Thursday, August 26, 2010

Drop on Recall Part II

Much of our eventual obedience training will have beautiful behavior chains and careful use of anticipation.

But first we need all the parts. For our DOR we have these parts:
1) Move to the location
2) Dog at heel
3) Dog staying
4) Dog called
5) Drop in motion
6) Dog called
7) Dog sit at front
8) Dog move to heel
9) Dog released
10) Dog moved to next exercise

Currently, at part 5, my dog is taking a few steps before dropping. And it feels like a few too many steps. Ultimately I had planned to use a different cue for call front and call-drop. So that my dog knew he would be dropping.

But... we can't do that part until my dog does the drop well. We did some problem solving at class tonight and came up with a training plan:
- Griffin is close to me. Call him, and drop right away. Click the drop, feed in position.
- Repeat. A lot.
- Have a few more steps before the drop.

But...the instructor then realized that my dog would likely drop on the "Come!" cue. And most dogs probably would, it's a typical change-cue process.. New Cue, Old Cue. "Come, Down!".

However... I said I didn't think Griffin would do that.

Today Griffin and I were walking, he got distracted... I prompted him to follow me... halfheartedly gave him some words that don't mean anything. And said Come. HE DROPPED! Should I repeat that? He turned away from the scent and dropped...without thinking! I reinforced. We moved away and repeated once more. And then added in a bit of motion (prompted) before the drop. It was BEAUTIFUL.

I'm feeling much better about our DOR chain.

And I'm also amazed that after 15-20 repetitions and 22 hours Griffin had such a strong response!

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