FREE or release command - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-27-2010, 07:29 PM Thread Starter
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FREE or release command

Zoe is doing well in her obedience class. But we're working on the release or the FREE command. I haven't been able to do anything that makes her excited enough. I jump around, holler, run backwards, nothing seems to work. The trainer says act the fool, and I'm sure my neighbors are thinking that I am crazy.. is there anything else I could do to get her excited enough? I've tried toys, also, tennis balls, squeaky toys, her favorite stuff toy.. no reaction but to turn around and go lay down. Any suggestions?
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-27-2010, 07:34 PM
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So does she hold the position until release? And does she actually move when you say "free"?
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-27-2010, 08:35 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, she will hold the position till released. And most of the time she will just stare at me till I move away. But she doesn't get excited, she's like "ok, now i can go back to sleep"
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-27-2010, 09:28 PM
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"no reaction but to turn around and go lay down" this is what you describe. That could be her way to tell you that she is nervous and stressed, because when a dog does that it is a calming signal - the dog is stressed and using body language to show you how she feels. Turid Rugaas describes this in her book "On Talking Terms with Dogs". Try easing up on the obedience work for a while, take her for off leash walks - let her relax and run. When you do work with her, make the release command low key, to release her from a sit/stay try saying in a friendly upbeat praise voice "Okay - you're a great dog" and give a treat - then end the session. Your dog could be thinking when you try the release - what now - or "I guess - she'll just want something else soon, so I might as well rest while I can".


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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-28-2010, 12:09 AM
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I'm a brand new dog owner, but we use the command "break" with our 7 mo GSD female after a sit, stay, or anything like that. When she's been confused, I toss a few kibble on the ground around her, so she knows she can move.

This may be counterproductive when I teach the "leave it" command, but also may help her learn that command really well if she can "leave it" when food is around. The Dog Trainer's Quick & Dirty Tips (avail free on iTunes) has a great podcast on teaching "leave it."
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-01-2010, 11:23 PM Thread Starter
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I have good news on the FREE command. Last week after obedience, they did a small bit of agility on leash. Just ladders made from PVC raised about a few inches, pvc ladders on the ground, small hurdles maybe a few inches for the dogs to walk over, and cones to go in and out of. It relaxed her immensely!

This last week, when I told her FREE I started making a throwing motion then throw a tennis ball and she loves it! I think she finally gets it. But the small agility is what relaxes her after her classes tho. I plan on making some small agility course for at home for after we train.

Her paws were so sweaty before the agility, then once we finished she was happy and seemed to be smiling, plus she did better than the other dogs and I think she knew it!

Mary Beth, I think you were right, it was stress, not knowing what to expect. Hopefully it's fixed for now.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-02-2010, 10:11 PM
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"And an agility star is born" - great - I'm so happy for you and Zoe that you've discovered what type of reward really makes her happy. Zoe can now see the point of the obedience exercises when the session ends with her favorite game. And you now know how Zoe reacts to stress. She is sensitive and turns inward - becomes depressed but still obeys. You were smart to realize that something was wrong. Whereas my dog acts up - he would have been the terror of the class - that's easy to notice, and he'll keep it up until I do. Thanks so much for the happy ending!


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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-02-2010, 10:12 PM
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Awesome!! We do that too.. we tell Sammi to.. "take a break!!!!!!" and she gets so excited.. hehe
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-02-2010, 10:17 PM
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I like the fact you have learned that obedience is stupid and boring.

And AGILITY ROCKS!!!

(that's what you learned, right? )




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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-04-2010, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
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LOL.. I think Zoe did learn that. She loves the small agility she does. But in order for her to advance to get to actually do it, she's got to get thru the obedience. She will probably do rally ob first tho. Not sure what the trainer has in mind. I'm just taking small steps with her. She has came a long way since we brought her home!
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