Up the Ante
Once you have a handle on Predicting and Cuing the Drop, it is a simple matter up upping the ante in traditional positive dog training fashion.
If you think your dog has the idea that the cued Drop makes Next happen and you know the exact spot they are likely to drop, you can test your hypothesis by letting the dog go past that likely drop point or cuing before they get there.
For an Early Drop
If you know the dog drops at 5 meters, you can wait until 4.5 or 4 meters (a meter is about 4 inches bigger than a yard – 3.37 inches more to be precise). Just a bit longer than normal so you can test your hypothesis. If the dog carries past the previously predicted point, your hypothesis might be sound. Repeat it a few more times to check it.
For a Latent Drop
If your dog won’t drop far away, just flip that. Once you think she’s got it at 5 meters, try cuing it at 6. If she drops before 5, slowly shape it to further and further away.
Success and Variability
If the hypothesis holds, slowly shape the Drop to more challenging levels. Be sure to keep your eyes on success and be sure to get some variability on where and when the dog is asked to drop.
You don’t want a new pattern to develop, you want the drop to happen wherever and whenever…
Going back to the original prediction point or offering it in other places where it is very likely to happen can help to prove that the cue, not location is the predictor of the Drop.
It’s Not About More It’s About the Cue
Be careful when upping the ante. It is easy to just keep upping the ante until you lose the bet. If you just keep anteing up, you will lose your bet.
The point is not about MORE. It’s about the idea that the cued Drop makes it happen. If that idea is delivered then the dog will do MORE because the dog knows that the CUE is the important part.
This can’t be stressed enough. You are not trying to “get the dog to carry” or “get the dog to drop further away” you are trying to get the drop on cue. If and when you got it on cue you got it wherever and whenever you want.