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The ultimate command.....Stand!

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I looked up commands people teach there dogs and stand isn't in the top ten.

Stand is my number one ask. (Stand means stand still, freeze, don't move.)If i tell my dog to stand its 100% going to stand still(freeze) no matter what her pursuits. 

It starts when you begin leash training. The puppy pulls the leash you say stand and then stand still until puppy stands still, its vey slow going(painfully at times)Or when we go and stand on the corner and watch the world go by.(introducing them to different stimuli) As the dog matures and you begin being able to actually walk without them pulling (if they pull you say stand and stop).At every street crossing you stand and look for traffic.( i never cross a road, alley way without making my dog stand)My standing times are always staggered in the length we stand still for. If you don't stagger the stand times the dog will anticipate your movement and move before you . Before long the dog doesn't pull on a lead and will never cross any road way without standing and being released first. Stand teaches my dog  road safety, stops her dead in her tracks....it has saved their lives.

Teaching Stand to my puppies allows them to develop into  off leash dogs.

My dog is 97% off leash ,  3% is leashed. She lives  free as a bird (off leash)and thats  because i know if i say stand she is going to freeze in place. 

Side note, a release command has to be well thought out because sometimes you may use it to tell others(vehicles, people)to go ahead. Meaning you let a car go first and you may say aloud, go ahead! , or okay and the dog will take it as their release command. I use Stand and Cross as my freeze and release command.

I could not imagine raising a border collie without. Stand.

Is there one particular teaching/ command that benefits you and you Border Collies the most in life?

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I have never seen a recall that is 100%, my own dog has a recall rate of about 95%(calling her once)the other 5% (more than one call).

How long does it take you to train your dog to ensure it has such a perfect recall? Do you have any tricks for training a perfect recall?

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With dogs, as with people or any other being, there is no such thing as "perfect".

I don't expect Perfect from my dogs. I do my best to get a solid recall, and I get one from my dogs, but I never forget that if they are off leash something could happen that would make my dog act in an unpredictable manner. It is always some degree of risk to let your dog off leash no matter how well trained they are. In relatively safe places and with a solid recall that is proofed daily, the risk is small. But you cannot depend on it that you dog will recall 100% of the time.

As for how long to train, it takes as long as it takes for this particular individual dog. some learn it fast, some don't. You just keep training it, just like anything else, until you get it where you want it. I test my dogs' recall almost daily, and I always praise and give a little treat when they come to me.

Since I use the Stand cue in different ways, my word for what you are describing is "Wait", which will stop my dog and cause them to turn toward me, whereupon I can then release them or recall. They're excellent at it but again, I wouldn't ever count on it 100%.

To me, there's no trick to training recall. I simply make sure it is worth the dog's while to come to me (treat and praise), and while training and proofing I always make sure that coming to me doesn't ever mean the end of the fun. Of course, I start out first in the house and only work up very gradually to being off-leash in an unenclosed area. I won't risk that until I am very confident in the recall.  I always stay very alert and aware of my surroundings and where my dog is when off leash outside, say on a hiking trail. It's up to me to make sure they are protected and that they don't bother anyone else by being off leash.


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Agree with D'Elle. I never expect perfection from my dog with commands. I will work/train to get a high level of adherence, but perfection -- no. It is impossible to proof every single situation.

As far as training a recall, I also do my best to make it worth their while for a dog to return. What does that mean "worth their while"? It depends on the stage of training, age of dog, environment and distractions. But at its simplest, I find that, in the beginning of training -- running away, running away while waving a toy or just waving a toy, will usually produce a snappy 'recall'. At that stage, it isn't really a recall, but I build to a recall by gradually adding their name and a recall command to my actions, then I transition to less running away and more verbal. At some point, begin to incorporate treats, but my dogs love toys above treats. But it is always good to 'go back to kindergarten' every once in a while. If I see my 8 YO dog getting a bit lax with his response (and if I have the energy), I will go back to whipping out a toy and running away. That gets his attention!

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D'Elle, gvc-border

Thank you for your input. I have read other posts in regards to off leash and a solid recall, i assumed the recall was 100%. Although my dog has high 95% recall that isn't good enough for me....i would literally be wondering every time, is today going to be that 5% day. I wouldn't feel confident with those numbers, my girls stand is 100%   (still working on sidewalk and trail manners )

I think moving away from your dog when you recall it ,is a great tip to improve a dogs recall. I also use this technique for fetch/retrieving 

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Nuance, if you have 95% you have more than the vast majority of people have.

You can probably get it higher, and no harm in trying, but there will never be a time when you won't have to be aware that this could be the time your dog doesn't come.

Your girl's 100% stand is terrific! And, there is no way to proof that in every possible circumstance, and under some unforeseen circumstance it won't be 100%.  Big fear, for instance, is one thing that can cause a dog to forget their training.

I have had beautifully trained dogs who really wanted to do what I asked them to do (that's a border collie for you) and I could trust them to do as I asked. And the best trained of them were still dogs, and I learned more than once that to count on it being every time without fail just because it has been 100% so far is unwise, because with any dog that one time may arrive on any day and of course it is always unexpected. 

More than once I have found myself saying to a dog, "why did you do that? What on earth were you thinking?", but of course the only answer is:  He's a dog.

It's very important, I have found, to remember that at all times and to take whatever precautions are appropriate to the circumstances, no matter how excellently trained the dog is.

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