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Thread: Let's talk training

  1. #1
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    Default Let's talk training

    I am bored and cold. It is too dark to throw marks on the river. And I want to talk dogs. Let me see if I can get a discussion going.
    Do any of you teach a dog to sit from a down position? If so, what command do you use and why?

  2. #2

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    I know what you mean. It's been a long cold snap. My outdoor training cutoff is -15 F. We are suppose to have a reprieve starting tomorrow. I plan to go out retriever training tomorrow. Set up some transition drills and then run some concept marks(holding a hill or run across a ditch) The places I train are wind blown clear. The advantages of living in the Matsu. Just gotta know where they are and get permission.

    I teach sit, down and to get them up from a down position I do two things. If I'm close(standing right beside them I'll say "Up" with a hand gesture signaling upward. If I'm away a short distance I'll just call the dog to me and then have them sit or down again once they are at my side again.

    Something else that comes to mind that you can train a hunting dog to do. That is crawl. Very handy to have. I've trained several that would crawl right behind me as I approached a waterhole loaded with birds.

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    Member Bighorse's Avatar
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    Default crawl

    That crawl would be great! I recall finding a group of Geese in central Washington and not having my dogs prepared to crawl. It ruined the stalk having to get them crawling and heeling appropriatly. It was a pair of one year old Spaniels.

    I'm gonna work on that. I like to have a dog along for deer hunting in the bear woods sometimes. If I could get him to heel consistently and crawl on a stalk that would be just perfect. I'll consider that a new goal for this years training.

    Trouble with these flushers is they just have so much drive to get in the brush and rustle around. Its a blessing and a curse when it comes to an all around gun dog.

    I've used a "get in" command when I want them to rustle around the thick stuff.

    Back on the original subject....a down to sit command......I haven't done it much but a think a repetative positive reinforcement training regimen would do. Thats one that can be done while kicking around the cabin durring just this time. I'll try it out tonight and see how fast my boy picks it up.

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    Default Down and sit

    I do a couple of things. I've started teaching down (laydown) from a stand, a nice front fold down rather than sit, down.The tall dogs look so cool doing that. Then from the down take a step in "sit" and up hand motion (with treats). "UP" is jump on me, it has a purpose but not sure what it is yet. I think if you teach stuff like Up or Speak that Off and Quiet have more meaning. Just a theory I have.

    I line them all up 4 dogs and by name do these little drills. They learn not to horn in on another's treats, and respond by name. My vision is that I can train all 4 at the same time when we can go outside. My own little doggy circus.

    Then, I did "leave it". Our place is small, kitchen/livingroom/dining all one room. Something is always jumping off of the counter when I cook. Two dogs grabbed chunks of onion just to hock them up 10 min later. It was just before their dinner so no big deal. Or I bend down to get it and get mauled by at least 3 dogs and a good sock in the nose with a dog head. So, I lined them all up and dropped low value treats like kibble, "leave it" then rewarded them with a high value treat from my hand like cheese or piece of puparoni-

    It's still so cold out. Maybe I'll work on Crawl.



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    Default good so far

    But looking for more input. There are no wrong answers. At least yet.
    I am not asking so much how to do it, but if you do it, simply, what is the command and why do you use that specific wording?
    So far I have one "UP", one "SIT", and one little bit experience. Bighorse, if you did train it what would your command be and why?
    And I always like working on crawl. Come on pup, let's crawl under the blanket and get next to the wood stove!

  6. #6

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    Wording of specific commands is just a personal preference. Mainly using commands that have been taught to us from previous trainers. Learning by example from others. For the most point we could use any word to mean anything. The secret is to stay consistent and train what each command word means to your dog. As most of us know there are a lot of trained dogs that know German and other foreign languages.
    Being trainers we try not to pick dog names that sound like commands that will be taught later. "No" relates to dog name Mo. "Back" relates to Jack "Sit" relates to Grit and so on, just as examples. As a trainer, if I get in a dog that has a command related name I may reword my command so that the dog name doesn't coorelate. Other than these examples all my verbal commands are in a standard format that carries over to each dog that I may be running in competition or training.

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    Default Absolutely

    But, not where I want to go. With that said, yes, all commands are personally chosen. They should be specific and constistent. The word in and of itself is meangingless.
    So, does anybody else train a dog to sit from the down position?

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    Member Bighorse's Avatar
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    Default Attempt

    Well I spent some time trying that positive repetative training with him in the "down" posistion and numerous times gently putting upward pressure under his chest and commanding "Sit" and delivering a treat. Eventually he would go "down" and "Sit" with treat. The trouble I found is now he is more inclined to not hold his "Down" command because he thinks there is a treat when he "Sits". At this point its a work in progress I think It still holds some merit and he seems to like the game of it all. He loves to retrieve and so I hold his toy too and if he goes from a "down" to "sit" I'll throw him a retrieve.

    I'll keep at it and see what happens. He's smart and eager to please so were having fun.

    I also use "up" for standing for a sratch or jumping up onto something, tailgate, log, bed, table.

    I named my dog "Z" and that name really works well for me its really easy to say and doesn't really mix up with much.

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    Default

    Bighorse, just curious, and not part of the original question, but why did you decide to teach him that? Linda too.
    I have never been to a show. Is that movement required there?
    I am not so bored today. We took the pup out at -40 and threw birds for her. I get to train her and my 14 year old daughter at the same time. After all these years not training, I forgot that an integral part is that your partner (read bird thrower) knows what to do, when to do it, and how to help if needed. I realized that we forgot (ok, I forgot) the basics when her first throw never went above knee height and only went 10'.
    There has to be more than 3 dog trainers around here. Maybe they all crawled under a blanket somewhere.

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    Default "sit" up

    I taught Sit from a down for one reason, to correct an anticipated down (begging). Feeding 4 dogs inside I make them sit in their "place", same mat every time. Daisy (great dane/greyhound 3 ft tall) likes to horn in on other dogs' food and she can overpower anyone with her size.She has to respect that it's their's and "wait" or I stop all movement toward making dinner. Seeming to try to get more out of me she sometimes lays down, which puts her closer to the food too. Plus laying "down" is not "sit" and I didn't ask for it.

    Otherwise it's just for fun and maybe it instills what "sit" is. It's not down, tapdancing, spinning or the other stuff in their doggy brain roll-a-dex.

    I don't know about you but at the first glimmer of light I'm going to run up and down the road in the 20+ degrees and try not to fall, again.

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    Default 3 trainers?

    only 3 trainers willing to share? Out of over 100 look sees? I sure hope we get more folks to weigh in before this cold snap completely breaks and we all get outside (Linda w/ ice grippers) to train for real.
    Where oh where can all the trainers be?
    Besides the original question, Roca and I trained on crawl last night. We crawled across the living room to the wood stove. Seemed like such a good destination.

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    Default I have not put much effort into it. Here's why.

    The only reason I have ever wished my dog to sit from down or stand in place from sit is grooming. I have a rather long haired German Wirehair that requires some brushing so I have put a little effort into this type of training. It has not been a priority because 1. usually it is just easier to release her and have her come (standing) then sit, down, or roll-over and 2. I rescued this dog from the pound and she is very challenging to train because of her extremely soft nature.

    I have always used "sit" for the command. Now that you got me thinking I will probably come up with another word. It hasn't been obvious to the dog that a sit is a sit no matter where she starts out. Maybe "up."

  13. #13

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    I don't use the "sit" command. "Place" is for sitting outside the blind, etc. "Sit" is basically implied when he heals at the line. The "place" command means...go sit over there on that pad or in that area.

    I have never used the "sit" command or the "come" command. I use "here."

    I try to keep things as simple and monosyllabic as possible. Most everything in the field is whistled anyway. Few words are rarely needed.

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    Default wtrdog1

    So back to the original question, if you have a dog in a down position do you ever have a reason to have him rise to a sitting postion and if so, what is the command?

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    Member 3CBRS's Avatar
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    Default

    I've never taught a dog "sit" from a "down" position. Geez AK River Rat -- think you've got way to much time on your hands! If I did do so, would probably use "sit". Why? Sit means s-i-t. I might use treats [i.e. food kibbles] at first, but haven't thought about it much.

    Do the NAHRA judges still set up tests sometimes where the dog & handler crawl/creep up to the line?

    Karen

  16. #16

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    I take that back, I do use "sit", but I guess I'm not used to saying "sit." I have always used a whistle. So I guess I do use "sit."

    I don't use the "down" command. So I really couldn't tell you what the command would be. "Up" maybe. You can use whatever command you would like. I guess it would really matter what/where the dog is. When I'm hunting, I use "mark" to alert the dog and get him looking for the birds coming.

    What would it be used for? If you are goose hunting, the geese can't tell whether your dog is sitting or laying down. Other than maybe a convenience command in the house, I'm not sure why one would need to use it. If my dogs are tired enough, they lay down.

    As for crawling, I have never taught my dogs that. If I needed to jump some ducks or geese at a pond, I just have him stay a distance away and either let him mark the downed bird, or run a blind retrieve to it.

  17. #17

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    i trained my male lab down from sit and sit from down with the
    idea that it would be used in the field when hunting w/little cover.
    (my blinds are often pretty skimpy). command sit from down has
    the dog retain the same postion and not move out of cover
    as its turned out i seldom use the down command for that purpose.
    works great in the boat or at home when the dogs all wet/muddy etc.
    and i want him to chill in one spot to dry out. i do this when sitting
    for a extended period of time isn't required.
    down is a great command when the birds are not moving and you need to
    catch a quick nap. labs make great pillows

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    Default let' talk theory. Even though it is warm out

    Man what a change in the weather! How about that folks. We saw a 70+ degree change here!
    We got some feedback on the original question as well as some other insights. Cool. And thanks for tagging along. I'll preface this by saying I am not pointing at anybody's specific answer. Let's just see where the conversation goes. As each of you respond, try to answer each point so we can all see your thoughts.
    Why is a command given? Is it given for an action, or for a result? Possibly, like in the case of "sit" an end result?
    With any command that requires an action, does the action have to be repeatable? Let's add repeatable in the same motion or sequence.
    Should all commands be consistent with the expectation and action?
    So, my question is, can a dog understand the command difference between "SIT" from a stand and "sit" from down? Are not the two actions completely different? Even though the end result is the same. Hmmm.
    As we think about this, think about the difference in body motion/hand signal support for the command. What happens if you eliminate it?
    Again, let's assume the dog is either standing, or laying down, when the "SIT" command is given. We won't cover using it as a command/correction if a dog starts to go down after being told to "sit".
    I use the term "sit", but one person says that he only uses a whistle for that command. Ok, would you still use the whistle both ways? Same command, different movement, same end result.
    I hope I don't lose anybody here. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  19. #19

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    For myself, I like to keep things (commands included) as simple as possible. The fewer the better. I guess the basic question I would have is, the results being the same. What do you use the command for? In other words, is "sit" used to keep the dog in one place? If so, than I don't care if the dog is laying down or standing. Now if you are talking about a HT/FT, than the dog will sit healed at the line with you. My dogs are so excited to be out hunting or training that I have never seen them lying down. If I blow he whistle, they sit.

    So I guess if you worked on it enough, the dog will learn what the command "sit" actually means if you want the dog sitting, whether they are standing or down. Just depends on how much you want to work on it.

    Mind you, my perspective comes from training Labs for hunting and HT/FTs, so my criteria (and the use of limited commands) might be different than yours.

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    Default same background wtrdog

    not so much different than mine. I field trialed from AK to CA and did the whole deal. Really though that doesn't matter. Your background in this case is not as important as your perspective on what a command means, and how to get what you want from the dog.
    Any trainer that has been around has run into road blocks along the way. Why? Consistency? Repeatability? Action? End result? Confusion?
    Even if you don't teach the command I am questioning, think about it as if you were going to. Trouble shoot it. Where do the problems hide? Or, it is the Super National and you are a qualifier. The only way to win is to have trained this. Now what?
    Think about it another way. I am a new, wet behind the ears novice. I have a problem. You have experience. Help me out. Don't tell me not to train on it. Help me do it, and understand how to do it right.
    What does the dog hear from you and how does he turn that into a result?
    Baron, you are about on deck, ready?

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