Training a very strong "Out" command - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-03-2011, 03:06 PM Thread Starter
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Training a very strong "Out" command

I've been trying to move from food rewards to tug rewards as the amount of rewards we use for Agility makes it hard for me to keep my dog lean. She has built a really strong toy drive through this- to the point where I think she would rather tug than get a food reward.

...But she sucks at "out." I can think of a lot of ways to use aversives to get her to "out" the tug, but I'd rather try some positive methods first. Some things I can think of:

  1. Prong collar corrections when she won't drop it (I've seen this in the Ivan videos)
  2. Prying the tug out (if I touch her tongue, she will immediately drop it- though I've read this is a major no-no.)
  3. Very, very high value food reward (perhaps NB roll)
Obviously, #3 is the way to go. But the question is- if tugging has become more of a reward than food, how do you use food as a reward for not tugging? Quite the conundrum...

I really want a solid "out." We use this for agility and it is becoming a problem that it takes me so long to get her to release a tug so we can try an obstacle again.

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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-03-2011, 03:16 PM
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Masi does a really good "out",,and for her it was easy to train, (why I don't know she was just 'easy!

She is a tugging fool, and her high value is a frisbee, I figured if I can get her to "out" on that, I could get her to out on anything..

I first taught her a good 'drop it',,with anything and everything other than her frisbee. She soon learned if she 'dropped it',, She would get it back faster and more "play" than if she didn't . Nothing ticks her off more than her having a toy and no one will play with her.

I then transferred the drop it command to OUT...Started with a tug,,I get her amped up, holding it with both hands, she has to sit/stay and NOT touch it, until I say so..
I tell her to "take it", still me holding with both hands,,tug for awhile,,and then I "out" her..what can I say sometimes I have to really yell OUT and MEAN IT

So , now I transferred the tug to the frisbee since THAT is her really HIGH value toy..You can just see her go "ok ok if I out this, she's gonna throw she's gonna throw it"...

I guess it's about her learning control , and what's the fastest way to get the reward she wants..

anyhooooo thats' what I've done for a good "out"..

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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-03-2011, 03:19 PM
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I use none of those methods. With a tug, when I want the dog to out, I "lock up" the tug by holding it solid against my thigh. When it's not moving and there's no pressure, it's out of play to the dog, and they will release it. As soon as they release, I use my marker word and start playing again. Eventually I work in the out command and voila!

Personally I don't like or understanding using food for this behavior. You WANT the dog to WANT the tug above all else or see the tug as the bridge to interacting with you. So if you stick food in the dog's face....I guess I don't get it. But that doesn't mean the dog should not out on command.
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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-03-2011, 03:21 PM
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I have been taught a super way...... to start, let them tug for a good long while. When you think they are getting tired, brace the tug against your leg (so that it is "dead") and say out. 90% of the time, once it is dead, the dog outs (as long as the dog is tired).

When the dog outs, immediately re-engage in play/tug. Then repeat.
This works well and develops a dog who has no issues with outing, and is fast.
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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-03-2011, 03:26 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for your replies so far!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Liesje View Post
I use none of those methods. With a tug, when I want the dog to out, I "lock up" the tug by holding it solid against my thigh. When it's not moving and there's no pressure, it's out of play to the dog, and they will release it. As soon as they release, I use my marker word and start playing again. Eventually I work in the out command and voila!
This is the method mentioned in Disk II (The Game) of the Ivan series. But even Ivan mentions that not every dog will just out the tug on command, and this is where he implements collar corrections. So if we are tugging and I make the tug "dead" and she still sits there with pressure on the tug- what do I do? Wait it out? That's where I am not understanding...

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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-03-2011, 04:49 PM
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I do the same as Lies. If you reward the dog(game back on) as soon as they out, they will be willing to out quicker and consistantly.
Pressure on the tug from the dog and you when outing won't help, because she still feels she is in tug mode. Some dogs won't out when the toy goes dead, I know Karlo didn't always when he was learning.
You should pick the dog up by the collar and wait it out, without having any tension on the tug/ball. As soon as she spits it, mark it/reward by starting the game again.

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Last edited by onyx'girl; 05-03-2011 at 04:51 PM.
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-03-2011, 05:14 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onyx'girl View Post
You should pick the dog up by the collar and wait it out, without having any tension on the tug/ball.
So you do issue a collar correction?

Willy
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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-03-2011, 05:19 PM
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No, just lift the dog up by the collar, no correction at all. I use a fursaver or flat when I'm training.

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Last edited by onyx'girl; 05-03-2011 at 05:22 PM.
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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-03-2011, 05:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gagsd View Post
I have been taught a super way...... to start, let them tug for a good long while. When you think they are getting tired, brace the tug against your leg (so that it is "dead") and say out. 90% of the time, once it is dead, the dog outs (as long as the dog is tired).

When the dog outs, immediately re-engage in play/tug. Then repeat.
This works well and develops a dog who has no issues with outing, and is fast.
this is what I do and it works well. The reward for "out" was to reingage.
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-03-2011, 05:26 PM
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and have used what onyx explained early on, when he didn't know it as well...once he outed, I reingaged. He figured it out fast.
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