Introducing distractions

At this point in the training, introduce distractions, beginning with first degree (see Chapter 13 for info on the degrees). The distracter stands ten feet from the dog at a 45-degree angle. After you leave Buddy in a Stand, the distracter approaches in a nonthreatening, benign manner to within two feet of him. Give the "Drop" signal, with the step toward your dog. If he does drop, praise and enthusiastically release. If he doesn't drop, slowly go to him and reinforce the Down by putting two fingers of your left hand (not the one that gave the signal) through his collar, under his chin, and placing him down. When he does it correctly, praise, release with a treat, stop, and go on to something else.

Carefully work your way through the three levels of distractions from six feet in front, on leash. After that, take the leash off and gradually increase the distance until Buddy does the exercise with you standing 40 feet in front of him.

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