Are we replacing the word "no" with the "leave it" command?
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    Are we replacing the word "no" with the "leave it" command?

    Seen a good many threads on not using the word "no". I've noticed that in my own household things I'm using the leave it command for things that in the past I'd have used "no" for. Thoughts on this? Are we just replacing one word with another for the same action ( or lack of )?

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    Senior Member LeoRose's Avatar
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    Re: Are we replacing the word "no" with the "leave it" command?

    "No" is pretty generic, and doesn't tell the dog what you want them to do. Telling a dog to leave something alone, to get off the couch, to sit instead of jump on someone, and stuff like that clearly conveys to the dog "I want you to do this" (well, once you've taught whatever "this" is).
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    Yeah, I get that....I understand teaching an alternative etc. I'm just noticing things like: dog nosing in around in something- leave it. Dog starts to focus on something on a walk- leave it. Dog starts to pick something up he shouldn't have- leave it. Things like that. Things we used to tell a dog no for. It just hit me that alot of what I personally used the word no for has somehow changed to leave it. Just wondering if anyone else has observed the same thing.

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    Re: Are we replacing the word "no" with the "leave it" command?

    'No' has become my emergency word in some situations, it gives me time to think of the next command which then tells the dog what I would like him to do instead. I find it effective to freeze a dog who is starting an unwanted behaviour. For instance, I am about to whip the cover off the sofa to wash it and a dog decides he is going to jump onto the sofa at the same time. I say no, dog stops and looks at me questioningly and I then ask him to go and lie somewhere else. I know it is often a misused word but I like the fact my dogs know they need to look to me for instructions when they hear it in situations which are unusual and not trained for. A word that stops the dog in his tracks does not tell him what he should be doing instead but can be very useful all the same.

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    Senior Member PatriciafromCO's Avatar
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    Re: Are we replacing the word "no" with the "leave it" command?

    sound in any form is instinct disruptors, owners just need to follow through with the next step, lead/lure away reward.. focus on what to do instead or where to be instead, or what to have instead (reward) all giving information

    make a plan to follow through to the next step and reward

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    Senior Member Canyx's Avatar
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    Re: Are we replacing the word "no" with the "leave it" command?

    My dog doesn't know "no" or "leave it". I just use his name when I want to redirect him from something. He understands "hey" as me being a little more terse or upset, but he learned that through me being grumpy, not a NRM that I deliberately taught or conditioned.

    I think people need to separate actual training versus being human. Even if my "hey" was a "no", it's not a cue that teaches him anything valuable. Example, "hey!" get out of the grocery bags. He goes away. But he still sniffs the grocery bags next time I walk in the house. Not a problem. But if I REALLY wanted to work on this, I would say "go to bed" the moment I walked in and reinforce that. I will say "hey!" if I'm feeling impatient and he's sniffing too long (he does get plenty of sniff opportunities generally), which stops him. But he is still a sniff+marking machine the next day and the day after. So I am not actively changing behavior there either.

    I think people may be looking for something acceptable? Like somehow the idea of 'no' has become bad but 'leave it' sounds more functional so it means someone is doing a better job? I don't think any of that matters, as it's all semantics that have very little bearing on actual training and results.
    Soro - 4.22.06 - retriever/X
    Braeburn - 1.29.17 - Dutch shepherd

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    @canyx, your last paragraph was exactly what I'm thinking may be going on. Now I find it very interesting that you dont use no or leave it. Lol I think you're the first person I've heard that from- this gives me something to think about. Would you care to elaborate alittle more about your thinking and how not using either of those commands has made differences compared to using them? I'd be very interested to hear more!

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    Senior Member Canyx's Avatar
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    Re: Are we replacing the word "no" with the "leave it" command?

    I'm always happy to elaborate! There is a lot of redundancy in training. A verbal cue sometimes helps the human contextualize the situation more so than the dog. For example, a lot of these cues lead to the same behavior of turning towards the owner:
    -no
    -leave it
    -(dog's name)
    -come
    -(whistling, clapping, etc)

    This is not the case for every dog, but it is common for many. So with my first dog I taught no, leave it, and his name. In MY mind, I used "no" for when he was doing something incorrect. "leave it" for when he was approaching something off limits. "Soro" for when I wanted his attention. I hope you can see the redundancy in the very definitions. However, because of how I trained historically, "no" and "leave it" were not fun behaviors for him because they were only used in negative situations and I used punishment at the time to condition those cues. But he loved his name because his name often led to treats, pets, walks, toys, etc. So if all three words led to the same behavior of turning to me (thereby not performing the unwanted behavior), why wouldn't I just use his name instead of the other two words?

    I used that principle from day 1 with my second dog Brae. Instead of teaching three of the same cues, he is just really responsive to his name and it works across many situations.

    "Stay" and "wait" are similar. Some will say in one instance you leave the dog for a duration and then return to the dog, in the other instance you release the dog after a short instance to go out or give him food. Soro was taught both words with that in mind. Brae only knows "wait". The idea of short versus long, return to the dog versus calling them to you or releasing them... doesn't address the fact that the BEHAVIOR you're looking for is still the same - a dog keeping their position until given another cue.

    Now, I do think there can be value in teaching a dog different contexts and to anticipate what's to come (ex. "stay" means anticipate longer duration, "wait" means anticipate shorter), but that's a separate discussion and I don't think it is as important in training as efficiently targeting the behavior you want.
    Soro - 4.22.06 - retriever/X
    Braeburn - 1.29.17 - Dutch shepherd

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    Senior Member Canyx's Avatar
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    Re: Are we replacing the word "no" with the "leave it" command?

    Here's a video example. This was taken in a popular off leash area and at the very beginning of the walk. Brae is very interested in other dogs:


    I used "wait" to prevent him from rapidly approaching the first dog. I could have used "sit" instead (and I do ask him to sit instead at times). To call him off the other dog while he was playing and running far, I could have used "come" or "leave it" if Brae knew leave it. But I only wanted him to take his attention off the other dog, not necessarily do anything else for me, so I used his name. Right after, I say "come" because he was veering towards the second dog. I might could have used his name again, but in that close proximity I didn't just want his attention; I wanted him to be in front of me. So I used the recall cue. Notice that because I used his name from the start, not recall, he was not technically incorrect for veering towards the second dog. "Come" is more specific and I could have gotten away with just using that had I known how the situation was going to pan out.




    Here's another example of how verbal cues are not the be-all-end all. In this video, the two most important cues are non-verbal. When I stand at the car door, that is his cue to lie down, even if I open the door. I used his name to let him out. Then, my standing by the car is a cue for him to sit and look at me (I do not say "sit", "look at me" or "wait"). He needs to do this before he gets his release cue "free" to start the hike, even if I am rummaging in the car for equipment or taking my time. It was a lot more efficient for me to teach these visual, contextual cues (ex. this is what we do every time we get out of the car) versus relying on verbal cues like "wait". Not that there'd be anything wrong with using verbal cues.
    Soro - 4.22.06 - retriever/X
    Braeburn - 1.29.17 - Dutch shepherd

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    Re: Are we replacing the word "no" with the "leave it" command?

    I use the word No, but only if the dog has blown off a cue that he CLEARLY knows. I never use it for things like counter surfing, jumping on the table and so forth.. (he's not trained to be a house dog anyway). I use "No" very infrequently and only after a command/cue was given and the dog knows the command/cue and simply doesn't think he needs to do it.

    The other day I told him "Platz." I wanted to hook his leash on to go to the training field. I reached down to hook the leash and he moved. "No!" "Platz!" He knows what Platz is and he is not a big fan since his nature is to wiggle (we call him Mr. Ants-in-Pants at training). "No" is not a random word. It has been coupled with a correction so there is a relationship to something the dog rather not have happen (in this dog it is a prong collar correction though if no leash is on him I will use my hands and firmly place him). It is used AFTER a KNOWN command or cue has been blown off.

    I do NOT use "No" for random stuff. It is used ONLY when I have given a verbal command or cue and the dog elects to NOT do what he knows. The thing here is he must CLEARLY know what the cue is. Often I see people using NO and corrections and the dog has NO IDEA what is wanted. Correcting a confused dog is useless and pointless and completely unfair.

    My leave it command is "Pfuie." I do use that and I will back it up with a correction. For instance, we are going to be going for our endurance test in May. This is a 12 mile "trot" for the dog next to a bike with two breaks of 15 minutes each. First I must train the dog to trot on leash next to the bike and NOT cross in front or behind and NOT mess with the bike as we could BOTH be injured (and at my age I will break as opposed to bruise!). We start training with me walking the bike and dog. Teaching him that if you mess with the bike is WILL get you. Takes about 15 minutes to show the dog position and stay away from the bike. Then you get on and teach some more.. using speed to keep the dog on point and using a properly adjusted prong collar and leash in hand that can be DROPPED if things go wrong (this is done in a place with no traffic dangers so a rail trail bike path is where I go).

    Off we go.. on the trail... and there is Kitty crossing in front of us. Dog becomes "overly interested" and then it is "Pfuie" followed by a correction. The correction was a collar correction in this case but it can also be speeding up so the dog has to run and pay attention. This teaches the dog that the JOB is trotting next to the bike (just like heeling is focused on me and being in the correct position even if there is a cat, bird, dog etc.). So, Pfuie has meaning and it is not a word the dog wants to hear but it is a word that I will back up so he would prefer the word over the follow up.

    The other day we had a flock of wild turkeys to deal with. Pfuie was enough coupled with simply my going faster. Then there was the person with the Huskey.. he tried to cross in front when he saw the other dog. In spite of being told "Back" (which we also have practiced a lot and in motion for biking and other things). He bumped the bike and it hurt a bit and at the same time I said a very firm and angry Pfuie and that was the end of that. The timing was perfect but only by chance.. I was really trying to just not get bucked off the bike OR run over my dog! Then there was the Bear crashing off through the woods and (just to keep it interesting) the red fox in no hurry whatsoever. If I live through this training it will be a miracle.. BUT I use commands first "Back!" "With me" and then if needed "Pfuie" only if the dog blows off the command and then I will quickly correct if Pfuie is not enough. To condition the dog (mostly his feet and aerobic tolerance) we bike 2 miles to 4 miles 3X a week and will get up to 6 miles a week before the test. IF I live to the test...

    I think you need to think about the cue you want the dog to follow as opposed to the cue to stop doing something in an empty vessel. "No" needs to be for a clear violation of a clearly understood command and not a random "stop doing that." When used as a random "stop doing that" you are being unclear. "Leave it" is far more clear than "No" but even that should be coupled with something you want the dog to do instead.

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    Re: Are we replacing the word "no" with the "leave it" command?

    I think I understand but for me, as Patricia says, the word no is purely an interruptor when I do not have a cue for the circumstances, to be swiftly followed by a redirecting command. I am afraid as a pet owner I feel free to use whatever words I chose providing I am totally consistent in the way I use them. One of my bitches will occasionally blow a command when she thinks she has something better to do. I admit I tend to growl at her, probably quite frowned upon in competitive circles but very effective for us!

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    Senior Member Canyx's Avatar
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    Re: Are we replacing the word "no" with the "leave it" command?

    That's a lot of steps 3GSD. Personally I would not feel safe applying leash corrections while biking with my dog. Though I am a pretty uncoordinated biker, admittedly! As always, I'd love to see a video of your training techniques. I'm sure you're as exact and calculating as you say you are.
    I bike fairly regularly with my dog, on and off leash. I taught him a word that means "be on my right side" but not as close as heelwork. We use that for tight areas and passing distractions. Otherwise, training to not go after dogs, stay on one side while moving, ignore wildlife... Is the same as what I do when I'm walking with him.

    As always, I'm happy to provide photos and videos of my dog performing these skills with me. We did an 16 mile ride last summer without any hitches and I have some footage of him doing a nice job off leash. I can take a camera and film an on-leash bike ride past distractions whenever too.
    Soro - 4.22.06 - retriever/X
    Braeburn - 1.29.17 - Dutch shepherd

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    Re: Are we replacing the word "no" with the "leave it" command?

    Quote Originally Posted by Canyx View Post
    That's a lot of steps 3GSD. Personally I would not feel safe applying leash corrections while biking with my dog. Though I am a pretty uncoordinated biker, admittedly! As always, I'd love to see a video of your training techniques. I'm sure you're as exact and calculating as you say you are.
    I bike fairly regularly with my dog, on and off leash. I taught him a word that means "be on my right side" but not as close as heelwork. We use that for tight areas and passing distractions. Otherwise, training to not go after dogs, stay on one side while moving, ignore wildlife... Is the same as what I do when I'm walking with him.

    As always, I'm happy to provide photos and videos of my dog performing these skills with me. We did an 16 mile ride last summer without any hitches and I have some footage of him doing a nice job off leash. I can take a camera and film an on-leash bike ride past distractions whenever too.
    That is great! Good for you! would love to see a video biking with distractions on a hand held leash.

    This is for the Ausdauerprüfung (here is a link: http://siriusdog.com/ausdauerprufung-ad/). Dog MUST be on leash. There is NO off leash work in the AD. I think 8 dogs are going for their AD. The trail we use is a public bike path that runs along an old rail bed. It is paved. This is the first dog I have trained doing this and we are not "seasoned" as human distractions are few. Honestly I think I could get badly hurt doing this at my age and with some physical limitations (but I don't quit). He would probably be pretty good off leash (tho he would wear an e collar due to road crossings and wild life issues). BUT he cannot BE off leash for the test. Period. No point in training what I am not going to use a month before the test.

    I have no issue WALKING with my dog. A bike brings in the issue of stability (feet on ground is a pretty stable base).

    I don't do videos simply because I cannot train AND video. I tried during tracking.. sorry.. I need to train OR video and not do both. On a bike? yeah.. that is how I will die.. haha.

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    I'm still watching this thread...have read the responses several times and watched the videos and am thinking things over.

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    Re: Are we replacing the word "no" with the "leave it" command?

    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
    I'm just noticing things like: dog nosing in around in something- leave it. Dog starts to focus on something on a walk- leave it. Dog starts to pick something up he shouldn't have- leave it. Things like that. Things we used to tell a dog no for. It just hit me that alot of what I personally used the word no for has somehow changed to leave it.
    I've probably said it before and I'll say it again ... IF you find that you're using the word "no" or "leave it" frequently, as it seems, perhaps it is time to consider management techniques as a partial solution for unwanted behaviour. Establishing desirable default behaviours and building a strong reinforcement history will help as well.

    I often see this at the training hall. Students are taught the leave it cue, and they gleefully discover the power it can initially wield and how handy it can be. However, unfortunately as a result, it soon becomes over-used and insignificant to the dog, going in one ear and out the other. Strangely enough, leading to even more use. Sometimes it's like a steady symphony of "leave it! .. no! .. leave it! .. here! ..no! ..leave it! .. no!", and yet the dog just carries on doing whatever it's doing.

    IMPO, similar to the use of NRM-type cues, in order to retain effectiveness leave it should be applied sparingly if at all.

  18. #16
    Senior Member Canyx's Avatar
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    Re: Are we replacing the word "no" with the "leave it" command?

    Quote Originally Posted by 3GSD4IPO View Post
    That is great! Good for you! would love to see a video biking with distractions on a hand held leash.

    This is for the Ausdauerprüfung (here is a link: http://siriusdog.com/ausdauerprufung-ad/). Dog MUST be on leash. There is NO off leash work in the AD. I think 8 dogs are going for their AD. The trail we use is a public bike path that runs along an old rail bed. It is paved. This is the first dog I have trained doing this and we are not "seasoned" as human distractions are few. Honestly I think I could get badly hurt doing this at my age and with some physical limitations (but I don't quit). He would probably be pretty good off leash (tho he would wear an e collar due to road crossings and wild life issues). BUT he cannot BE off leash for the test. Period. No point in training what I am not going to use a month before the test.

    I have no issue WALKING with my dog. A bike brings in the issue of stability (feet on ground is a pretty stable base).

    I don't do videos simply because I cannot train AND video. I tried during tracking.. sorry.. I need to train OR video and not do both. On a bike? yeah.. that is how I will die.. haha.
    I'll try to get a video today; gorgeous day for a bike ride. Funny, one prominent walking path near my house is also along an old rail bed. It is paved and there are also busy street crossings and occasionally wildlife. I just use a verbal cue to stop him when those situations arise. I trained all these cues using R+ only. I'm NOT saying you need to do that, just noting it so that the lurking reader can see that it's possible. I'll try to get some shots of us biking past human and dog distractions. This may be irrelevant, but years ago I took a very bad fall on a bike and it was totally my fault. There was no dog involved in that situation, and actually it was before I owned any dogs. I was unconscious for a few seconds despite the fact that I wore a helmet. I still have a scar on my chin from the injury and subsequent stitches. So I will be the first to say that I am not a good biker. And I guess the relevant part to this is I need to be a good trainer to make up for it - my dog is not what I should worry about when I am on a bike.

    A lot of my videos are taken with a tripod. A rare few are taken by having my partner or friends hold the camera. My reason for documenting training, and my reason for asking for videos, is I believe in action over words. Who would believe that I got a working line Dutchie and trained him to do all these real world things without using traditional aversive tools/methods? Same for you... Whereas I have less doubt in your IPO abilities, I'd love to see proof of your expertise about fear, reactivity, and normal pet-dog problems that people have.
    Soro - 4.22.06 - retriever/X
    Braeburn - 1.29.17 - Dutch shepherd

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    Senior Member PatriciafromCO's Avatar
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    Re: Are we replacing the word "no" with the "leave it" command?

    it's not rocket science.. things that a puppy wants to get into or do they grow out of, the dogs are forever changing at any age, with our interaction. It's being consistent , being a get off the couch owner and help them show them do it with them owner, being a put things out of the way owner, being in front of the cart owner...

    Tasman is a crazy in the head dog, maybe he was dropped on his head or something lol... but as he has matured and we have lived his crazy together as a team.. You see him growing into himself (shredding off and now forgotten activities and impulses of the past) in the 2 plus years I have had him.

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    Senior Member Canyx's Avatar
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    Re: Are we replacing the word "no" with the "leave it" command?

    Alright, just got back from a nice and quite uneventful bike ride. I was able to capture a few clips.

    Here's one on the path I mentioned in an earlier post. There didn't happen to be any walkers while I was there so the only distraction was the adjacent dog park. This video cut short due to some 'limit' being reached. Not sure, hard to read, film, and bike...


    I immediately hit record again as we were passing the dog park. I wanted to capture my dog being calm IF the dogs in there started running the fence, which has happened before. The dogs ran after we passed them but there's no way I could have pivoted the camera safely, and it was really uneventful.


    I stopped filming because the road takes a very sharp turn along a busy intersection. After that turn I started filming again as I headed down the road. We passed a random guy, then I had to stop again because there was some construction to get past.



    Cues used: "whoa" to stop at an intersection. "let's go" to start, and was probably unnecessary otherwise but I use it as (encouragement?) sometimes, or a reminder not to stop and sniff if we are brushing right up against a distraction like a bush my dog might want to pee on.

    He did automatic disengages (very evident in second video especially) as he noticed the dogs in the park.
    Soro - 4.22.06 - retriever/X
    Braeburn - 1.29.17 - Dutch shepherd

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    Re: Are we replacing the word "no" with the "leave it" command?

    Quote Originally Posted by Canyx View Post
    I'll try to get a video today; gorgeous day for a bike ride. Funny, one prominent walking path near my house is also along an old rail bed. It is paved and there are also busy street crossings and occasionally wildlife. I just use a verbal cue to stop him when those situations arise. I trained all these cues using R+ only. I'm NOT saying you need to do that, just noting it so that the lurking reader can see that it's possible. I'll try to get some shots of us biking past human and dog distractions. This may be irrelevant, but years ago I took a very bad fall on a bike and it was totally my fault. There was no dog involved in that situation, and actually it was before I owned any dogs. I was unconscious for a few seconds despite the fact that I wore a helmet. I still have a scar on my chin from the injury and subsequent stitches. So I will be the first to say that I am not a good biker. And I guess the relevant part to this is I need to be a good trainer to make up for it - my dog is not what I should worry about when I am on a bike.

    A lot of my videos are taken with a tripod. A rare few are taken by having my partner or friends hold the camera. My reason for documenting training, and my reason for asking for videos, is I believe in action over words. Who would believe that I got a working line Dutchie and trained him to do all these real world things without using traditional aversive tools/methods? Same for you... Whereas I have less doubt in your IPO abilities, I'd love to see proof of your expertise about fear, reactivity, and normal pet-dog problems that people have.
    I have no "pet dogs" to practice on so you won't see it. I have a house dog who, at 9, gets to do pretty much what she wants. She was reactive and we put that to bed very early on. She is too nervy to be "bad" (like counter surfing, jumping up and leash pulling). Last dog (the one that retired to another owner and is now a rocking pet) started to be dog reactive as well and that was likewise put to bed. It has no place in my life style.

    Dogs with real fear are a liability and I never had one. The other common "pet dog" issues I simply don't have since my dogs are not really pets. Current working dog will come in the house and check counters (never anything on them so it is a quick look-see). He isn't a house dog really.. IDK.. when I retire he may be more of one but I don't have any rules other than "leave the cats." Now if the cats could learn to "leave the dog" we would do better! Rules in the house mean less dog on the trial and training field (I have seen it first hand). Better to not have him in the house. He will retire to the house some day a long way away! I hope!

    Even in our club we are currently blessed with some really good dogs right now. All of them are very different in how they need to be trained but they are all really good dogs for the sport with dedicated handlers. Off hand.. NONE are on e collars for tracking (I never used one for this phase) and one is on an ecollar in Obedience.. (not mine) and two are in e collars for protection phase where drives can be really high.. mine may be the third one soon..

    I will retire from my job soon.. maybe I will do some work with pet dogs then... but I really have some other directions I am interested in going in. I think the pet dogs would be OK but I am not sure I have the patience for the people.

    I commend the work you do. Not sure I am cut out for it as I am a bit too honest with people.

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    Re: Are we replacing the word "no" with the "leave it" command?

    Quote Originally Posted by Canyx View Post
    Alright, just got back from a nice and quite uneventful bike ride. I was able to capture a few clips.

    Here's one on the path I mentioned in an earlier post. There didn't happen to be any walkers while I was there so the only distraction was the adjacent dog park. This video cut short due to some 'limit' being reached. Not sure, hard to read, film, and bike...


    I immediately hit record again as we were passing the dog park. I wanted to capture my dog being calm IF the dogs in there started running the fence, which has happened before. The dogs ran after we passed them but there's no way I could have pivoted the camera safely, and it was really uneventful.


    I stopped filming because the road takes a very sharp turn along a busy intersection. After that turn I started filming again as I headed down the road. We passed a random guy, then I had to stop again because there was some construction to get past.



    Cues used: "whoa" to stop at an intersection. "let's go" to start, and was probably unnecessary otherwise but I use it as (encouragement?) sometimes, or a reminder not to stop and sniff if we are brushing right up against a distraction like a bush my dog might want to pee on.

    He did automatic disengages (very evident in second video especially) as he noticed the dogs in the park.
    Can't see it on the 'puter.. look forward to seeing it at home when I get there!

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    Last Post: 02-05-2013, 07:38 PM
  3. Replies: 4
    Last Post: 10-12-2011, 07:29 PM
  4. No no no no no no no no no no!!!!!
    By hulkamaniac in forum Off Topic
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 11-09-2010, 08:19 AM
  5. Is it called, "Replacing"?
    By ilovemychihuahua in forum General Dog Forum
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 07-14-2007, 04:20 PM

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