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This is often discussed as one of the harder things to teach a dog, because you are teaching the dog to run AWAY from you. It shouldn't be.
In the begining, you need to keep the \"spot\" the dog goes to, very consistant. I used a light pole at the end of the field, behind my house.
With a dog that has very good ball/food drive, I put it on a sit, about 10ft from the pole. I let the dog see the toy, I walk to the \"spot\" and set the toy on the ground. Then I return to the dog at heel position, and give a verous/run/whatever command. Any dog that has good drive will then run to the \"spot\". PRAISE, PRAISE, PRAISE! Thunder will then return to me for a game of tug. It's then a matter of slooooly extending the distance FROM the \"spot\". If the dog starts hesitating, you've probably created distance to fast, OR you aren't using the same \"spot\". The reason for ALWAYS using the same \"spot\" in the beginning, is simply the dog knows what to expect when it gets there. At our field, I put Thunder's toy out before I go on for obedience training. Throughout the training, I heel toward the field \"spot\". He's got wise to this and started forging when I faced that way. He's now learned that he wont be sent till he has eye contact with me. Not until he was super solid in understanding what I wanted, do I start putting the toy in a different \"spot\". Starting close again, it doesn't take more then a few times till he realizes a toy will be out in the straight line I've sent him on.
I train the down completely separate from the sendout, and mayby one in 20 training days do I require a \"Platz\" with the sendout. Asking for the \"Platz\" to often, will slow the dog down, in anticipation.
Obviously, you need a fast, solid \"platz\" before you want to put the two together.
I started the sendout with Thunder as a 14wk old pup. By one year, he had no problem running the lenght of our training field (soccer field) at a dead run.
Keep em happy!
 

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I had a really easy time teaching the vorous to my bitch. I've seen this method used and it really does seem to work fast for a dog motivated by a prey item.

I went to midpoint of the field but towards the end where the dog would normally be platzed. Dog is on a long line.

I took the toy and held the dog by the fursaver and made drive (spinning toy). Then I toss the toy 10 feet away and pump the dog up and say \"vorous\". When she grabs the toy, I call her back to me and we make play fight.

Then I get a further distance away. Tossing it 15 feet and sending.

Then gradually, I just platz the dog and walk over and place the toy. No drive building. All I have to say is \"vorous\" and she bolts for the toy .... then call her back and make play fight.

When she is able to go all the way down field (45 paces) then I introduce the heeling .... I platz her in the middle of the field, walk down and place the toy...walk back to her and we make heeling first away from the toy then flip around towards it. At this point she's anticipating whats going to happen, which is a good thing. But I never send her until she makes perfect eye contact and position.

Later, I correct for lack of position if its not there the entire way.

So now I have a dog that heels 13 paces, leaves me fast for the toy on command, grabs toy, and runs back to me.

Then I introduce the platz.

Since she is still on a long line, I send her as normal but I run with her and with the long line.

As soon as she gets the toy she gets to take 1-2 steps the I yell \"platz\" hard. My bitch is very good at this command, if your dog is not solid on it it will need to be. She drops hesitantly. As soon as her elbows hit the ground I call her back to me and we play fight.

Gradually you say platz sooner. Eliminate the 1-2 steps she takes. Then extend the ammount of time she has to stay down before coming back to you (3 secs, 5 secs, 10 secs, etc). Then get random with calling her back. Sometimes go to her, sometimes call back. The call back I think is a good drive release. As long as the dog waits for the command.

With this method, its taken me maybe a month to train. Unfortunately I have not been able to work it consistantly ... the field is usually being used and we hit a road bump when I was doing the vorous and the helper walked on the field with his own dog and she decided to go to him. She got corrections on the long line but that was a problem for 2 sessions. A dog in our club is doing the vorous with this method and its taken him a week to string together all the components and he's now doing a send out with a platz w/o recall. Its very impressive but that may just be the dog.


Anyways, hope this helps. I'm very happy with this method because it gives speed, intensity, works fast, and the only real compulsion is for the forging on heeling and for the platz.
 

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Phil, the handler heels the dog aprox 10-15 paces, then sends the dog aprox 20-40 paces. A lot depends on the size of the field. At a big nationals, the dog may be required to run a football field. Basically, the dog should run until told to down, or sit, in the case of the AKC sendout, which is only the distance of the ring. Aprox 40 ft.
This is often taught with off lead serch work. It's nice to be able to send your dog to an in accessable spot (for humans), then give the \"search\" command. I've used it to send my dog across creeks. FEMA search teams require the dog to be able to be sent to a given point in a building colapse such as in Oklahoma and 911.
 

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I was always told to not down the dog on the way TO the \"spot\" but rather on the way BACK from the spot... this way you don't lose as much speed with the anticipation of the platz on the way out but are still incorporating it into the game. I know that with my own dog, on the return, speed isn't an issue, if I were to down him, it just builds more desire to run back to the handler. But again, I agree with doing this 1 every 20 or so times rather than all the time.
 

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We train on a football field so to work up the speed I tie the ball high up in the net of the goal. That way she can't pick up or take the ball herself.........I send her out.......comand DOWN and she lays there waiting for me to come get the ball out the net.............the play tug but generally throw the ball as soon as its out the net.
 

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Mike, I don't have a problem downing the dog going to the spot as long as you keep the 1-20 thing in mind. At a trial, the judge tells you when to down the dog. Even at home field, it's rarely as far as you would send in training.
 
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