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Training in/out of Motion


By Pete Eromenok

Dogs learn rapidly in and out of motion. It is the easiest way to teach a youngster its basic commands.


For instance if you were to teach a dog to sit he would start off in a standing position. He would then move his back end toward the ground. As soon as his butt kisses the ground the handler praises or gives a treat. After a few series of this the dog learns the sound associated with the motion of sitting.


The first part of this exercise is where the dog is standing stationary. The movement of the back end is the second part and the continued sitting (not sit, stay) is the end. So the dog is being taught to only move its hind quarters in a downward motion. So to recap, first the dog has no motion, then the dog is told to go into motion in this case it is the dropping of the back end. A slightly easier example to understand might be a dog walking next to you on a leash and as you come to a stop you command halt, wait, or whoa for all you pointer guys and gals. There is motion which abruptly stops. If you put a word to that stopping motion the dog learns to stop on that word. The same is true for the motion to begin.


This way of teaching is in contrast to repeating sit when the dog is already sitting. There isn’t any motion so the dog has a difficult time relating to it.   The same goes for stay which is probably the most widely misused command. When a dog is sitting still and the handler continually commands stay. The dog is hearing this word over and over again and has no movement to associate it to. This is why many dogs take for ever to learn what “stay” is intended to mean. The command becomes similar to bla, bla, bla, bla, bla. Many dogs end up breaking the stay command because the handler says stay as the dog is breaking the stay command and no correction is given.  Therefore the dog moves out on the word stay. So if the timing is off, the dog will actually do the opposite of stay when told to stay.

Every movement or stopped movement can have a word associated with it.

Down, heel, come, sit, stay, whoa, fetch, etc., etc. The application of timing and motivation coupled with the movement produces the intended action or lack there of. This is why it is important to have a leash on the dog when you train. There are ways to do it without a leash, but why make things more difficult than they have to be?

There are many components to dog training, and there are many methods available. Training in and out of motion is the way a dog learns the fastest.