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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
That pretty much sums it up. Since Jack was very small he sat for his meal, in his crate, and when I said "free" he dug in. Now he waits for a second and I have no idea why. I must have cued him to do this at some point, but I have no clue.

Advice?
 

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Toby has 2 release words. One is for when he has done something good, ie sat down and waited for me to check if the coast is clear, then it is OKAY! When it is dinner time it is NOW! However, he waits for me to say, NOW BABY, which I inadvertantly did from the start and now it has become the norm. Perhaps you had a habit of repeating yourself to make absolutely sure he understood and voila you have a conditioned dog who waits to be told twice to do what ever it is you want him to do.
 

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Maybe what Toby's said. All my dogs know "release." Dexter my grandpup should but he is like "huh?" My daughter and I cant figure it out. We have to tell him twice also. I would work with him more but sadly he hasnt been coming over as much. Just for a few hours to play and hang out about once a week. Guess my daughter and he are both growing up. :(

I am thinking in a few clicker sessions I could have that fixed.
 

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I personally like 2 command words, with one being the dogs name..."Jack Free" would be my choice, to use.
- the dogs name first, is the attention getter, and gets the dog in quick focus

I even refer to myself as Da-Da and wife as Ma-Ma...all 2 syllable words.
- I think this adds in the dogs language comprehension, just my thinking...and works for us
 

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Alpha SheepDog
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Does he have a hand signal for release or okay?
Its funny I had a similar issue this week with Nubis and it was my fault.
I use combination of voice and hand signals. We had finished up a mini training session before dinner. I went to get his food, so I used hand signals for sit, down and stay. Got his stuff and because he had focus, I extended his stay. I then said vocally okay. He stayed and I initially thought, man what a good stay but then thought for some reason he didn't hear me, so a tad higher I said ok. He dove into his food. Even Nubis'sMom said what was that all about. Dunno.
Next time I gave him his food, I gave him the hand signal for okay , and then realized what I didn't do previously because all my actions were hand signals and he was more fixated on watching my hands that when I said okay it didn't register. So definitely a learning experience on my part. Bcuz I could have corrected without realizing he was doing what I am teaching him and confusing him.
So it could be even a body movement you do during the command deliverance.
 

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I don't know how this happened, well maybe my wife did it. No matter what I'm doing,walking or just standing there when I look at both the dogs (a do by and a pitbull) if is look at them and say OK they both start jumping on me and play fight. They bite but not a real dog bite just grab me with their mouths. They stop very quickly when I say stop
 

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Mabel became the same way recently with her crate, she has one realease word "ok" and then suddenly started waiting for me to say it a second time in a slightly diff tone and with her name "mabel ok!"

I have a feeling I inadvertently and unknowingly made this happen myself, she kept hopping out before she was allowed which of course is incorrect and resulted in recrating and trying again, so now I think i've made her gun shy to come out thinking she may have misheard me or that she isn't supposed to yet.

We started going back to the basics and playing more of the games than acutally just crating her and she's already starting to get back to normal, I make sure it stays happy and upbeat even when she's "wrong" and just having fun with it for a little while, and walking her in when she is actually being crated/taking her out instead of releasing her until she is back to understanding it. :)

It's possible you inadvertently caused this, maybe he just isn't paying attention and doesnt think he really heard you at first, or maybe he just prefers conformation on his release. Good luck!
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Perhaps you had a habit of repeating yourself to make absolutely sure he understood and voila you have a conditioned dog who waits to be told twice to do what ever it is you want him to do.
Yeah, that's what I was worried about. At some point along the line I must have started saying it twice. Exactly what I set out not to do. Lol

Does he have a hand signal for release or okay?
Its funny I had a similar issue this week with Nubis and it was my fault.
I use combination of voice and hand signals. We had finished up a mini training session before dinner. I went to get his food, so I used hand signals for sit, down and stay. Got his stuff and because he had focus, I extended his stay. I then said vocally okay. He stayed and I initially thought, man what a good stay but then thought for some reason he didn't hear me, so a tad higher I said ok. He dove into his food. Even Nubis'sMom said what was that all about. Dunno.
Next time I gave him his food, I gave him the hand signal for okay , and then realized what I didn't do previously because all my actions were hand signals and he was more fixated on watching my hands that when I said okay it didn't register. So definitely a learning experience on my part. Bcuz I could have corrected without realizing he was doing what I am teaching him and confusing him.
So it could be even a body movement you do during the command deliverance.
Great post. You touch on alot of things that I’ve noticed and had problems with along the way, or worked around, those little nuances where something gets lost in translation, whether that be the higher pitched ‘okay’ you mentioned or that he was waiting for a hand signal.

I have taught hand signals from the beginning for some things (sit, down, stay), but not for the release word for which I’ve always just used “free,” whether it be freeing him for a sit, a down, or in this case, going at the food I’ve just put before him.

I suspect that somewhere along the line, the confusion came from the requirement I made of sitting before I put his food down. That was always the rule. He would sit, I would put the food down, and I would say “free”, and he he would dive in. So, somewhere along the line, when I said “free”, due to some inconsistency that I did, he thought I was freeing him from the Sit, not the ‘go ahead and eat ur food.’ Must go back to when I initially had to cue him to do that sit...even though, everafter that he always offered it, and so the ‘free’ was for the grub. That’s my best guess anyway.

So of course, having made this mistake, I’m left wondering how best to fix it. I don’t want to have to keep on repeating the release word.

Any ideas?
 

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I think your on the money.
I would incorporate a free/release hand signal in other commands and then bring it to food release. Or even try repositioning for dinner placement to change it up so he doesn't anticipate. I like equate some training to military drill, you don't want anticipation but reaction to the command, eventually with zero hesitation. Once you anticipate, your wondering or bored, and we all know what happens when a pup gets bored in a session.
Maybe others can chime in too, as what works with one dog might not work with another.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Any one have any ideas on how to get Jack to realize he's free to dive in to his food on ONE 'free'?
 

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I believe you clicker right? Use it to practice it. Have you changed the tone in which you said it?

I would try with a sit or down and lure an up then click/treat a few times. Then add maybe a hand signal and verbal.
 
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