Training Equipment and Signals (p2)
Drop on Recall:
Standing in front of the closed side of the box place puppy about 1 foot outside the box opposite you. Call them into the box with a drop at your feet, using the fold back “concertina” down. Gradually adding distance of both you and the puppy to the box. You now have a drop on recall right where you ask for it. Follow up a few drops with a straight recall through the box so they don’t learn to anticipate always dropping in the box. Over time you will begin to remove one of the sides of the box and repeat these exercises. Then remove the other side, just leaving the top PVC pipe. Then one day remove the last piece and no visual queue for the dog is needed.
Signal Stand and Moving Stand:
The signal stand or moving stand is trained in the box as well. For the signal stand start with the puppy is a sit in heel position inside the box. Use your right hand across your body like a railroad-crossing bar to ask for the stand. They should kick back with just their hind legs keeping the front legs in place. You may have to place your left arm under their belly or use your foot to touch their hind legs or feet to get the rear end to come up. For the moving stand I use my left hand over the dogs head heeling into the box and signaling them when they are inside the box, even saying “Stand” or “Stay” or “Stand Stay” while you continue to move forward a few steps, turn and face the dog. Again the box prevents them from creeping forward. By using different hand signals for the different type stands required, tells the dog that either you are going to stop as well or continue moving forward away from the dog. Over time again start to remove the parts of the box to lesson the visible cue.
Straight Sits, Fronts and Right Finishes:
- Straight sits: Heel dog into the box and halt, dog will have to sit squarely since the box is small enough to only do so.
- Fronts: Place the box directly in front of you with opening pointing outward. Call dog for a recall front and again they will have to sit squarely.
- Right Finishes: Place box to your left side with opening pointed backwards. With dog at a front position ask for a right finish. Dog will have to sit squarely inside the box in heel position.
All these exercises will take time for the dog to learn that it is most comfortable to sit correctly rather that stumbling over the PVC parts out of position.
“Go Out” turns in place: While standing just a few feet away, place PVC box near “Go Out” spot with opening facing you and your dog. Send dog to the target lid with a treat on it placed inside the box near the top bar. From previous training they should already know this first part. Once they run out follow them in, let them eat the treat then use your hand at their face to turn them 180 degrees inside the box, saying “Fido sit” and give them another treat. Each dog will either find turning to the left or right easier so figure out which way is better and use that hand with the treat to turn the dog around. Gradually add distance to the box and eliminate you running in to turn dog. Also alternate having the first treat on the lid so the reward is for turning quickly. But every so often allow them the go out treat to keep the speed up on the outrun. You can also use a ball thrown at the dog to catch as they are turning in the box to achieve a motivated turn.
Groups, Long Sits and Downs:
Sit or down the dog in the box and leave them for the group exercise, which can be a boring non-thinking task for the dogs. Having them in the box reminds them this is a job they need to do and they will be more successful. If they sit close to the end PVC bar it is harder for them to go into a down. If they are in a down in the box it will be harder to roll over or creep forward.