running, forget it! We really need to go back to training classes. It's just been too cold.

Quote:
Quote:We also (besides jumping up and down) quickly kneel and put our arms out to the sides (typical 'here puppy gesture,) make kissy sounds, clap our hands, etc.)
Good one! Once your dog's getting really solid, creativity is key in forming new situations to proof against.

Renji - 6 y/o M GSD x chow rescue


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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-23-2009, 09:52 AM
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Re: Training Challenge #4

Ris is already good at #1 and #2. I often leave her in a sit/stay in another room while we play the 'Find it' game. And I think it's really fun to goof off around her while she's holding a stay. In fact, I've put her in stand/stays and jumped over her back like a hurdle and she doesn't break.

The laying on my back and asking her for a sit. . .that she might not do. If I'm sitting on the floor, yes. But laying down, I dunno. I'll have to try it.

~Jamie~
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-23-2009, 10:41 AM
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Re: Training Challenge #4

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Quote:We also (besides jumping up and down) quickly kneel and put our arms out to the sides (typical 'here puppy gesture,) make kissy sounds, clap our hands, etc.)
Personally, I would never do this to my dog. First, you tell the dog to stay, then you tell the dog to come to you, and then "correct" the dog for not staying? IMHO, that's unfair and setting your dog up for a lot of confusion and failure. I can see someone ELSE doing the gesturing/kissy noises but not the handler.

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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-23-2009, 11:02 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Training Challenge #4

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Quote:I can see someone ELSE doing the gesturing/kissy noises but not the handler.
Agreed.

Renji - 6 y/o M GSD x chow rescue


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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-23-2009, 06:23 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Training Challenge #4

Anyone working on this today? I did some of this yesterday. I know Renji can hold a lot longer but we're starting small to bolster our foundation. I was able to keep him in a down and a sit and walk over him, around him, do jumping jacks, jog, knock on wood (heh), and smack tables without him breaking. We also did five second successful out of sights. We have done higher, but again, strengthening that foundation.

Let's hear your progress.

Renji - 6 y/o M GSD x chow rescue


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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-24-2009, 04:28 AM
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Re: Training Challenge #4

I practiced tonight with all four dogs after they'd had dinner (I know, most people work their dogs BEFORE they feed them, but mine are such chow hounds (pun intended) that it doesn't seem to matter). I was only going to work with Tazer, first, but they all seemed eager to do something.

So I put them all on a down-stay and then I walked away and out of sight behind some stuff in the shop (walking toward the door into the living quarters, which is very tempting for them). ALL stayed beautifully at first, and I went back and rewarded after about 10 seconds out of sight (didn't want to push it too long with Tazer, since she's not done out of sight stays).

The second time they all held it too even when I knocked on the door of the living quarters (and no one even barked!), but I let Trick and Dora (the old dogs) get up after that as they were laying on cold concrete. I did two more longer out of sight stays for Tazer and Khana and they did very well. Khana is pretty darn solid on her stays, and Tazer is good at following Khana's lead. It's pretty funny how the GSDs and the chows learn from each other - I see traits in Tazer that are chow-like, and traits in Khana that are shepherd-like.

We'll work on this some more - I would like Tazer to have a very solid stay. Sit will be more difficult, I think. Tazer just came into heat, too, and Khana is still in heat so I'm watching to see if we have any hormonal changes that make things weird for them (so far nothing).

Melanie and the gang

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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-24-2009, 05:58 AM
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Re: Training Challenge #4

Quote:
Quote: Challenge Part One: Can you put your dog in a sit or a down, leave the room, and come back to your dog still sitting or holding a down? How long? Your first challenge is to work up to being able to leave your dog in a sit or a down out of sight (in a SAFE environment) for an age-appropriate length of time. I'm starting light and will be working towards 60 seconds but Renji has had a lot of work with this already. Can you do ten seconds? 30 seconds? Three minutes?
Mandi does not like this and so far we have not been able to make it at all. She will wait for about 3 seconds before she gets up to see where I went. We'll keep working on it.

Quote:
Quote:
Challenge Part Two: So your dog can sit and down and stay there until you give your release command. But will your dog hold a sit or down while you do jumping jacks? Walk over her back? Walk all the way around him to the left and to the right? Jog in place? Clap your hands? What about sit down on the floor and stand back up? A lot of dogs have problems holding a sit and down while their owners jump around and dance and do things that look fun. Work up to doing a myriad of activities while your dog holds position.
Now this is something Mandi can do. A few months ago I started making her wait to eat. Since she loves to eat, she picked up on this quickly. She has to sit while one of us puts the bowl down and then she has to wait to be told she can eat. While she is sitting there waiting I dance (the Eileen dance from Seinfeld sometimes). I pet her head. I bunny hop. I look around and whistle. I yawn. She learned that she has to endure this torture sitting down or else we will pick up her food bowl and walk away with it.

I know she'll stay in a down while I walk around and over her as she learned this in training when I would return to her while she was in a down stay.

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