ClickerSolutions Training Treasures

Drop on Recall

The drop on recall. There is never "one way" to train anything. Thank goodness.

How I would teach a drop on recall... I have found this method easy, easy. First, teach the dog to down in a variety of places and in a variety of positions relative to you...downing when in heel position for example. I also have a hand signal down before I start drop on recall training.

With the dog in heel position and on- or off-lead, move forward. Turn into the dog (no one is trying to hit the dog), and bending at the waist, cue down or lure the dog into a down...

Most of my dogs were trained to down with a lure (mom bending with treats) so this bend is "extra help." After all, I am changing the exercise. I am now moving with the dog, so I lure the down or bend to give lots of extra help which I quickly fade out.

Fade out all the help or bends or extra cues you are giving the dog.

Then you will be at a point where you can heel along cue down...the dog should drop. C/T

Then heel along cue drop the dog will drop, you take one step further. If the dog stays down, C/T.

And so on, until the dog will drop and you can continue walking along. The dog is in a down and remains where you cued him. C/T

Then I would put this dog in a sit/stay... move away, turn, call the dog, and cue the drop. I use BOTH the hand signal and verbal cue simultaneously. Again, I am giving the dog all the help I can in this "new exercise." If you've laid a strong foundation with the other exercises, you will get a drop on recall, if not right away, very quickly.

Or if you practice lots and lots of downs in all kinds of places, on all kinds of surfaces, in all kinds of positions -- dog standing, sitting, moving -- and with you cueing down when stationery, moving, sitting, laying down, standing on your head, then you can just put the dog in a sit/stay, call it and get the down on recall you want. This is a dog that really understands what "down" means. Down is a position not a movement .

"Sit and Down" are position exercises and not movement exercises. That is one of those $50 dollar tips which does have implications for how we train these exercises... I'll leave what I mean a mystery for now.

Alternatively one can get a dog to touch a target and down on the target. Then place the target between you and the dog in the sit/stay. Tell dog to "touch" (or the target is the cue for the behavior) when the dog touches the target cue should down on the target c/t. Gradually make the target smaller and smaller.

Hope that helps I have a hard time writing methods out that would take about five minutes to show someone...sooooo much easier outside of e-mail. LOL

Janet Smith
Good Dog! Training
Okemos, MI
copyright 1999 Janet Smith


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