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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I often get praised by other dog owners of how well Fred stays near me, or how strong her recall is. The V’s desire to be close to you is remarkable. But there is one situation in where it is actually proving the be quite a challenge.

I’d like to teach Fred to sit / lie down on command wherever she is. But if I use the whistle for her to sit from a distance, she always comes near me first and then sits, or lies down if I ask her. She doesn’t come sprinting towards me like if I would recall her, but she just comes within my proximity she feels comfortable with and then does what I asked her to do. My trainer told me to tie her up and move away and then ask her to sit / down, but it hasn’t changed her ‘untied’ response. It’s something I really want her to become trained in as I think emergency recall and emergency down are both lifesavers for off leash walking.

TBH, she is also not the strongest on staying in position with me going out of sight, we are still practicing this often.

Did you teach your V to lie down on command from a distance? If so, how?
 

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It’s not a uncommon problem. Dogs will also do it when training whoa at a distance. Normally it takes time for them to understand, you are not asking them to come closer before performing the command.
Don’t know that I would tied her. Instead try a long lead looped around a post, That way you can stop her from coming in to you, but still easily release her.
 

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Oscar, 14 months, Vizsla
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Hi there!

In order for Oscar to lie down from a distance, we do the following ritual: stay, wait, down (or sit), wait. It works, but without the wait, he comes back. Frankly, I always prefer Oscar coming back - this tactic was born only because his recall was terrible in the beginning, especially when he had distractions in the park, but other commands seemed to work just fine. Even now, he responds a lot better to "stay" and "return" (100%), than the "here" command alone, if in an overstimulated situation, like chasing with a friend.

We taught Oscar "stay", first. To the point that he freezes when given the command.

The stay, we taught on shorter leash first, until he was good at it (the short leash meant we stopped, by marking the gesture with "stop", while also trying to teach "heel", when walking). Then, we progressed to retractable leash (which would give him about 7 meters advance) and he would stay until we reached his position which is where we stopped as well and then would give the command "wait" or "heel" (at that point, the retractable leash was next to him, so no space for going ahead). One meant we are going to stay like that for a while, while the other meant we are starting to walk. The more we progressed, the less space we gave for the stop. If he would not stop on point, we would stroke the lead (short, quick, just an attention point). We did this again, and again, and again. I am not sure if this is the correct training method, so maybe a professional input would be more desirable. Being with us just 1 month a half before the pandemic started, Oscar was trained by us, since we were in complete lock down almost until his first birthday. However, I am quite happy with how he turned out (there are things I would change, but I am overall happy with him).

Also, I am not sure if this method worked out well because we are in a city setting, so the "stay" command was given at least 20 times on our way to the park and back home, from the day we took him out, at every crosswalk. It happened often times that cars were speeding up, or a big noisy buss would pass, so maybe it helped him understand that "stay" means danger is coming. Also, when walking in the city, I have noticed he is more aware of his surroundings than he is in the field - there, he is very much following scents and sometimes gets "in the zone" when catching an interesting smell.

From mastering the "stay" and "wait", we just continued by applying various other commands that suited the circumstance. "Stay" alone is not very long-lived for Oscar. He will break stay when I reach his position, or within 20-30 seconds and either come back, or proceed walking. The "wait" gives us unlimited time, pretty much, and from there, we added additional commands - like sit, or down, or from stay straight to return.
 

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i would / did work it this way: lots of staying in place practice first, while i am moving around, 1 or 2 steps, further away, increasing the distance to the point where my dog would break the stay. then step back and practice further. once i saw that there is a solid stay in place for a reasonable distance, me still being in sight, i started adding commands, using the same hand signal as when he was closer to me. the hand signal is important to teach as a foundation for distance handling as they may not hear with wind blowing the opposite way what you asked them. practiced those then and stepped back to the dog at the beginning every time with a reward, later on alternating with just verbal reward. i do not use whistle for these, for a variety of reasons, the main reason being what you just described, that it can confuse the dog.
so once you have your stay in place solid, the hand signal commands will work from a distance.
needless to say, in between 3-4 stay in place, there has been always some big play or back rubbing time, so that i give their brain a break.
so basically: staying in place and hand signals are my foundation for distance command too.
hopefully this will work for you too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi there!

In order for Oscar to lie down from a distance, we do the following ritual: stay, wait, down (or sit), wait. It works, but without the wait, he comes back. Frankly, I always prefer Oscar coming back - this tactic was born only because his recall was terrible in the beginning, especially when he had distractions in the park, but other commands seemed to work just fine. Even now, he responds a lot better to "stay" and "return" (100%), than the "here" command alone, if in an overstimulated situation, like chasing with a friend.

We taught Oscar "stay", first. To the point that he freezes when given the command.

The stay, we taught on shorter leash first, until he was good at it (the short leash meant we stopped, by marking the gesture with "stop", while also trying to teach "heel", when walking). Then, we progressed to retractable leash (which would give him about 7 meters advance) and he would stay until we reached his position which is where we stopped as well and then would give the command "wait" or "heel" (at that point, the retractable leash was next to him, so no space for going ahead). One meant we are going to stay like that for a while, while the other meant we are starting to walk. The more we progressed, the less space we gave for the stop. If he would not stop on point, we would stroke the lead (short, quick, just an attention point). We did this again, and again, and again. I am not sure if this is the correct training method, so maybe a professional input would be more desirable. Being with us just 1 month a half before the pandemic started, Oscar was trained by us, since we were in complete lock down almost until his first birthday. However, I am quite happy with how he turned out (there are things I would change, but I am overall happy with him).

Also, I am not sure if this method worked out well because we are in a city setting, so the "stay" command was given at least 20 times on our way to the park and back home, from the day we took him out, at every crosswalk. It happened often times that cars were speeding up, or a big noisy buss would pass, so maybe it helped him understand that "stay" means danger is coming. Also, when walking in the city, I have noticed he is more aware of his surroundings than he is in the field - there, he is very much following scents and sometimes gets "in the zone" when catching an interesting smell.

From mastering the "stay" and "wait", we just continued by applying various other commands that suited the circumstance. "Stay" alone is not very long-lived for Oscar. He will break stay when I reach his position, or within 20-30 seconds and either come back, or proceed walking. The "wait" gives us unlimited time, pretty much, and from there, we added additional commands - like sit, or down, or from stay straight to return.
Fred is trained to wait and not move until we come closer. Indeed also one of those off leash commands that work very wel for safety. Great idea to try and follow it up with a sit or down. I’ll give that approach a try!
 

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We trained our dog to do exactly that because we don’t want him running across a bike’s path to us (a problem with our old park). We have a stop sign for him. We also just made him sit farther and farther from us (starting from up close of course! Start indoors, then once he can do it from across the room, do it outdoors with distraction), “stopping” him if he tries to come, until he can sit from 50+ feet away. It’s about associating the command “sit” with “stop right where you are” and letting the dog know to do that for as long as they can receive your signal at all. I would pair a hand sign if you’re not good at screaming, or use a whistle signal alongside the command or the hand sign until just the whistle will do.
 
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