Sunday, December 19, 2010


Distance work pays off out here when we're bombing out around on the trails. Actually, even in the city, when at parks, I've had more than one occasion where I've been relieved to be able to tell my dogs to "STOP" when I see a ball hog dog racing after our ball. Most dogs who hog another's ball in my experience have been possessive of them, and it's not worth it to me to have my dogs injured in a dogfight because another person hasn't trained their dog.

I've used "STOP" when on trails and we've encounter motorcyles, ATV's, bikes, joggers, other hikers/dogs or even knowing there's cliff up ahead, being able to tell them to put on the brakes for safety reasons gives me a piece of mind.

DISTANCE work...besides STOP, SIT and DOWN have also come in handy. Distance work comes naturally when they understand stay's are part of a cue and you've done a ton of duration and distraction work when close by. Handsignals, more like arm movements, also help them out. Start off close then ping/pong the distance, next start adding distractions. I always reward in position at first so they find value in staying put.

*Remember that dogs don't have the greatest eye sight when it comes to picking something specific out in the distance. They are more perceptive to movement hence using your arm and exaggerated motion.


Lydia McCarthy said...

Actually we were just working on them in my training class yesterday. They do come in very handy and can save their life. I love the emergency STOP and long distance sits and downs. I so encourage my owners to keep with that.

Kristine said...

While I think we have an awesome distance sit-stay, I have had limited success teaching "stop". For the most part her emergency sit works, as does her recall, in situations like these but it would be nice to add to our repetoire. Can't have too many options, right?

How did you go about teaching "stop" at the basic level?

Daizy, George, Taiki n Keegan said...

I love it too! It's so much fun to teach and super duper simple. Kinda like a stay, where you use forward movement into their space just with a weight shift. and hand out front as if someone is going to fall against you.
I just stand in front of a dog at first, a couple feet away, not far, then invite them to come to you and the second they start to move forward, you lean forward and motion your hand to "stop' them from moving forward. No nasty voice or anything, no walking forward crashing into them, just the transition from invitation to leaning forward, and putting pressure with forward motion, hand movement normally is enough to get them to have a 'what are you doing" sort of look on their face, and while they stop to ponder this, I throw treats behind them,reinforcing distance away from you, or if they stay put automatically, I will take a step forward and reinforce them in position.
After they've got that down pat working in front, ping ponging distance, I work beside, then from behind. Behind is the toughest one as they can't see your body language so working tons from on front then on beside them, lays a good foundation. I think the more cues you can teach them, the more fun you have.
Dr. Patricia McConnell teaches stay, similar to how I teach the 'stop". Stay and Stop are sort of the same thing to me, slight variations, but really just asking the dog to refrain from movement.