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Discussion Starter #1
I recently started working on asking Peggy to "wait" when she's zeroed in on something and has some real forward momentum going. For example, I throw a ball - she goes after it - I call WAIT - she freezes - I reward with a click/treat - and then I use an "okay" to let her finish going after the ball.

I was training this mostly for fun, but also in an effort to interrupt her prey drive, in case she spots something like a baby bird in our backyard.

What I didn't expect was that a few days later I'd drop a handful of Advil on the ground, and my brain would go on autopilot, causing me to bellow "Waaait!!!!" before I even knew if Peggy was nearby. I looked down and, sure enough, there she was, frozen, nose hovering an inch above one of the tablets.

Lesson learned: A catch-all freeze command isn't just fun; it could save your poodle's life.
 

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I recently started working on asking Peggy to "wait" when she's zeroed in on something and has some real forward momentum going. For example, I throw a ball - she goes after it - I call WAIT - she freezes - I reward with a click/treat - and then I use an "okay" to let her finish going after the ball.

I was training this mostly for fun, but also in an effort to interrupt her prey drive, in case she spots something like a baby bird in our backyard.

What I didn't expect was that a few days later I'd drop a handful of Advil on the ground, and my brain would go on autopilot, causing me to bellow "Waaait!!!!" before I even knew if Peggy was nearby. I looked down and, sure enough, there she was, frozen, nose hovering an inch above one of the tablets.

Lesson learned: A catch-all freeze command isn't just fun; it could save your poodle's life.
Well done! Our lifesaver command is "Leave It" . I am sure it has saved Charlie the Poodle a few times already when we are out hiking and he grabs something very questionable. "Wait" is a good one also. Charlie won,t dash out of a door even if it is propped open to carry in stuff. Wonderful not having to worry that he will run out in front of a car the moment a door opens.

Sent from my STV100-3 using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
I use 'leave it' and 'wait' but I like 'freeze.' I'll have to look up how to teach it. Any suggestions?
I think if you've taught a solid wait and release, you're more than halfway there.

I'm not the best trainer. I'm not even a decent trainer. (Probably why Peggy's leave-it is still abysmal.) I mostly just play games that capture and enforce good behaviours. The foundation for this one, for example, is one of my favourite energy-burners: Just run together, then WAIT! and we both freeze. Repeat, repeat. That's something you can try.

Then try gently tossing a toy or treat (not too exciting at first!) and then give the wait command the moment you see a bit of forward movement. Treat then release. You can even lure him out of that forward movement with a treat the first few times. Just stick it right in front of his nose. Then release.

Then just build up the difficulty from there, being sure to actually let him get the item most of the time with no interruption. Otherwise you're just training him not to retrieve.

Peggy caught on within seconds ("Oh! I can have THIS good thing before I can have THAT good thing?? Sure!"), but proofing it is obviously a whole other story. That's why I was shocked it worked with something as strange and exciting sounding as the scattering Advil.

I'm not taking take any chances, though. What if I drop something and don't notice right away? So now I'm adding a second layer of security, working on having her automatically leave anything that hits the ground next to me and look to me instead: I drop a treat straight down, she looks at me, gets something doubly tasty, and then "Get it" releases her to enjoy the original treat.

As always, she just thinks it's a super fun game and feels very clever for figuring out how to get more yummy things.
 

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Since my border collie herded sheep I had two different commands for "stop". I used stay to stay put and wait for me to give you an order. And I used "wait" to mean "stop until you see a reason to do something". I am not sure most dogs would understand the difference. Anyway, I found that a solid down from a distance (again, because he was herding sheep) came in mighty handy to stop him when we were on opposite sides of the road and a milk truck was coming.

I think you are doing great!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Since my border collie herded sheep I had two different commands for "stop". I used stay to stay put and wait for me to give you an order. And I used "wait" to mean "stop until you see a reason to do something". I am not sure most dogs would understand the difference. Anyway, I found that a solid down from a distance (again, because he was herding sheep) came in mighty handy to stop him when we were on opposite sides of the road and a milk truck was coming.

I think you are doing great!
Border collies (and their handlers) amaze me. And I totally get herding breed vibes from Peggy when she freezes. So cute. Reminds me of the joy I first got watching the famous Skidboot hover above a toy, waiting for permission to take it.

Peggy certainly doesn't have the focus of a heeler or border collie, but I'm finding I love the challenge of distance work. It's fascinating to me how something we've nailed up-close falls apart from a few feet away. Really forces me to look at the clarity of my cues (or lack thereof). The clicker's been a big help, too.
 

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lily cd re mentioned that a Wait/Freeze/Stop type of command can absolutely be a life saver.

In addition to emergency recall I think it is very important to tell your dog to stop and sit or down in place from a distance. It can be more dangerous to recall a dog to you if they have crossed a road than to have them stay in place for you to go to them.
The topic came up in another thread, and I think it was Click who mentioned practicing the command in the tone of voice you'd use in a crisis, basic screaming banshee panic, instead of the usual tone, so the dog isn't thrown off by that change.
 

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Yes that is one to scream bloody murder to train since that is the level of panc you are likely to give that order in the real world. I practice my verbal orders at all levels of voice from a whisper to yelling since sometimes things may be going very well and you don't want to make the dog think they were wrong and sometimes things may be driving off a cliff and you may be very upset. Ages ago I decided that while many people are super emphatic in tone and signal when leaving a dog for a stay many dogs actually look pretty worried at being yelled at at that point. It actually made me decide not to say anything to Lily who is very sensitive to things like that when leaving her for stays. It only backfired on me the first time I did it in a trial (open group sits, a no longer used exercise). She stood, took a couple of steps out of the line up and then realizing she was the only moving dog stopped and stood for over three minutes while we left, stayed out of site and returned. The judge asked me about it since he didn't want any other dog to break because she did. I told her she would not break a down and she didn't. For a variety of reasons Javelin is struggling with wait vs. stay right now so my orders are emphatic for the moment with him.
 
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