Training to stop and down from distance - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-31-2013, 12:14 PM Thread Starter
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Training to stop and down from distance

Diesel has really progressed where I can put him in a down and walk about a foot ball field away and out of sight while he will stay. Where I am struggling at this point is when I release him to come to me or get his flirt pole I cannot get him to stop and down/sit in the middle or at any distance. I want to be able to stop him when in motion and get a down/sit. I can stop him right now but getting him to down/sit from any distance is not working. When I ask him to down he flies to me and downs next to me. I use an Ecollar and the vibrate function for reinforcement on the down should he decide to move from the initial down but its not working when I halt him after in motion. The reason this is so important to me is when we are out trail riding our horses if we come up to something that I want him to stop and wait like a road or something it needs to be solid. I dont want him running out into the road or some unknown obstacle that he could get hurt. Does this make sense? Basically I have to be standing next to him in order to get him to down / sit or he runs to me and does the down / sit. I have tried giving him a low level nick to get him to down which just makes him run to me even faster and he flops down.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-31-2013, 02:25 PM
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There are a couple of ways to do this. My preferred method is usually by training it via mat target. I'll make a video when I get home to show you what I mean, if no one else has given a more thorough answer by then.

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-31-2013, 02:30 PM
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I do it with a platform as said above.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...yv3cs5yFg&t=77

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-31-2013, 02:42 PM Thread Starter
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Quick off topic - Hunter no wonder your single! Good grief your dog is amazing! You must spend every waking hour and I do believe you have 3 no?

Anyway back on topic -

When starting to train on the marker are you taking them to the marker putting them in the down and then moving on? Like progressively going from one down to the next and you moving away from each target?
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-31-2013, 02:53 PM
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Wow! Hunter that's amazing! What an impressive display from an absolute perfect looking GSD!

Gave me a huge smile!
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-31-2013, 02:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diesel and Lace View Post
Quick off topic - Hunter no wonder your single! Good grief your dog is amazing! You must spend every waking hour and I do believe you have 3 no?

Anyway back on topic -

When starting to train on the marker are you taking them to the marker putting them in the down and then moving on? Like progressively going from one down to the next and you moving away from each target?
lol thanks... theres a lot of work that needs to be done in that video (well.. some of it has been done now)

I teach them first the platform is an awesome place to be... they get paid if they are one it. Then I start sending them to it from 5 feet away and downing on it, then 10, the 15, the 25, then further and further, then when it can't even be seen any longer..

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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-31-2013, 03:05 PM Thread Starter
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lol thanks... theres a lot of work that needs to be done in that video (well.. some of it has been done now)

I teach them first the platform is an awesome place to be... they get paid if they are one it. Then I start sending them to it from 5 feet away and downing on it, then 10, the 15, the 25, then further and further, then when it can't even be seen any longer..

Ok, so do you leave the marker the same place all the time or are you moving the marker around after the get the initial down on it? Can you remove the marker eventually? I am in no hurry it has taken me almost 3 months to perfect the down / sit / stay so if it takes a month or two to work up to removing the marker that is fine, just no real way to throw a marker out on the trail in front of me in the future lol
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-31-2013, 03:09 PM
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Here's how I do mat targeting:

(1) teach dog to target mat with all four feet. Click/Treat (hereafter c/t) for dog being on the mat. I don't care about position at this stage and the mat is usually pretty close to me.

(2) put mat farther away, send the dog to the mat, c/t for hitting it. Start with the mat being like 4 feet away, then move it to 10' or 20' or whatever you want. It is better to get a really strong behavior at 10' or 20' (when it's easy to reinforce the dog and do lots of repetitions to build up muscle memory) before you stretch too far on extending the distance.

(3) put mat even farther away, ask dog to target it, then ask the dog to do stuff while on the mat.


The reason I don't emphasize doing specific behaviors on the mat initially is because if you get a dog who thinks that the answer is to always run over and Sit on the mat, then you'll get a great distance Sit and have a much harder time getting anything else. So IMO it's better to mix it up and separate being on the mat from doing specific actions on the mat. Keep the mat itself as a pure target, then you can play around with it more easily.


If you want a Down on recall or other interrupted movement, put the dog in a Stay on one end of the training area, put the mat somewhere in the middle, recall the dog, and cue the Down when the dog crosses over the mat. The target operates as a secondary cue to get the behavior you want at a distance.

That's the part I'll make a video of when I get home, if you want, since for all the frivolous random things I tape my dogs doing, I apparently never recorded that specific bit.

(p.s. nice vid, Hunter!)

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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-31-2013, 03:13 PM Thread Starter
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Very impressive also Merciel! Wow I have a long long way to go with Diesel. I am happy with where we are at this point considering the wild elephant he was when I got him but sheesh I feel so inadequate lol
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-31-2013, 03:15 PM
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I also will down the dog, walk away then throw the toy in the direction where the dog must pass me to get the toy, then down the dog while they are running to the toy early enough that I can wave my arms, jump in the way, or whatever to get the down to actually happen... This is mainly to focus on "down even while highly stimulated or in drive" rather than teach a down, etc.

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