In our Beginner Open class, we're teaching DOR. The way our instructor has us teaching it is to have the dog drop by a target (we're using margarine lids) and clicking and treating. Eventually we will fade the target.
Henry isn't *getting* it.
Instructor said to wait him for him to offer a down next to the target, then click. *insert crickets chirping and cobwebs growing because I'll be waiting that long*
This week, I tried to wait for him to just touch the target, and then asking him to drop/down. In 20 min, he'll touch the target maybe 4 times on his own. He'll drop/down when I ask him to but I know that he's not making the association between him being near the target and dropping down.
1. Am I expecting too much of him too soon? His clicker training is not solid. I see other clicker-trained dogs offering up a whole plethora of behaviours while Henry will just stand and stare at me, wagging his tail tentatively. I know he's confused/frustrated/doesn't know what I want from him.
All of the other dogs in our class are happily dropping by their margarine lids with no problem. We might as well be standing in the corner with our dunce caps on. Seriously, we are the only ones who cannot do this.
2. Is there another way to teach DOR?? He knows the "sphinx down/drop" (front end first, then back end) and he knows a moving down/drop from Rally.
I'd work more with him getting the idea of dropping where ever you may be and doing it quickly.
I always have a handful of kibble in my pockets for walks, parks etc. And Ruby and Rhys no matter where they are will lay down.
I think that comes first, and then its a game. Whoever drops first gets the treat. We'll be standing around at a street light and DROP and usually Rhys wins, but its funny to see they try!
we didn't use any sort of cue to drop, just my saying it, and she smiles and drops as fast as she can.
I'll tell you how my instructor has been teaching us in class. This has been a progressive progress and we started with a mat first. We would heel with the dog next to us and when we would get to the mat give him a drop or down command. We would do this until the dog realized he was to drop on the mat. Then we would send to the mat from just a few feet away. From there we started doing the recall and giving the drop when they got to the mat. We would intermix the recall with the drop to avoid anticipation. This is as far as I've gotten. Eventually the idea is to make the spot smaller and eventually remove it so that you are just giving the recall command with the signal/command for drop.
Hope this helps - I'm sure Lydia will respond with great info. as she usual does.
Sharon, loved by Moose & Sky
We ended up mixing the Diane Bauman (if you don't have her book- you should!- it is great!) method of teaching her to drop behind an object (we used the bar from the bar jump). With Gabs, it was a trick to teach that it was mandatory to drop behind the bar- we treated every time she did a good drop, and I made her back up if she traveled too far. Also, I occasionally rolled the bar "at her" if she was too close to it- not to like whack her in the face or anything, but our's makes noise when rolled. Eventually we faded the bar to smaller PVC bars and a leash and then nothing.
We also used a variation of Melissa's method at the same time- we made it a really fun game for her to drop. I would throw cheese balls away from me and she would run to get it and then when she turned back to me (at varying lengths) I would tell her to drop. If she dropped quickly, I threw cheese to her. If she was slow and traveled- I said "oops, Gabs, too slow" and released her to repeat it.
Oooh thanks you guys. I'm going to try out your methods! I'm sure Henery will thank you too.
I just hate seeing him look at me like this: ??? and :-\ !!
How old is Henry? Don't assume they all develop or assimilate info at the same rate. With Sonya (17 mos) -- half sis/niece to Mata (3yo)--- there's no comparison on their rate of obed uptake. Auntie/half sis Mata was done w/ CD at 15 mos and competing (and Q'd) in Open at 16 mos. Sonya is going to enter Rally Novice for the first time in 4 wks, lol. Yes, she is CLOSE to being ready to compete in the reg obed ring, but just recently. And she's learning the open concepts quite well but just recently too... but we are still at 12" jump heights too! 8) So my point is, they just don't all learn at the same rate (nor do they all learn w/ the same methods-- even very closely related ones)! With Sonya (and Mata), I've used a lot firmer methods of enforcing the obed once taught and have to say, it's cut my frustrations to a fraction of what I endured 10 yrs ago w/ their grams!!!
PS, I shared some thoughts on DOR in an earlier post. Must teach a solid drop from a stand position, then gain distance... can use a long line around a tree to enforce the non creeping aspects. I think it's one of the most difficult concepts to teach a lab, but you can't let them get away w/ bad habits from the beginning.... been there, done that, working on Gen V now. But I don't dare share all my secrets. ;D
WindyCanyon Girls, August 2014
Felicia I also do a lot of random sits and downs--sits for what will be your go-out and downs for the drop. I work on the idea that they fold down and not sit then down. I have seen too many dogs, when stressed, will sit and forget to go the rest of the way down, so I teach a fold down with their elbows hitting the ground first. I will throw cheese, something easy to see around and let them chase to get it and then randomly drop them or sit them, then release to get the cheese. Then I do a drop when heeling--I'll be heeling and basically do the rally drop, again working to have the elbows hit first (this is at the side in heel position). Then I will do this but keep moving and this is where I will add the hand signal, too. My goal is that I can keep waliking to the end of the lead. After they do this pretty well I will begin to work across the room. I have used a barrier of sorts to get a quicker drop without the creeping--that does work but don't get too dependent on it. I also taught and use the command "Get down" so if he travels too much I can tell him "Get down" and I can get him to back up across the room. I have had to work on that cause being a momma's boy, Caleb has been known to blow through the drop to get to me. But I go back and revisit all these exercises. Teach the pieces of the exercise so if a part falls apart you can go back and work that part.
UCDX GRCH Dunn's Marsh Caleb of Waltona UDX3, OM3, RAE Canadian UD, RE
FallRiver's Micah of Waltona GN RAE, Canadian CD, RN
This might seem too easy, but if he knows the command "drop", why don't you just tell him to drop in front of the lid, click and treat when he does? I just couldn't do clicker training that involves the dog offering behaviors and waiting till they did something remotely close to what you wanted and working from there. It's no wonder the poor dog is confused.
I taught Buddy at first like Susan. I just had him learn to down from the heal position. This was before Rally. Once I knew he understand the word down. I'd start downing him anytime I thought about it. In the house, in the field or anywhere we were at the time. Just remember to be close enough to make him down. After he was pretty consistant with this, I started the formal DOR. My instructor had me leave him in the normal way, walk to where I wanted to drop him and call him. As he got to me, I'd tell him down and put him in a down position. I'd tell him to stay, and walk away again and finish the exercise by calling him front. As he learns to down, I would start downing him farther and farther away from me. Hope this helps.
Eiderdowns That's My Buddy
CDX, RE, WC, CGC, TDInc.