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Discussion Starter #1
What I want to do to work on the Drop on Recall is to develop a signal that would get him to coming back in to me, but also keeps his ears and mind open to the possibility of another instruction incoming.

With the usual recall cues/signals I have - he's charging at me 100% of his all his speed and being. Fun to watch and it always makes people laugh when they see it and it's great he LOVES to recall like that from pretty much anywhere he can hear me (not necessarily see me)...but it doesn't leave much room for other instructions.

So I want to develop a separate cue for this. One that doesn't interfere with the recalls. So if I clap my hands 3 times or call "Here!" - he keeps flying back to me. But if I say "In" or something, he'll come, but always keeping an ear out and moving a bit more controlled because I might issue another instruction.

It's like a pitcher who's "effectively wild" - I want to use "effective uncertainty" to make him think "I wonder if he's going to ask me to do something else while I'm coming back".

Any thoughts welcome.
 

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In obedience training, I use "Fluffy Front!" for a recall to front. My voice is high and the inflection is upwards.

If I am calling for a drop on recall, I use, "Fluffy Come." My intonation is more stern and flat. My dogs love the drop on recall, so the flat tone doesn't bother them a bit.

My dogs had no trouble learning the difference between the cues.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Encouraging to hear.

Wally loves his fronts too. Easiest thing I ever taught him (maybe he taught himself, really, because he'd always come straight at me).
 

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but always keeping an ear out and moving a bit more controlled because I might issue another instruction.
Beware of anticipation.

To counter, the drop recall may or may not actually contain a drop. Occasionally calling him straight through also helps to maintain the blistering speed - wouldn't want to lose that. Vary the drop points as well.
 

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Beware of anticipation.

To counter, the drop recall may or may not actually contain a drop. Occasionally calling him straight through also helps to maintain the blistering speed - wouldn't want to lose that. Vary the drop points as well.
Absolutely. Especially if your dog starts to drop speed. Mine never have. I am not sure why, but my dogs have never "anticipated" the drop enough to slow down more than a little. I was instructed by a judge to warn all future judges about the speed my dogs exhibit on the drop on recall exercise so that they could be prepared to give the drop signal to me early. All dogs are different. There are a ton of dogs who do a death march on the drop on recall exercise. My method would make those dogs worse. Petpeeve's suggestion would make them better.
 

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I was instructed by a judge to warn all future judges about the speed my dogs exhibit on the drop on recall exercise so that they could be prepared to give the drop signal to me early.
Sorry to deviate, but entering into the realm of competitive etiquette ... I don't think it's fair for handlers to "pre-coach" judges on the peculiarities / idiosyncrasies of their dog.
Although at one time I felt the exact same way; judges should be given a warning as to the dog's speed prior to the start of the exercise. I've since realized (after talking to many judges myself) that this is inappropriate, and that all dogs should be evaluated evenly, straight across the board. You may even find in your travels that some judges actually resent it.

All that really matters is how quickly the dog reacts after the judge's command. Therefore proofing for late drops, imo, is the order of the day.
 

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Some handlers use different commands to start the DOR and for a call-to-front, and some handlers use the same one. We are in the latter category. Why? because a very common problem with the DOR is to anticipate the drop. Some dogs become slow coming out of the sit - some even drop on their own. Not every dog does this, but many, many do. If you use the same command, it's relatively easy to fix this issue if it occurs. if you use different commands, it becomes a more difficult problem to work on.

As for "warning" the judge about your dog's characteristics, you are taking a chance doing that. You may inform the judge about any physical handicaps that you may have. I recall a handler with a prosthetic arm who did that on entering the ring. Any other warnings can be problematic. Obedience judges can be very picky. Some judges do not like to be talked to once the judging has started (and don't forget that judging starts as soon as the team enters the ring). Some will even consider that to be interfering with their judging. I've always considered that the less you give the judge to think about, the better off you are. Perform the exercises exactly according to the rules and don't add any extra warnings or commentaries.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Some handlers use different commands to start the DOR and for a call-to-front, and some handlers use the same one. We are in the latter category. Why? because a very common problem with the DOR is to anticipate the drop. Some dogs become slow coming out of the sit - some even drop on their own. Not every dog does this, but many, many do. If you use the same command, it's relatively easy to fix this issue if it occurs. if you use different commands, it becomes a more difficult problem to work on.
Would the fix for using the same command (say I use our call-to-front), be like petpeeve said - sometimes there's a drop, sometimes not? What if his "Front" speed drops because he's wondering where the drop is - normal or eventually fixable? How do you get past it? Knowing how Wally thinks, he might be confused or think he did something wrong because I stopped him last time - that would drop his spirits and might get that moving slowly because now - coming all the way wasn't right, and plus he might get stopped again so he wants to stop on time.

I love how fast he fronts and recalls, even from 100's of feet away (literally) so I wonder if I'd miss that up if I went with the same command approach.
 

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Would the fix for using the same command (say I use our call-to-front), be like petpeeve said - sometimes there's a drop, sometimes not? .
Yup - exactly that.


What if his "Front" speed drops because he's wondering where the drop is - normal or eventually fixable? How do you get past it?.
Very common. Include straight recalls (no drop) and also go back to the games you used when first training the recall back in Novice, such as "Under-the-Bridge" and/or whatever you used that he really, really likes. This is also the way you fix dogs that become very slow coming out of the drop (another common issue with the DOR)


Knowing how Wally thinks, he might be confused or think he did something wrong because I stopped him last time - that would drop his spirits and might get that moving slowly because now - coming all the way wasn't right, and plus he might get stopped again so he wants to stop on time.

I love how fast he fronts and recalls, even from 100's of feet away (literally) so I wonder if I'd miss that up if I went with the same command approach.
No - actually the opposite. Using the same command all the time will encourage him to work faster all the time, because he can't anticipate what you are going to ask him to do . A straight recall? A 'recall game' that he likes? A drop followed by a front? A drop followed by a game that he likes? He'll have to be ready for anything. Just remember not to telegraph in any way what you are going to do.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks, Poly - really helpful stuff :D
 
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