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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
...teach Dakota to go from a down into a sit?

Backing up...She has really high toy drive so I've been cycling through commands with her when we're playing fetch to try and reinforce them and get her to respond faster. So for example, sit, take it, drop it, down, roll over, beg, then good girl and throw the ball. And then mix up the order or add something else in there next time. When she's in a down and I tell her to sit, she won't do it unless I give the hand signal for it, either with the verbal command or after it. Is there a way I can teach her to respond to just the verbal cue? She is better with hand signals, and generally has good response to them when I use them alone without the verbal. Now I'd like to strengthen her response to the verbal cues. Thanks!
 

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Give verbal, wait a second, then hand signal. Reward. Slowly delay hand signal and she'll figure it out.
 

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Give verbal, wait a second, then hand signal. Reward. Slowly delay hand signal and she'll figure it out.
I do similar, but I give the hand signal followed immediately by the verbal and do this a bunch of times (multiple short training sessions)... then give the verbal and just wait for the dog to figure it out (helps if you have a really good "Dude! I'm w-a-a-a-i-t-i-n-g!" face)... don't be too quick to help, let the dog think! If it doesn't happen, start over with the signal-then-verbal thing. Sometimes, when you do the gradually extending delay, I find that dogs will seem to think that they are supposed to wait for the hand signal, which can make for a slow response.
 

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Give the NEW cue (verbal, in your case) just before the old cue (hand signal) - otherwise the dog is not paying any attention to the new cue because the dog is already busy responding to the old cue. Do this 20-30 times then try the new cue alone. If no quick response, then 20 more reps of new cue before old cue and then test the new cue alone again. If you try the new cue too soon and wait wait wait for the dog to respond you are actually training latency for the new cue. Don't fall into that trap! Some dogs take 50 or more reps to get it but after your dog learns HOW to attach a new cue that will go faster each time!
 

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Give the NEW cue (verbal, in your case) just before the old cue (hand signal) - otherwise the dog is not paying any attention to the new cue because the dog is already busy responding to the old cue. Do this 20-30 times then try the new cue alone. If no quick response, then 20 more reps of new cue before old cue and then test the new cue alone again. If you try the new cue too soon and wait wait wait for the dog to respond you are actually training latency for the new cue. Don't fall into that trap! Some dogs take 50 or more reps to get it but after your dog learns HOW to attach a new cue that will go faster each time!
Totally asleep at the wheel... good thing I didn't have to operate any heavy machinery today!

Yes, NEW cue first... this IS what I do... just not apparently what I write LOL!

I think I like the part about not waiting, and may try that. The way I usually do this in class, the first response may be very slow (dog thinking, dog figuring out what the deal is) but the dog speeds up pretty much as soon as he realizes he's correct. If the dog DOESN'T speed right up, I would either deliver the cue in a fast, excited way a couple of times in order to encourage a fast enthusiastic response that I could make a big deal over... or, less often and depending, I might deliver a no-reward marker for slow response... or, I might alternate the two. But, I am going to try not waiting and see what happens... thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I tried again today, this time with a treat and she sat up instantly! As soon as I said the word, no hand signal or anything. So I guess she just needed a different motivator? Or maybe she somehow "got it" this time...Kinda weird though because usually she is more motivated by toys than treats.
 
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