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    1. #1
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      Drop on Recall - We got it!

      A bit over a year ago, when I was with a different trainer, we started working on the drop on recall. The way the trainer had us teach it was, when we called our dog (formal recall) we should then run up to them as they are running toward us and tell them to down then give them a treat. I did this once, maybe twice, and knew it wasn't for us and that it was time to find a new trainer.

      So, my dog's recall was temporarily ruined (I'd call the dog and he'd just sit there, stuck, because he thought he was in trouble -- I mean, running at your dog and yelling at it is not really a confidence booster!). My new trainer had me working on that, essentially fixing it, for a few months. We worked on the down command separately while he was facing me, with the clicker and treat, and made fun games out of the quick down.

      Several months ago, we introduced throwing a toy during the recall. I'd have a ball in my hand and after calling the dog, I'd throw the ball, using the down command (not saying it, but using the hand/arm command -- he didn't know what this command was, mind you), over the dogs head and tell him to get it. This was a "game" we'd play for a bit. So, that's what we did until eventually, during the recall, he paid close attention to what I was doing, but still gallops toward me confidently.

      Last week, I called my dog, asked him to down, and he did. Happily! He now thinks it's a fun game. My trainer just looked at me and said, "You got it." Then, I threw his toy and had a party.

      This was another stressful exercise for me as I'd never taught it and it started out badly (like the hold and the dumbbell retrieve). It's amazing to me what games, food and praise can do to train your dog!
      Last edited by Labradorks; 09-18-2015 at 03:43 PM.

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    3. #2
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      Very cool...but also very odd how you were originally taught!

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    5. #3
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      Yay for both of you. Yes, that was a funny way to be taught, your first lessons.

      The method I was taught worked for both my Labs. I used the Do-Whacka-Stick, aka the heeling stick, aka any old piece of stick. Have dog where you want him to down, put the stick crossways in front of him, have him down. Move from downing at heel to downing with you facing him. Once you think he might have the idea he should down behind the stick start building distance between it and you. Back up a bit and try fading the stick. At this point it helps if you have some other marker at first, like the edge of your kitchen cupboard. Next build in the recall part. Put the stick back when you start the recall part and then fade it again. Worked for us.

    6. #4
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      Quote Originally Posted by Snowshoe View Post
      Yay for both of you. Yes, that was a funny way to be taught, your first lessons.

      The method I was taught worked for both my Labs. I used the Do-Whacka-Stick, aka the heeling stick, aka any old piece of stick. Have dog where you want him to down, put the stick crossways in front of him, have him down. Move from downing at heel to downing with you facing him. Once you think he might have the idea he should down behind the stick start building distance between it and you. Back up a bit and try fading the stick. At this point it helps if you have some other marker at first, like the edge of your kitchen cupboard. Next build in the recall part. Put the stick back when you start the recall part and then fade it again. Worked for us.
      We did a combination of working this, and also working a moving drop (not from a recall) - we toss a cookie one way and let the dog chase it; then again the other way; then as they are running back the other way in anticipation of the third time (so basically running from side to side in front of us) we ask them for a down. Once they get the hang of what we are asking they LOVE this game - works to get nice fast drops (we mix it up so they never know when we will call for the drop, but while they are not dropping, they are focused on chasing cookies so don’t anticipate). Then we do the part with the stick separately so as to get the hang of where to drop on the DOR. Once they can drop behind the stick, we will set them up so they are straddling it and have them back up before they drop so as to fit themselves behind the stick. Eventually they can be a couple feet in front of the stick and back themselves up so as to down behind it. The idea is that if they are thinking they might have to back up and drop, they most likely will never do that in the ring, but they will probably never get in the habit of taking steps forward before dropping, either.
      Annette

      Cookie (Jamrah’s Legally Blonde, CD, BN) 6/4/2015
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    8. #5
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      When we were first taught, he had the drop at heel down pat including the moving heel, mostly from rally. When I started with the new trainer, we added backing up to our list of commands (with me in front of him -- shaping with the clicker) so the dog could get used to backing into a down, which makes it easier for them than just going down with something in front of them. Also, helps to cement not coming forward when you ask for a down from the reverse command. We did also work on down as a shaping exercise with something in front of him for muscle memory. Some people do something similar with the platform versus a stick. I really like the toy command because you can tell the dog is really thinking and watching, but also excited about the "game", so you don't lose that momentum. I see so many dogs in the ring who are weirded out by this exercise. Right now, he's a little sloppy because he gallops at me and then throws himself into the down. But, he just turned two, he's happy, and I'm really thrilled with what we have. We'll polish it up later. Plenty of time. ETA - We also play the cookie toss game with the down. It's fun!

    9. #6
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      WTG! Drop on recall is one of my favorites. I could use help with the dumb bell retrieve thing... although we have never learned it in class, so while I've tried to just see what my dog can do with it, I haven't really taught him anything bc I don't want to screw up! But if I ask him to sit with anything in his mouth, he immediately drops whatever is in his mouth. It's like his brain doesn't allow control of more than one end at a time or something :/ I foresee it being something that we're going to have trouble with when we do get there.

    10. #7
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      Quote Originally Posted by K10 View Post
      WTG! Drop on recall is one of my favorites. I could use help with the dumb bell retrieve thing... although we have never learned it in class, so while I've tried to just see what my dog can do with it, I haven't really taught him anything bc I don't want to screw up! But if I ask him to sit with anything in his mouth, he immediately drops whatever is in his mouth. It's like his brain doesn't allow control of more than one end at a time or something :/ I foresee it being something that we're going to have trouble with when we do get there.
      No, you won't. As long as you are taught to do it correctly and start with the hold. My dog was the same and now he can hold the dumbbell and wait in a sit, hold it in a heel, back-up with it, finish with it, etc. It was not difficult once we understood how to train it correctly. Didn't take long, either.

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    12. #8
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      Quote Originally Posted by Labradorks View Post
      No, you won't. As long as you are taught to do it correctly and start with the hold. My dog was the same and now he can hold the dumbbell and wait in a sit, hold it in a heel, back-up with it, finish with it, etc. It was not difficult once we understood how to train it correctly. Didn't take long, either.
      Whenever we do start to learn it, I'll definitely check back in with you!

    13. #9
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      Quote Originally Posted by K10 View Post
      Whenever we do start to learn it, I'll definitely check back in with you!
      I am no pro! This was the first time teaching hold for me. I learned with help from my trainer and, you guessed it, Denise Fenzi!

      I do know that teaching him using positive methods was faster and more dependable and resulted in dog that is happier to work than the more forced methods like holding your dog's mouth on the object and similar. And, now he loves his dumbbell and does the exercise perfectly. He will do whatever it takes to retrieve it, which just last week meant taking out a ring gate when I threw it too far (oops!). We have a lot of fun with it and it can now be used as a reward as well as something to boost his energy in the ring!

      We did start with zen hand to get him loving the dumbbell. I can see if I can track down a video for you?

    14. #10
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      I absolutely agree, teaching with positive methods, clicker and treats work amazingly well. Everything I have taught to Maxx this way has been learned quickly and sticks even when treats are random or phased out. Maxx is the first dog I have taught using positive methods only and the difference is incredible. (With the exception of one dangerous issue.) Congrats on the drop with recall!
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