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For those of you that train utility work, what method to you use to do go-outs? What do you find to be the pros and cons of that method?

Every one of my dogs was taught a different method. With a new puppy that I'll be starting on go outs soon, I need to decide what I'll do with him.

My first dog, Annabel, was taught a nose touch. Conner was taught to retrieve a treat pouch hidden on the stanchion. Colby will do both the treat pouch or a paw touch, depending on what I tell him to do when he gets out there. So with Flip I will use either retrieve the treat pouch, retrieve a dowel, paw touch, sit on a mat, or some other way I haven't thought of yet.

I spend a lot of time watching top handlers train at matches and comparing it to how they do at shows. This is what I've observed: dog trained to do a touch or sit on mat are more likely to stop short. Dogs trained to get food off the gate are more likely to sniff before stopping.

What I like about the touch based method is that if your dog stops short in a trial, you can just tell them to go touch. If your method is based on them going out to get something, it won't be in the ring for them to get so you can't really do anything in that case. But I find that a dog is less likely to stop short in the first place if he has a higher motivator out there than a touch.

So confusing!
 

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I did like four methods with my lab:
1) a touch
2) retrieve a hidden purse
3) go out to a pvc box (and then faded the box to a yardstick to a ruler to ringgating)
4) food on stancion

she bored easily and i liked to make sure she really understood it.
i'm starting the box with the puppy. i like that one.
 

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Here is how I am going to do it with Dooley.

I have made a minature "dummy" out of denim material (about 4" x 1.5"). It has velcro on it so it can be attached to a stantion, wall, pipe, anything. I have a dummy in both dark and white, and start with white easy to see. Start with dummy in plain view (after making sure Dooley wants it). Then start sending him to the dummy. Gradually change it so that it goes to the back of the stantion and change to black, harder to see, but always there. When I send him, I will either give him the command to "get it" (the dummy) or sit. I don't want him to know which it is until he is at the command point. When he sits, in the beginning, I will go out and give him a treat.

Good luck, we have just started playing around with it, as we are working to start our Novice work, so nothing too serious yet.
 

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Humankind. Be both.
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I'm working a couple different methods at once:

1. PVC Box - helpful for making sure I get straight turn-and-sits.

2. Retrieve - provides high drive/faster go outs. I fade the visual of the toy by pre-planting it -- under brush or even digging a little tennis ball size hole if needed.

I also always put any "props" outside of the ring, well beyond the ring ropes to minmize the dog starting to slow down/anticipate the turn/sit.
 

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does your puppy respond to (i.e., chase) a laser light?
 
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