Thursday, December 8, 2011

Drop on Recall Part V

Apparently I've already written about  Drop on Recall. More than once.  More than twice.

  • I looked at the parts of the exercise
  • A year ago, I tried a lot of different techniques for the behavior (mats, food placement, tethering). Interestingly, at that time, food/toy behind Griffin was not successful.   I don't remember what happened and the descriptions in that post are not specific enough to give me feedback.  The post led to the video below, where I looked at how a dog will Down....playing the video very slowly.   Per the advice of many people, the type of Down supposedly doesn't matter as long as it's fast.
  • And then I did another technique, dropping my dog just after calling and adding a new cue.  I don't really remember doing this. I also don't remember who the "instructor" was.   That's what I get for trying to keep everyone anonymous....
  • Lastly, the most-simple tips I could give a 4H parent on teaching this exercise. 

Onto the new parts!

Griffin has been learning a (slow and painful) front-feet-still down to use for our signal exercise.  It's incredibly slow going. He's still not offering it reliably.  But he is offering it more frequently. We have, essentially, no distance.  However, in the week we've worked on this behavior, the morphology of his DropOnRecall has changed dramatically.  

Look at the weight shift back! Much fewer forward motion steps to slow down! It's fascinating.   I wish I could find a before-video to compare with this.  This video was from Sunday or Monday night.   And yesterday he was even better!  Running faster, only stopping if I cued, only slowing when I asked for a stop. 

During training group, we would do parts of the exercise. I would release Griffin to a toy at different parts. Sometimes I would feed him in position (at the stay or at the drop or at the front or at return to heel).  We only did the whole thing through once.  Sometimes I would turn at the last second and he'd run off to get a treat/toy I would throw.  My favorite part was that he would respond to his "back" cue (turn 180* and go get a toy).  The toy was not placed ahead of time, it was thrown after I sent him back. He didn't question me, and just ran back towards the start area.  

Behavior chains are wonderful!

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