Distance Work

Discussion in 'General Dog Training' started by tx_cowgirl, Jul 13, 2008.

  1. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    I haven't done much work having Mud respond to cues at a distance, but I want to start. I feel like this is a dumb question, but I really don't know where to begin. :dogtongue2: Her long distance stays are fantastic. She will stay and return on command every time, from a sit or down position. I'd like to have her do any trick I ask from long distances, without running up to me to do it. Really all I've asked for is a down from a few feet away, and she walks a few steps, lays down, and crawls up to me. :dogrolleyes: Silly Mudflap. She will gladly back up to the prior distance when asked, and then I ask for a sit, which she will do. But when asked for the down or anything else...well, the same "sneaky" performance to get back close to me.
    My goal is to eventually have her carry out commands with me any distance away, facing her, with my back to her, behind her, beside her, walking away from her, anywhere. I haven't been persistent with working on this kind of thing because I don't want to create any bad habits or mistakes since I don't know where to start anyway. Any tips would be greatly appreciated. :dogsmile: Thanks everyone!

  2. yoyopoodle Well-Known Member

    I would suggest using a raised platform for now - she needs to perform the trick up on something with clearly defined edges. Something like an agility pause box.

    Once she is doing really well with that, you can switch to a mat on the ground, then a line of tape that she shouldn't cross, then just a little piece of tape to serve as her 'mark'. :)
  3. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Thanks a bunch Jillian!! I'll get to work on that.
  4. fickla Experienced Member

    When I teach dogs to do things from a distance from me I either tether them to something or put them behind a baby gate at first. I then very very slowly add steps away from them. I also find that it helps if you throw them a treat behind them after they do it correctly. That way they aren't expecting to run closer to you.

    I also eventually start working the distance commands after they target something (like a lid). that way i can control how far away they are from me and it's easier to practice once i get rid of the tether.
  5. fickla Experienced Member

    Oh, and before i start distance work, I teach them to do things on all sides of my body. For most dogs, "sit" means come in front of mom and then put butt to ground. So i have them sit on my left, right, behind me, etc first. The same with down, and stand. You do have to basically retrain each new command or trick with distance, but the more you do the faster each one goes.
  6. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Thanks Fickla! I will use both yours and Jillian's suggestions and get to work. I appreciate everyone's tips. :doghappy:

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