Question re: Send Away

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Question re: Send Away

This is a discussion on Question re: Send Away within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Hi all. I'm wanting to teach my dog "send away" (dog runs to a marker, eg. cone) but have never taught it before and have ...

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Old 07-26-2015, 05:07 AM
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Smile Question re: Send Away

Hi all.

I'm wanting to teach my dog "send away" (dog runs to a marker, eg. cone) but have never taught it before and have a noob question.

I want her to lay down when she reaches the object she's been sent to...Do I teach that right from the start, or do I teach her the art of getting to the object first and, once she's got that reliably, introduce the "down"?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-26-2015, 11:53 AM
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First get her laying down next to the object, and then gradually increase the distance between handler/dog and object.
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Old 07-26-2015, 01:02 PM
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Might want to choose an object she needs to interact with once there. So if the cone perhaps a paw touch then down. Not just a down next to it. Personally I would probably use a little mat or other flat target she can lay on. That interaction with the target just tends to keep criteria clear for both dog and handler and the behavior consistent. Otherwise what often happens is that the dog tends to go almost to the object but not the whole way. They handler rewards anyway. Over time the dog tends to stop further and further from the object.

I tend to like to shape this. There's a recent thread on here about teaching a treibball target/mat that is pretty much what you're looking to do. I shape getting onto the mat and then then down. I place the majority of my rewards on the mat. Those that are not fed on the mat tend to be tossed to reset allowing my dog to return to the mat. One my dog really wants to be on the mat and lay down, then I start sending them away from me to the mat increasing distance just a bit at a time.
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Last edited by kmes; 07-26-2015 at 01:08 PM.
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Old 07-26-2015, 07:18 PM
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Thanks for the replies; I'll check out the Treibball thread.

My main concern was her not being enthusiastic enough on the run to the cone. I don't want her plodding over to it or doing a "jog", I'm hoping for a full-out sprint. I'm not sure we'll get it, but might as well give it a go. We don't compete in any kind of sport, so it's all for fun.
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Old 07-26-2015, 07:36 PM
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I definitely second the recommendation for a mat or platform! That makes it so much easier to train, and so much easier to get the kind of enthusiasm you want.

If you start by teaching her that lying down on the platform is AWESOME, you will be able to use that to build the enthusiasm and confidence over longer distances. I'd think of it kind of like a recall in reverse -- start by making the trick as much fun as possible (whether it's "get to you" or "lie down on this mat"), and then the dog will run faster and further for the chance to get to do that trick.

Have fun!
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Old 07-26-2015, 07:42 PM
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She won't see a mat at a distance. She has problems finding a ball that is right next to her, LOL. Will it not be as effective to teach her to lay next to a cone that she can see clearly, instead of on a mat?

As she isn't food motivated at all, I'm having a hard time thinking up ways to make it really exciting and fun to run away from me. The only thing that she goes crazy for is her ball, because she loves fetch. But she loves FETCH, not the ball. I can just envision her plodding over to the cone, grabbing the ball, and then sprinting back -- which isn't what I'm after.
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Old 07-26-2015, 07:56 PM
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It's likely to be a lot harder to pinpoint the behavior (for the dog and the person!). Do you want her lying one foot from the cone? Two feet? Behind it? To the left? That's hard to communicate effectively, and hard to reward consistently...and your dog is going to need a lot of confidence in the trick to perform with the kind of enthusiasm you're hoping for.

A crate would be visible at a long distance and make for a very easy target. You can get raised dog beds, like the cooleroo bed, that might work too. Or a laundry basket to hop inside, even.

An alternative trick that works GREAT with a cone is "fly:" Heeling Games – “Fly” | Denise Fenzi
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Old 07-26-2015, 08:05 PM
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Thank you for the link! I haven't heard of "fly" -- I think my dog will enjoy that more than a send away. :-) I'll look into it a bit more. Thanks!
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Old 07-27-2015, 03:13 AM
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Okay, so decided to keep it really relaxed and chill and not to worry too much about the specifics right now. It is only for fun and we've got no reason to have it spot on as soon as possible. Decided to go for more of a "fly" type thing as opposed to a send away.

Started teaching her this morning and am pretty happy with how much she understands at the minute. We're kind of on the same page there, LOL. Started by balancing the ball on the cone to give her incentive to go over. I put the ball in my pocket a few times and sent her away and had mild success, and hid the ball behind the cone a few times -- again, with mild success. Plan is to phase out the "ball on the cone" part.

Introduced her to the concept and trained for about five mins before the video, then did some more training with it for about 20 mins (rained too hard for me to be confident getting my phone out of my pocket for another video). I'm pretty happy with it so far.

Just wanted to say thanks for the tips and thanks @SnackRat for showing me "fly". Here is a very short video (even though this isn't the right forum for it!). Hopefully a bit later on I can update with the refined, complete version and just have fun with her new trick.

(Video uploaded on Photobucket, btw)



Thanks again everyone.

P.S this was very fun to teach. I've always looked at it as a fairly daunting task, which is why I haven't tried it up until now, but it was really fun and the dog caught on very quickly.
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Old 07-27-2015, 03:45 AM
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I would teach her to touch the cone with her nose. Then start adding distance. And of course reward speed. If it's too slow, no reward. If she's ball motivated, then throwing the ball out would be perfect as it would reinforce her for being out there rather than coming back for the reward.
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