I recently bought a shepherd that had gotten beginning training in IPO, but one thing they worked pretty little one and that's the send away. He is trained to run out to an object (like a cone, a football etc), but this works really bad. He runs out a meter and start to look around on the ground, before I send him out I let him sit and show him the "target".
I wonder if I should continue and do small steps with this method, or I also read about a method which involved placing a ball on the field and let the dog run and take it (and then you progress with longer distance, several places balls etc).
When I was doing Shch/IPO about 7 years ago….. before I started teaching send outs I first made sure my dogs “down in motion” was solid as it is a intergle part of the send out for sport work. So is having a dog with a good retrieve & recall as he will be thinking he is being sent out to retrieve. Each piece needs to be solid on it own before put together.
For training the actual send out I started by placing a ball on a string out about 25 feet out hanging on a metal plant/lantern hanger. (Bernhard Flinks method taught at his seminar at Leerburg that I attended) This way I could be sure the dog could see it & know it was not on the ground…which eliminated the dog rooting around looking for it & sniffing all over the ground for it. Because on a send out you want the dog looking way out ahead in the distance & running hard. After doing this a few times I keep moving the distance out further. I eventually have the ball hanging (after a few weeks or more depending on the dog) way out on the other side of the field & a distance of 200 feet. (I do a lot of work with my dogs on a 2 ½+ acre field ) Once I know that the dog will run out there with no hesitation on the send out command I start to add the command for a “down in motion”. Again I start this slowly adding distance. I don’t add more distance until I know that the down is solid at each distance before I add more. After the down I call the dog back to me. I allow the dog to go & get the ball randomly so he still thinks that he is sent out to retrieve but will reliably down & return to me. That’s about as simple as I can explain it.
I have also just put the ball on the ground at the end of the field….I would be reluctant to do that with a dog that is staring out rooting around on the ground for the ball. You could just as easily substitute a tug if your dog prefers that to a ball. When the dog returns to me I would play with him with the ball or tug.
There are many ways to teach one thing….what works if what works for both you & your dogs.
Bob may have some ideas…he has also done SchH & Duane I still doing SchH/IPO with Sadie…so he may also have some ideas on how he taught her.
After thinking about....I will.add that there are other ways to cast a dog out to search for SAR work with directions..My discription is for sport send out. Also I tend to take my dogs many places & train so that they generalize what they learn.
It would be a great help to you to join a SchH training club or find a mentor to guide you in your training. It is very difficult to try to really subscribe trading especially not being able to see the dog work to help him learn correctly. It takes 10x longer to fix something taught/learned wrong than to teach It correctly the first time. No short cuts. Good of training takes time & patience.
Also not so easy to put everything you want to say into words to explain it correctly.
Good luck with your dog training. Most important: have fun.
Yes, random downs. I did that too. Damn it is so hard to disect something that I did years ago training my dogs. That's why I was hoping you or Duane would chime in. I knew I'd leave stuff out. Getting old, ya know.
I still do random downs on retrieves sending & even returning very very occasionally to keep my dogs sharp. You never know when you might need your dog to stop & drop on a recall for safety reasons.
He does the lay down well in any circumstances, the problems is the "run out". I wonder if I should start with a cone, put a second ball behind it, ask him to go out to the cone (where he knows it's a ball) and then ask him to lay down and through first ball (which has a higher value for him). Tried it yesterday and then he runs out with a good speed, lays down and anticipated ball "number one" be thrown. I wonder if this is a good strategy? And then slowly fade out the cone.
Try it my way or the way Bob did it. Use the ball he will do anything for to motivate him to go out for it. Let him run out to get that ball only. Don't throw or use a second ball. Let him bring it back to you most of the time. Maybe 1 or 2 times out of ten down him...then call him back to you. Don't let him go for the ball when you are calling him back to you after the down...he needs to come directly back to you. Next time out let him run out & get the ball & bring it back.
I would not use the cone..You do not want him looking out on the field looking for a landmark or Que as to where to stop. On the trial send out there will be no "helps," to tell him to stop. The Que to you to clue him to down will come from the judge's nod. Not you choice.
Again if this dog is rooting around on the ground for a ball..elevate the ball so he is thinking up not down on the ground. I don't really know how much better to explain this. Which is why I suggested you find club or mentor.
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