If Buddy drops past the distracter or doesnt drop at all Slowly

approach him without saying anything. Put two fingers of your left hand, palm facing you, through the collar, back to front, at the side of his neck. Take him to the spot where he should have dropped and reinforce the command from in front. Don't repeat the command. Praise your dog, count to five, and enthusiastically release backward.

What Buddy is telling you is that he lacks the confidence to drop near the distracter. Your job is to show him that he can do it. His confidence will increase with each successive correct repetition.

i If Buddy arcs away from the distracter or doesn't respond to the "Come" command: Use two distracters, facing each other about eight feet apart, and teach Buddy to drop between the distracters.

Note that Buddy may also start to anticipate the Come from the Down. If he does, slowly approach your dog without saying anything. Then put two fingers of your left hand, palm facing you, through the collar, back to front, at the side of his neck, and take him back to the spot where he should have stayed and reinforce the Down from in front. Don't repeat the command. Praise, count to five, and enthusiastically release backward.

As Buddy gains confidence and responds correctly, work your way through the different levels of distractions. Being that you're competing in the Open class, you've already trained him to ignore these distractions for the Novice recall, so it won't take him very long to figure out what you want.

At some point, you have to decide whether to use a signal or a command to drop your dog because you can't use both. Experiment with Buddy to decide whether you need to use a signal or a command when in the ring. Buddy's Personality Profile can help you with your decision (see Chapter 5). If he's weak in defense (fight) behaviors, you'll be better off using the command rather than the signal. If he's high in prey behaviors, you'll be more successful with a signal.

Dog Potty Training

Dog Potty Training

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