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Obediance Training

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Due to some problems this week I was not able to get the pictures done for this topic, but I am going to write it out anyway. If anyone needs something clarified please post and I will do my best. It is going to take me a couple of days to get it all posted but I will do my best to have it all up by Sunday night.

 

I am writting this in the form of puppy training, but it can be applied to the older dog as well. This is an 8 week training program and runs in the following order:

 

Teaching the sit command weeks 1 - 8

Teaching the heel command weeks 1-8

Teaching the recall command weeks 1-8

Teaching the drop command weeks 3-8

Teaching the stay command weeks 5-8

Teaching the wait command weeks 5-8

 

Some Important Training Notes

 

All lessons should be trained twice daily, morning and evening for approx. 20 min per session. Each Exercise should be repeated 6 times per session. Training should begin in your back yard with no distractions. Distractions are add as pup learns the exercises.

 

Praise is given in conjunction with treats during the initial stages of each exercise. As the puppy learns the commands the treats will be weaned off from the program.

 

In the first stage of training, we show the puppy what we want it to do. In the second stage of training, we ask the puppy to perform what we have shown it. During this stage we ask and correct. Remember, a pup must be allowed to make mistakes if it is going to learn. In the third stage of training, the puppy performs the tasks it has learned.

 

The words that you use as commands are not important. What is important is that once you choose your command words you use them consistantly.

 

Sample List of Command Words

 

sit = sit

drop = laydown

here = come to me

stay = do not move till I come for you

wait = do not move till I call for you

Alright = release command (This command is only ever given when you are beside the dog. Never call your dog from a sit or drop stay.)

heel = walk beside me

back = go out to retrieve

fetch = pick it up

phewy = you just did it wrong we are going to do it again

NO = major transgression save this for when puppy is eating your wife's cat, or digging in her flowers.

 

Commands should be given in a strong clear voice, not yelled. If you YELL or get angery while you are working your dog; you will accomplish nothing and may loose some of the training that you have accomplished. With pointers, 30 seconds of lost temper will cost you 2 to 3 weeks training. Remember training sessions are to be fun, fun, fun. If you keep a positive attitude with lots of praise, your dog will respond in a like manner. Correct with a calm voice and smooth body motions. Do not rush, you have 8 seconds to make your correction from the time the dog makes a mistake. After 8 seconds he does not know what he is being corrected for.

 

Try to end all training sessions on a positive note. If you are having problems with an exercise, take a step back and do something the dog knows, understands, and performs well. An example of this is your dog is not sitting to command reliably, step back and sit him with the treat held in front of his face. Remember if you are becoming frustrated over an exercise so is he. KEEP IT FUN.

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Teaching The Sit Command

 

With your puppy standing on your left hand side, bunch your lead in your left hand. Hold a treat between your thumb and forefinger, cupped into the palm of your right hand. Bring the treat to within 4" of the pup's muzzle, so that he sees it and slowly raise it up and back following the contour of your pup's face. Remember to control your puppy from moving forward with your left hand. This will cause the pup to kant his head back and transfer his weight to his rump. AS HIS RUMP CONTACTS THE GROUND, SAY THE WORD SIT and allow him to have the treat. At the same time, praise calmly him with "good boy". Do not expect him to stay in this position for any length of time. However, you want to release him before he gets up on his own. Tell him, "alright" and take a step forward with your RIGHT leg, then say "good puppy". Repeat this exercise for 2 weeks.

 

During weeks 3 and 4, you will have the puppy standing on your left side. Holding the lead in your right hand give the command to sit. If the puppy sits immediately praise with "good puppy" and give him a treat. If he does not sit immediately, pop up on the training lead with your right hand and at the same time gently push down on his rump with your left hand. This will resemble a lever like action. Remember to bend your knees and save your back. When he is in the correct position, praise and give him a treat. Release him and repeat.

 

If the puppy breaks from the sit position before being released, say "phewy"; place him back in position using the above method remembering to praise when he is back in the sit position. Wait an expected time period, ( I start by counting to 10), and release. During this 2 week period you are going to teach your pup to remain in the sit position until released with the "alright" command.

 

At the end of week 4, your 12 week old puppy should sit on command and remain there beside you until released. Do not expect your 12 week old puppy to sit for longer than 30 seconds at a time.

 

 

Points to remember:

 

Keep training upbeat and fun.

Always end on a happy note.

Keep your voice light even while correcting.

Always praise when the puppy has been corrected into position.

Always praise when the puppy completes a command.

Never train in a bad mood.

Never train if you only have 15 minutes, be sure to set time aside.

Keep it FUN.

Edited by new to the flock

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Teaching the Recall Command

 

Weeks 1-2

 

This command is best taught using a retractable lead, but can be taught with a light 25 foot drag line. The biggest draw back to a drag line is you must reel it in hand over hand as your pup comes towards you.

 

To start training this command place the pup on the retractable lead in a large area outside. Hold the lead in your left hand and a treat in your right. When the pup is distracted by the world around him, and is approx. 12 feet from you give the command " here". At the same time, give a light pop on the lead and move backwards away from the pup. As he is moving towards you, motivate him with "good puppy, that a boy". Moving backwards triggers your pup's prey drive and motivates him to run towards you. As he gets close, stand still,kneel down, and show him the treat in your right hand. When he reaches you, give him the treat and praise him. Repeat 6 times per training session.

 

Weeks 3-4

 

Repeat as in weeks 1-2, however as the puppy reaches you, he is now required to sit before he recieves the treat. When he reaches you bring the treat up and over his muzzle as described in " Teaching the Sit Command" the only difference being that the pup will be facing you instead of at your side. AS HIS RUMP TOUCHES THE GROUND, give the command "sit" and allow him to have the treat.

 

Remember to back up and praise as the puppy is coming to you.

 

Weeks 5-8

 

Repeat as in weeks 3-4 with the following changes. On your even numbered recalls, stand still and do not back up. As the pup reaches you, do not kneel down, remain upright and give the sit command. Upon sitting; give the treat and praise with "good boy".

 

If he does not sit upon reaching you, give the command "phewy", pop up on the training lead gently, and at the same time bend at your knees pushing lightly on his rump. Once the pup is in position, praise with "good puppy" and give a treat.

 

Points to Remember

 

- Increase your recall distance as your pup responds to the exercise.

- Do not give the "here" command unless you can correct if he does not respond. This means if pup is just running around loose at play, bring him to you by calling "puppy, puppy, puppy" and clapping your hands.

- At this point and time all commands are given only when training and in a controlled situation; on lead.

- To correct a puppy that looses focus part way in on the recall, give a light pop on the lead and remotivate with "pup, pup, pup" DO NOT repeat the "here" command.

- Commands are given once only. We show, correct, and repeat the exercise.

- Back up and praise, this creates a dog that wants to come to you and will run to you when called, not slink over to you because it has to.

- Add distractions as pup understands the excercise.

 

Training is FUN, if not buy a finished dog.

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Teaching the Heel Command

 

Before teaching the heel command with an older dog, 5 months or more, consider whether you want the dog to look up at you while heeling. If you do,you need to teach him to catch a treat from your mouth. To do this, have your dog on a lead at your left side. If he knows the sit command; sit him. Have a treat in your mouth and make a "click" noise with your tongue. When he looks up spit the treat to him. He must catch the treat to get it. If he misses do not allow him to pick the treat up from the ground. Pick it up and repeat the drill. When he does catch praise with "good boy". Repeat until he catches reliably, he will now look up at you during training as long as you continue to deliver his rewards in this manner.

 

Before training the heel, you must teach the dog to accept the leash. This is done by putting pup on a four foot lead; while you stand still in one place. As the pup gets to the end of the lead, give a pop and release. Continue this until pup realizes that you expect him not to pull on the lead. If he hits the end of the lead, say "phewy" with the pop on the leash and "good boy" when the lead goes slack. Remember to work 360 degrees and to add distractions as your pup understands the exercise.

 

Week 1-2

 

Starting heeling is the same for both the puppy and the older dog. Start by having your pup on your left side and your lead bunched in your left hand. Hold the treat in your right hand four inches off your pups muzzle. Give the command "heel" STEP OFF ON YOUR LEFT FOOT at the same time. Pup will follow the treat forward. Use the treat to control the pups position; you want his head even with your left leg. Go forward 25 feet, pivot 180 degrees, turning on your left foot. As you come out of your pivot, toss the treat forward on the ground, give a release command..."alright".... and allow the pup to surge forward to get the treat. Praise your pup and pet him up before repeating the exercise.

 

Weeks 3-4

 

This is where teaching your pup to catch the treat comes to the forfront. By now, your pup will sit beside you reliably. If your pup is not sitting reliably, do not move on. Start with your pup sitting, step off with your left foot saying "heel" at the same time. Pup will follow you, take 5 or 6 steps, click and spit the treat. Your pup must catch the treat. If he catches, heel another 5 to 6 steps, click and spit a treat. If he catches, continue forward 3 to 4 steps and make a 90 degree turn to the right. 1-2 steps click and give a treat. Release him with "all right", praise with "good boy" and play with him for 2-3 minutes.

 

If he misses the treat, pick it up and continue forward. If he continues to miss, stop your heeling exercise and practice his catching. Remember to end on a positive note.

 

 

Weeks 5-8

 

Continue as in weeks 3-4, however start decreasing the number of treats you are using. Also add an about face; this is a 180 degree turn. Your pup should follow you around as you pivot, having been taught this during weeks 1-2. If he lags behind during the turn, use a treat to motivate him forward again. This may mean going back to tossing treats during the pivot for a day or two. Remember this is an outline not all dogs learn in a given number of days.

 

If pup is lagging during straight heeling, motivate with "good boy, thata pup". You may need to show him a treat to bring him back into position. If pup starts to forge ahead, change direction by 90 to 180 degrees and give a light pop on the lead. Remember to change direction by pivoting on your right foot. Heeling is started with your left foot forward, while turns are initiated with your right leg.

 

Points to Remember

 

- Not all dogs like cookie treats. experiment with different foods until you find one he is nuts over. ex hot dogs, cookies, cooked liver, beef jerky

- Treats are very small; you are rewarding him not feeding him

- If your dog has a favourite toy that he is crazy over, you can use it instead of treats

- Corrections are made with a LIGHT pop; not a steady pulling motion, pop release, pop, release.

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Teaching the Drop Command

 

Week 3-4

 

This command is started during week three of your training program. Position your dog on your left side with the lead bunched in your left hand. Hold a treat in your right hand between thumb and forefinger and cupped into your palm. Use the treat to sit your pup as described in "Teaching the Sit Command". Once the pup had sat lower the treat slowly down to the floor allowing the pup to follow it down. Keep the treat within 4" of pup's muzzle at all times. This forces him to keep his weight in the sit position and he must lower his chest to follow the treat. As his chest touches the floor, tell him "Drop" and give him the treat. Release and praise.

 

Week 5-6

 

Pup will now sit on command without following the treat. It is time to teach the same with drop.

 

Place pup in a sit on your left side. Hold the lead in your right hand. Before giving the "drop" command, loop the lead under your left foot (your lead now forms a "V" starting at your dog, going under your foot and ending at your hand). Give the command "drop". If pup hits the deck, give him a treat and tell him "good boy". If pup just sits there looking at you, correct by sharply pulling straight up on the lead. This will pull him to the floor. When he is in the drop position, praise and give him a treat.

 

Before pup gets up, you must release him by telling him "alright" and stepping forward on your right leg. You can keep pup in the drop position by applying pressure to the lead with your left foot.

 

Weeks 7-8

 

Extend the time that pup is in the drop position.

 

Points to Remember

 

- a correct pop requires moving the lead 4-6" only. Be sure you are not leaving too much slack in your lead.

- a pop is performed by snapping the lead tight and releasing it immediately. This should take less than a second.

- keep your hands tight to your body. The best position for both hands is at belt buckle height.

- a 16 week old puppy should not be expected to drop for more than 30 seconds

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Teaching the Sit and Drop Freezes

 

These commands are started during week 5 of your training program. Pup sits and drops reliably when you tell him. If he does not, do not proceed. It is now time to start teaching the "freeze" or "stay" command.

 

With the lead in you right hand and pup on your left side tell him to "sit". Using your left hand in an open hand format, bring your hand 4" in front of the dogs muzzle; palm facing the dog and give the "freeze" command. Remove your hand from in front of the dog. If pup sits for 30 seconds, release him by stepping forward with your right foot and saying "alright". Praise calmly.

 

If pup does not remaining sitting, tell him "phewy", place him back in the sitting position, calmly praise with "good boy" repeat the "freeze" command and signal. Try to obtain 15 seconds from pup. If you succeed, release him and praise calmly. Work for 1 week at this phase. You can then begin to lengthen his sit stay over the next 2 -3 weeks.

 

The drop freeze is taught in the same manner except that pup is in the drop position.

 

Points to Remember

 

- correct calmly when he breaks

- as he matures you can lengthen his freeze time

- do not make eye contact with pup while doing this exercise. Eye contact will make him feel anxious and encourage him to break

- patiently wait and he will sense your relaxed attitude

- do not rush into this lessen. It is much easier to get it right the first time than to retrain

 

 

Freeze From and Extended Distance

 

When you are at a point where you want to leave the pup and move off a distance, start by pivoting on your left foot in front of the dog. If you can perform this exercise consistantly without pup breaking, you can begin training for distance.

 

Position your dog and give the freeze command and signal. Drop your lead and walk two steps forward. LEAVE ON YOUR RIGHT FOOT. Turn to face your dog and wait 30 seconds before returning to your dog. If pup breaks when you are not at his side, calmly say "phewy", calmly walk back, put him back into position, (in the same spot he left) praise calmly with "good boy" repeat the freeze command and signal, and leave on your RIGHT foot. Repeat as required.

 

Points to Remember

 

- this exercise should be worked in a controlled environment eg. living room, fenced yard

- when you say "phewy", it should be in the same tone and volume as when you give command. Do not make the mistake of turning this command harsh

- keep praise low keyed (calm), you do not want to excite pup to the point where he will break

- if they don't make mistakes, they can't learn

- LEFT foot for when the dog is to come with you, RIGHT foot for when pup is to stay behind

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The times outlined in this training plan are approximate, as all pups and dogs learn at differant rates. Remember to keep your training fun and upbeat, if he learns happy he will stay happy through his working career.

There are many training programs out there, I am not claiming that this is the best...it is part of my overall program and works for me. I hope there is some information in here that will help you out as well. Have fun.

 

KISS...............

(keep it simple stupid)

 

NTTF

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Thats brilliant new to the flock, very well written and easy to understand. I do have one question though, my springer bitch is now 5 months old and to be honest I havent done much with her at all due to work commitments, will I now have a much harder time training her and does your guide still apply? Do you have any further tips for someone like myself starting with a dog of 5 months or more?

 

Your response would be very appreciated.

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Peregrine:

 

That program will work just fine for your 5 month old springer. The best advise is to take your time, be consistant, and keep it FUN. Be sure to read through the training program a half dozen times till you are familiar with it, and then keep it handy to refer to. If you have any specific problem areas, or questions feel free to give me a shout.

 

NTTF

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New to Flock, hi

 

Firstly let me say, congrats on taking the time to post the info share I personnaly would love to take up this valuble advice.............could you please comment on my situation.

 

I have no dog of my own now due to the divorce (bitch took me lab) but have "inherited" a terrier/Pug cross with the new Mrs, The pup is now just over a year and basically the family pet. She went to 6 week puppy class and picked up some basic commands quite well, sit, stay, down (lay)

this was just help with keeping her well behaved.

 

Now the new Mrs said why not take the pup out when you shoot, she would love the walk and the company! anyway in did take her and now she wont stay if she see,s the guns come out! she is good company, never bulks when I shoot, flushes birds out the grass etc and sits well in the hide.

 

Is there any chance that i could expect any more of her for field use bearing in mind her breed and build (size of a small spaniel) She has a problem with commands as soon as she sees other people or dogs and becomes "deaf" and will not come to heel in this situation, and gets too far ahead to realise she would get a treat if she did.

 

Due to a change of work for both me and the new Mrs we are away from the house for long hours, pup has access to very large garden via flap, and I have asked for comment from sporting gun as to if a second dog (working) would help (company) or be (cruel) 2 dogs left

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New to Flock, hi

 

Firstly let me say, congrats on taking the time to post the info share I personnaly would love to take up this valuble advice.............could you please comment on my situation.

 

I have no dog of my own now due to the divorce (bitch took me lab) but have "inherited" a terrier/Pug cross with the new Mrs, The pup is now just over a year and basically the family pet. She went to 6 week puppy class and picked up some basic commands quite well, sit, stay, down (lay)

this was just help with keeping her well behaved.

 

Now the new Mrs said why not take the pup out when you shoot, she would love the walk and the company! anyway in did take her and now she wont stay if she see,s the guns come out! she is good company, never bulks when I shoot, flushes birds out the grass etc and sits well in the hide.

 

Is there any chance that i could expect any more of her for field use bearing in mind her breed and build (size of a small spaniel) She has a problem with commands as soon as she sees other people or dogs and becomes "deaf" and will not come to heel in this situation, and gets too far ahead to realise she would get a treat if she did.

 

Due to a change of work for both me and the new Mrs we are away from the house for long hours, pup has access to very large garden via flap, and I have asked for comment from sporting gun as to if a second dog (working) would help (company) or be (cruel) 2 dogs left

I am in a similar situation NTTF, my lab, Ben, well trained and an absolute pleasure to go out with, turns stupid if another dog is within 100 miles of him. I can get his attention but dont want to carry the megaphone with me all the time :yp:

 

 

 

 

LB :/

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Not too sure when NTTF will be able to answer your posts as when I left him at the end of October he had just heard that he had to work away from home for a long spell.

Hopefully he will get home for Christmas and find time to reply.

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May i in the masters absence, offer some advice that may be of use to you gentlemen and that does include you L B. Instead of waiting for your dog to run off to (PLAY) with another dog in an uncontrolled enviroment. Create the same enviroment in a controlled situ. IE, take your dog out where there are a lot of other dogs and distractions and run through your training program there. With the dog on the lead at first of course.

I dont need to go into the mechanics of training a dog, suffice to say if you cant stop it going to see another dog what chance have you got of stopping it if a rabbit gets up under its nose.(I am talking gun dogs here not a pet that works).

Pavman i think that the basic obediance that you dog received will still be there it just need a little reinforcing after all the dog is still a pup.

The essence of dog training is to be in control at all times, that goes for every breed of dog there is.

Hope this has made some sense to you, not just the ramblings of an incoherent semi alchoholic :) :o :)

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tiercel hi

 

sounds like good advice thanx, I really dont expect to get any more than a "flusher" from this dog, but she keeps surprising me. She was very shy of water but i took her out wildfowling on the marsh (not just for a boat ride) on sat and after some hesitation she made her way through some wading water on the flooded fields, she loves to please and makes it hard for me to leave her at home!

 

She aint a lab for sure and never will be, but is good company and works away well in the rough, not big enough to retrieve but can earn her keep on the odd day i guess.

 

Can you advise on my other question, can you own a worker and be away for 11 hrs a day 5 days a week (work in city/commute) and then be with them all weekend. I walk the pup am and pm and will intro the training prog elements from NTTF as far as we can go with it, for fun and who knows what...

 

The other option may be to get a trained dog, but what about bonding whilst training? is that lost. there seems to be a lot of divided opinion on this among friends, some say leaving a dog is ok others say its cruel, i am confused as to whats ok and whats not............comments plz boyz

 

pavman

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Ignor all lettqeqr qqq"Q"q thatq sqhow in poqst just got homqe on the 23rdqqq. Have a computer pqroblem going to try q to fixq it noqw. Until I get back Merry Chqristmqas to all. I will try to anqswer tonight.

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Okay I think that I have gotten rid of my little computer visitor. At least the letter "Q" is not showing up everywhere and plugging up the search engines. So I will try to answer now.

 

TC

As usual you have hit the nail on the head, and given an excellant response. You must be able to control your dog at 3 feet on a lead with distractions, before you can expect to control him at 20 yards off lead. This is achieved by working in the situations , on lead, that distract him until he will ignor whats going on around him and perform what is asked of him.

As to wether you can be away from your dog for 11 hours a day and still expect him to work. Dogs will entertain themselves, leave him some toys to play with, give him access to the garden and most importantly give him a really comfy chair to sleep the afternoon away and he will be more than happy. On second thought get rid of the dog and I'll move in.....aw sleep the afternoon away....uninterupted sleep.....quiet garden........toys all to my self, I'll bring my own.

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NTTF

 

hi,

 

you may have seen in other postings my pup took a knock, i feel a t*at, the pup is fine and healing well, and as soon as we can get back to it we will follow your advice....so was that a yes to getting a working dog with the hours i keep?

 

 

let me just say the pup has a very nice chair!

 

pavman

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Good advice NTTF, I've been training and working with pointers for a number of years now and can say that your knowledge is well founded. As we who work dogs know, you will only get out of a dog what you are prepared to put into it. It really is a labour of love.

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May i in the masters absence, offer some advice that may be of use to you gentlemen and that does include you L B. Instead of waiting for your dog to run off to (PLAY) with another dog in an uncontrolled enviroment. Create the same enviroment in a controlled situ. IE, take your dog out where there are a lot of other dogs and distractions and run through your training program there. With the dog on the lead at first of course.

I dont need to go into the mechanics of training a dog, suffice to say if you cant stop it going to see another dog what chance have you got of stopping it if a rabbit gets up under its nose.(I am talking gun dogs here not a pet that works).

Pavman i think that the basic obediance that you dog received will still be there it just need a little reinforcing after all the dog is still a pup.

The essence of dog training is to be in control at all times, that goes for every breed of dog there is.

Hope this has made some sense to you, not just the ramblings of an incoherent semi alchoholic :/ B) :devil:

I have just discovered this post TC.

 

I will punish you when I am travelling to Ireland this year. :sly:

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thanks new to flock-----------quality post with some excellent info. i found the 8 second rule very helpful. this info is an excellent short premer on dog training.

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Thanks for this NTTF.

 

I got myself a springer bitch from the local rescue centre 2 weeks ago. We think she is between 1 and 2 years old and does respond to some commands occasionally, but she is a nightmare when out, she pulls like a train on the lead, will not sit when we are out (but will in doors) and her recall has gone from not bad to shocking within a week (I think she has found her feet and becoming a bit dominant)

 

I'm going to give this training a go. I'll keep you all informed on how we get on.

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