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I'm curious how everyone trained it? I think there are so many interesting training perspectives on this....
 

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I prefer to use a small white towel on the ground with the toy on it to mark the spot instead of using a "tree" that holds the toy and is visible to the dog. Always use the center line of the field when training the exercise. If you use one field consistently, look for a natural marker that is in line with the centerline that you can use in the future to send the dog out further than required. Ideally, try to train this on the field you will be trialing on.
The problem with the tree is that is becomes a cue that will be totally removed at some point. With the towel, you can have it larger at first, and then decrease the size of the towel and eventually fade it out. The dog doesn't learn to look for an object holding the toy. Start out with short distances. This exercise is so much easier to train with a dog with a ton of drive, especially hunt drive. Don't worry about the down until you have a solid send out.
 

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I forgot to say, after you have marked your spot with the towel, hold your dog by the collar and have someone tease him up for the toy and get him in drive and then have them place the toy on the towel so the dog can clearly see where it was put. Have the helper move back behind you and pat the dog up and send him, praising when he goes out to the toy. WHen this is solid and you have a very solid down at a distance, remove the toy, send the dog and down him when he gets to the correct distance. Then walk up to him while he remains down and toss the toy to him without him seeing you toss it.
 

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I prefer to use a small white towel on the ground with the toy on it to mark the spot instead of using a "tree" that holds the toy and is visible to the dog. Always use the center line of the field when training the exercise. If you use one field consistently, look for a natural marker that is in line with the centerline that you can use in the future to send the dog out further than required. Ideally, try to train this on the field you will be trialing on.
The problem with the tree is that is becomes a cue that will be totally removed at some point. With the towel, you can have it larger at first, and then decrease the size of the towel and eventually fade it out. The dog doesn't learn to look for an object holding the toy. Start out with short distances. This exercise is so much easier to train with a dog with a ton of drive, especially hunt drive. Don't worry about the down until you have a solid send out.
This. Placing mat and toy.
 

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I don't like to put anything on the ground. I've found that when dropping something on the ground the dog just gets used to running a certain distance then they start to search for their toy. This happened to one of my dogs when playing at a different field that was longer than mine. She ran out to the distance she thought it was going to be then started casting for her toy instead of running until she was downed.

I now train it by placing a ball in a fence or on a tree. Something that physically stops the dog. That way the dog runs until it's physically stopped or I down it (this method has worked for SAR as well). I also never practice the down on the send out. I want my dog to run as fast as it can until downed. If I down it every send out then it will anticipate the down.
 

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I start by finding something to send the dog to such as a fence post, tree whatever and have them put their feet on it. I want the physical contact. I let them see me put the reward at this location and send them from close distances, close enough they can still see the reward. I want them looking up and forward not down towards the ground. I always have a reward at the end. The only time my dog never see a reward is trial day. I do not want my dog losing expectation that the ball is there waiting for him. Almost all of my send-outs are run troughs, meaning once the send out is trained I down maybe one time in 20. I don't want my dog anticipating the down after x paces.

Unless I plan on doing nothing but my club trials I wouldn't limit my training to the same area all the time even during the teaching phase.
 

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I don't like to put anything on the ground. I've found that when dropping something on the ground the dog just gets used to running a certain distance then they start to search for their toy. This happened to one of my dogs when playing at a different field that was longer than mine. She ran out to the distance she thought it was going to be then started casting for her toy instead of running until she was downed.

I now train it by placing a ball in a fence or on a tree. Something that physically stops the dog. That way the dog runs until it's physically stopped or I down it (this method has worked for SAR as well). I also never practice the down on the send out. I want my dog to run as fast as it can until downed. If I down it every send out then it will anticipate the down.

lol...did you hack my screen?
 

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Nikon has a toy that looks like a large orange flashlight. The thicker end has a cap that screw off. I think it's supposed to be a treat dispensing toy (there's a small hole in the "handle" end) but his Gappay ball fits perfectly inside the large end. He knows to run and platz on this toy (like a giant tracking article). When I get to him I either flip a ball out of my hand, or I unscrew the cap and flip the ball out of the toy. Then we play a little game of two-ball. It's basically like people who put a ball on a stake or hanging from a plant hanger except with my method he has to down/platz and wait, he can't just snatch his toy and run off or run back to me.

I work the platz command separately, like doing long recalls and having him platz when coming back to me and other exercises that show him that "platz" can be done out away from me, not just from basic position.

I don't platz him before he gets to the toy except once or twice before a trial. I feel that needing a second platz command looks "better" than having the dog anticipate and down early, or not having the drive and speed out away from me if we do too many platzs. The drive and speed from one end of the field to the other is my priority. I have a pretty biddable dog though, so I do not worry about only doing a "real" send out once or twice before a trial.
 

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I linked my send out to my retrieves, so every time my dog does a dumbbell exercise, he's thinking send out next. And I always do them in sessions of three usually. I use a small bite pillow as a reward on the ground at the end of the field.

In the beginning, I would do a simple hold and front, then walk my reward you and dog to send out spot and show where I placed it on the ground. Heeled back down field and send the dog and put him up in the car. Take him out ten or so minutes later and have the reward already on the ground for a blind send out. Do a retrieve and send the dog from half field and put him up again. Then ten minutes later, repeat a retrieve and do a blind send out with proper build up, like trial picture with the reward at the end.

I rarely ever practice the down with Aiden because he's so obedient as it is. He also tends to anticipate commands and I don't want to risk losing his speed because he's anticipating the down.


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I introduce the concept of marking and going to an object away from the field using a lid with a piece of food. Then I move to the training field or some place else where I might do OB. I use a ball and a PVC pipe that the ball sits on (much easier to haul around than the tree) though if I am some place that has a tree I use that. I do my send outs after my retrieves. I start them close, put the dog in a sit or down, tease them with the ball, mark the ball and send them. Slowly move down the field until we are doing full field send outs. Then I will tease the dog with the ball, put it out, do a flat retrieve and then do a send out. Eventually the dog does all three retrieves before the send out and then the ball is put out before I go on the field.

I teach the down separate from the send out and when I do add it to the send out, I never down the dog if the ball is out there (no reward for ignoring me). I also down them and go to them to reward them and don't call the dog to me out of the down. I start the downs close.

At some point I do add in heeling before sending.
 

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My dog does an awesome send out but I don't recall how I trained it specifically. I certainly separated the out from the down. I was doing random downs from a distance long before ever doing the send out. She naturally turns around to face me on the down, so I didn't have to train that in.
I think I started the out with a toy, or food. The target location was always far away from starting point and I worked distance in from the target back to start.

I always downed her before the toy so she got used to being downed before getting super close to the target, often before she can even see it, and I think this helps prevent the hunting send out (dog is meandering looking for target).

I quickly weaned off toy/food during the exercise but she always gets a really big food reward at the completion of a good send out.

If during training she stopped short, I would verbally correct, make her come back to start and send out again. It took about 3-4 of those before she realized to keep going until I say platz.

She will send out in any direction and in unfamiliar locations.

It's one of my favorite parts of the routine because she goes out with great speed and downs with a cloud of dust (we normally train on sand). [Brag]She scored full marks/Excellent on it in last trial. [/Brag] Wish I could say that about other parts of her routine :)
 

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After watching some of Bellon's videos, I made a box like the one in the video, but with plywood and it doesn't separate. For about three weeks all Liesl's meals were fed to her while doing OB in that box. Even now, she will try and jump into the box before I can even put it on the ground. I used it mainly to proof her sit, down, and stand. It worked extremely well, and now I can give the command from anywhere around her, while I'm facing any direction, or even from around a corner, and she will perform the behavior.


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Michael Ellis method. Works like a charm. Had taught using toy at the end of the field. Retaught this way. Can now do, and train using, directed send outs in any direction on any field
 

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I taught it originally with a ball and now I am teaching it as a touch to the station (target) - am doing more shaping with her
 
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