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 Making adjusents to commands

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joemamma474
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Male Join date : 2015-02-28
Location : Michigan

PostSubject: Making adjusents to commands   Tue Mar 10, 2015 12:42 pm

Hi all,

So I've been working with my 10 1/2 week old puppy on some basic obedience (sit, down, stand up, come here, roll over).  He catches on pretty fast, at least when he's in the mood, and is performing stand up and come here with verbal only, no hand signal anymore.  I was wondering if anyone had any advice on modifying how he does his "sit" since he seems to think he needs to be right in front of me when he does it.  About 60% of the time when he does "come here" he sits down in front of me.  I would like to work on getting him to sit where he is at without coming so close to me, or without having to be in this one specific position.  So far I have been working on turning sideways or even backwards and giving the command, and he is receptive - he'll sit by my side and not directly in front.  
Also, when I give him a "down" command he isn't too great at returing to a sit from that position.  Well...he is, but he first stands up and positions himself closer to me for the sit.  Any advice on getting him to just lift his head and front paws so he sits right where he is without getting all the way up first?  I am able to get him to do this with a particular hand signal, but I don't want to use a different hand signal for a "sit" from that position than I would normally use for "sit" since I don't want to confuse him or have him think this is a different command.

Advice?  Questions?
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seattlesibe
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Male Join date : 2013-02-05
Location : seattle, wa

PostSubject: Re: Making adjusents to commands   Tue Mar 10, 2015 2:16 pm

With Sit at a distance, there's a combo of 2 things you can do.

1)  Correct for any movement towards you if there's distance between you.  Say Sit from a distance, and the split second he moves forward, correct him by marking "No" or whatever verbal cue you use, the guide him (if he's on leash) back to the correct position or wait for him to stop moving forward, then say Sit again and when he does, praise and reward.  If he doesn't stop moving forward at your verbal marker then you aren't doing it convincingly enough.  Project your body language forward when you mark for NO, think of it like projecting a force field between you like you're a Street Fighter character.   Also, have him on leash and tie him to something so that he actually can not close the distance, and command him to Sit from there.  He won't be able to come to you, and when he sits, reward and praise.

2) Whenever you actually do want him to Sit in front or beside you, recall him to that position and guide him there.  So you need to start commanding closing the distance if you want him near  you, and commanding just a Sit if you don't want him near you.  Sit this way will require your Recall command first, and then Sit secondarily.   

He needs to know the difference between Sit    and     Here/Come...Sit.  


Sit from Down is very tough for whatever reason.  That just seems to be a very difficult thing for any dog to understand, as the tendency is to Stand, not Sit.

So, that said, you need to teach him a Stand command, which you can do by simply marking Yes while he is standing in conjunction to saying Stand, and then rewarding and praising.

A Sit from Down will require on leash physical guidance, which is just one hand on the leash gently guiding up from Down and the other hand on his butt gently pushing down to prevent the back legs from rising to Stand.  

You just have to physically guide the body to position and condition the muscle memory with the Sit command by preventing Stand.  So, if you teach Stand in and of itself, and use this physical guidance to a Sit from Down, it will become two distinct behaviors for him that you can mark and reward.


With my dog from Down I command Up when I want a Stand and I just use my flat palm of my hand moving up above my head, like holding a tray of food. I have a hand signal for Sit, generally, which is just index finger #1 and then he Sits rather than Stands.

I have actually never taught Stand as a command, it's just two separate hand signals from Down that I use and that works for my dog.
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joemamma474
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Male Join date : 2015-02-28
Location : Michigan

PostSubject: Re: Making adjusents to commands   Tue Mar 10, 2015 2:38 pm

Thank you for the advice on sitting with distance, I will get started on that.

He does have a stand command, and he is actually doing that with just verbal cue right now (from a down or a sit, I just say "stand up" and he does - though he sometimes wants to sit down again fairly quickly, so I need to add duration).
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aljones
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PostSubject: Re: Making adjusents to commands   Tue Mar 10, 2015 3:26 pm

I'd suggest Joe, that "duration" beyond 15-30 seconds for a 10 1/2 week old pup is very good! You sound like you and the pup are doing very well but don't expect too much too soon.
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joemamma474
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PostSubject: Re: Making adjusents to commands   Tue Mar 10, 2015 4:59 pm

Thank you Al. I don't think we are up to 15-30 seconds, maybe 7-8 seconds, but I do think he is doing very well. I'm just always planning for the future and issues that could be encountered later on. Thanks!
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seattlesibe
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PostSubject: Re: Making adjusents to commands   Tue Mar 10, 2015 5:24 pm

@joemamma474 wrote:
 I'm just always planning for the future and issues that could be encountered later on.  Thanks!

You, my friend, are going to be a great dog trainer. You are gonna find that with a Husky, the biggest obstacle you're gonna have for training...with actual compliance and obedience as your goal...is impulse control and focus.

You are off to a great start.

The best way to work on duration is implementing a Release command after every single thing you train. If you do so, you won't ever have to say Stay again, ever.

If a dog freely breaks position, even after a reward is given, then the command means nothing but a routine for a treat. Compliance, on the other hand, is just that; a dog only breaks a position when released.

You can do drills at home with your dog in Sit, or Down, or Place by continually adding distractions and then correcting for breaking position prior to your Release.

This is the best way to tackle impulse control issues with very stubborn, impulsive dogs like Huskies.

Please keep us updated.
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joemamma474
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Male Join date : 2015-02-28
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PostSubject: Re: Making adjusents to commands   Tue Mar 10, 2015 9:43 pm

If he does break commands after receiving the reward (I mark with a "yes" and then he typically breaks after the reward) how should I correct that and add a release command? I was kind of thinking of "yes" as the actual release, but is that a bad idea?

Also, do you have any suggestions for very small distractions to introduce? It seems that a lot of times with other people walking around the house doing things, like my wife, he really is very distracted and doesn't respond to commands. I'm not surprised, but clearly that is too much of a distraction, so what are some lower-grade distractions I could start with?

Thanks for the reply!
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seattlesibe
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PostSubject: Re: Making adjusents to commands   Tue Mar 10, 2015 10:08 pm

A proper Release command is a basic foundation protocol that should be implemented across the board.  So, positions, all thresholds such as doorways, gates, crates, waiting for food, on walks with peeing, marking, meandering, sniffing, socializing, and play indoors.  

Impulse control is a fundamentally basic problem that rears its head in all of these areas, so unless you manage all of the areas that it show up, you are not going to be able to properly tackle a dog's impulse control issues----> the #1 thing that prevents overall calmness in a dog.

So, you have to implement a Release command across the board.  It will ease the dog's mind and teach deference to you.  

As you are training, Yes should only mark a correct response to a command and not be a Release.  But what you want is full compliance.    So, Down does NOT mean *down until you cash in on your treat then do whatever you want*, it DOES means *down until I tell you what to do next.*

It looks like this:

-Down
-dog goes down
-Yes (Very calmly and ideally without a treat.  You don't want to evoke excitement here.  I personally do not nor do I recommend training basic default positions with treats because it triggers Release).
-Walk away, wait, whatever.  
-dog gets up.
-No (calmly, but sternly.  It's "I don't agree" not "I'm mad at you.")
-leash correction
-guidance back to position and Down
-Walk away, wait, whatever
-Release (can be Okay, or Here, or Come, etc)

Choose what Release you want and that will be your consistent command at all areas listed at the beginning of this post.

Notice there is no Stay.  With true compliance, Stay is not needed because the dog is taught to await Release at all times.


With distractions, your dog is still young so the attention span is pretty short.  But, you can practice distractions in two ways:

-as you've mentioned with getting them to go Down with distractions
-or staying in Down with added distractions

A great way to test and practice is with a bag of treats.  Since distraction / duration training is intensely more difficult, it is definitely appropriate to use treats.   With a bag of treats you're adding a very tangible motivator for compliance.  It looks like this:


-Down
-dog goes down
-Yes
-Walk away and grab the treats and make noise with them
-dog gets up.
-No (calmly, but sternly.  It's "I don't agree" not "I'm mad at you.")
-leash correction
-guidance back to position and Down
-Walk away and repeat with the treats
-Release with your Recall command and then reward with the treats

If you give your dog something tangible like this to work for, the exercise has more clarity and you'll get better results.

If you think the verbal marker Yes is triggering Release, then you can just start cutting it and adding Good or even just mark silently with a nod or body language.
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LoneWolf
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Male Join date : 2015-03-10
Location : Houston, tx

PostSubject: Re: Making adjusents to commands   Thu Mar 12, 2015 10:01 pm

And I thought we were doing so well. My puppy is only five months, but she has got "come" down pretty darn good in just 4 weeks training a little every day. But "sit" she only does until I acknowledge her. Great info.
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