10. Drop On Recall Problems
How To Overcome Them
Dog Does Not Come On First Command
Ask someone to stand close to your dog. Get the dog's attention, then call her, and follow the command with praise. If she doesn't start, the assistant taps the dog on the rear with the toe of her shoe as though it were accidental After she does it, clap your hands playfully, and give extra praise.
Tossing something at the dog from a hidden location will have the same effect; but take care that the dog does not see the object thrown or the person who threw it. Cover up every correction with play.
Dog Comes Before She Is Called
Leave your dog. Face her at the length of the training area. Hold something in your hand. If the dog starts before she is called, toss what you are holding in front to block her. Take her back and try again. In practice, alternate the come with the sit-stay.
Dog Is Slow To Drop On Command
With your dog on leash, face her at its full length. Call her and run BACKWARD. Before she catches up with you, and while you are still backing up, give a quiet command "Down!" then run FORWARD and bump the dog's nose gently with the palm of your hand. Use a backhand motion like that used when playing tennis, with fingers pointing UP. When the dog is down, praise and pat her.
Dog Is Slow To Drop On Signal
With your dog on leash, face her at its full length. Call her, run BACKWARD, and while still backing up, raise your hand, which is the signal to go down; then run FORWARD and bump the dog on the nose gently, with the palm of the SAME hand. Again, keep the fingers pointing UP! Pat the dog after she lies down.
Dog Continues Forward After Given Signal To Drop
Leave your dog, and face her at a distance. Hold a small, rolled magazine (taped in the center and on each end) along the palm and wrist of the hand you use to give the signal.
Call your dog, signal the drop, and, if she obeys, say a quiet "Good Girl!" Complete the exercise the usual way. If she ignores the signal, toss the magazine directly in front of her, and while your hand is still raised, command "Down!" When she obeys, go to her, pat her, or give her something to eat as a reward.
Dog Comes Slowly When Called
After you call your dog, if she slows up, turn and RUN, or turn your back and clap your hands. Your dog should instinctively speed up. After she comes, if she likes to eat, give her food.
An assistant can toss a small object in back of the dog if the dog doesn't know he is there. Five things are important: (1) Do not let the dog see the object when it is thrown. (2) Give praise with the correction. (3) Throw the object only when necessary. (4) After the correction, run, clap your hands and make a game of the training. (5) Reward the dog when she comes, using food if necessary.
Dog Continues Forward After Commanded To Drop
Same as for not dropping on signal, EXCEPT that the magazine is tossed underhanded. Don't throw the magazine unless the dog ignores the command, and give praise with the correction. The leash rolled into a ball can be used the same way. The object is to check the dog's forward movement after the command has been ignored.
Alternate correction: Fasten the dog on a long line, equal in length to the distance the dog must travel BEFORE you drop her. Tie the other end of the line to a stationary object in back of the dog. Call her, then signal the down BEFORE she reaches the end of the line. When the line checks her, tell her "Down!" again, then go to her, and praise and pat her.
Note: When making a correction for DROP ON RECALL, there should be a pause between the giving of the command or signal and the throwing of an object. If the line is used to make the correction, the command or signal should be given BEFORE the dog reaches the end of the line. This is to give the dog a chance to obey before she is corrected for disobedience. Improper timing will cause a dog to fear the drop and look cowed.
Dog Anticipates Drop
Same as for coming slowly, but after the correction, call the dog straight without making her drop.
Dog Doesn't Come In A Straight Line And Veers To The Side On The Drop
Form a narrow aisle with two lines of people facing each other. As the dog passes down the center and is made to drop, ask your assistants to reassure the dog with quiet praise. Widen the aisle gradually.
Dog Stops On Signal But Remains Standing
Put your dog on leash, stand her, then ask an assistant to stand at the dog's side, with leash in hand. Tell your dog "Stay!" Face her some distance away, then give the command or signal to lie down. If the dog ignores it, the assistant makes the dog go down by pulling up on the leash, sliding it under her foot. Make the dog stand and repeat the lesson until she will lie down immediately on command or signal, from a standing position. With small dogs, the pull on the leash is gentle.
Alternate correction: Use the line through a ring in the floor or the ground, and practice pulling your dog down from a standing position.
Dog Anticipates Come After Drop
Call your dog. Drop her! After she drops, turn and walk away. If she starts to follow, DEMAND "STAY!" Return after a few moments, face her, and call her or go back to her and pat her while she is still lying down.
Practice calling another dog's name AFTER your dog has dropped. If your dog comes, call out "Down! Stay!" Let her learn to wait for HER name.
In practice, alternate the DROP ON RECALL with the DROP IN THE DISTANCE, and with the SIT-STAY exercises. This will teach your dog to wait for COMMANDS, not to act out a definite routine.
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