Sit Over There
I tried this with a foster after seeing a Sue Ailsby demo at one of her seminars. Sue started clicking a dog only when it was on the other side of an invisible line. She started with the dog way out there (the owner released it way out there), clicked as it was moving toward her, then tossed the treat back out there to reposition the dog. I believe this was a step in the drop on recall--or any other cue that required distance from handler.
Well, invisible lines are too hard for me and my dogs, so I used a piece of string, tossed a treat over it to get things going, clicked the dog as it came running back to me, tossed the treat back there....In about 10 minutes, I had a dog who wouldn't come within 10 feet of me. I told her to sit and bam, she sat. (She occasionally showed a little confusion or a little conflict but I just kept clicking and treating and that cleared up her furrowed brow.)
I didn't fade the string--just removed it--but because it was just a piece of string, I could carry it in my pocket and we could do this in many different environments and from different directions without the dog focusing on other clues. (She wants me to sit on the blue rug, or 4 feet from the couch, or facing the house.) If the dogs keep running, I just pull out the string and remind them I want them somewhere (but not the same place) on the other side of the string.
I've used it ever since with eight foster terriers, all of whom came to knowing nothing and left with drops on recall, long distance sits and waits, and this weird habit of getting within 10 feet of people and stopping to see if maybe the person wanted to see a cool trick...
I think introducing the idea of "out there" and the treat ending up out there to reset the dog is a good one, however you do it.
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