Looking through videos yesterday I was disappointed that I couldn't really get a video to help me with getting my dog to obey commands at a distance. To day I was reading a couple of articles that just hit me. The first article is about over coming a bad fetch. But was struck me was that she was using a mat to train. Getting the dog to come to the mat and treat. The dog knew that coming to the mat meant an automatic click and treat.
Now you are probably asking how does that tie in to getting your dog to respond at a distance. I think the hard part about the distance is that you work so hard on getting your dog to obey up close and come to you that it is hard for the dog to translate that into doing behaviors away from you. But what if they knew how to go to the mat. Then the mat could be placed at a distance so that they would have something to target the behavior on.
The shaping of the fetch is also a great idea. I have always had a problem with my dogs not wanting to bring the ball completely back.
The other article is also about getting the dog to go to a mat. It is specifically speaking about multi-dog homes. Which we definitely qualify for with the current number standing at four. The idea is to get them stationed or to stay on their mat. I think most people have gone to the circus and seen the dog show. I am still amazed at what they are able to accomplish. But anyways they always have somewhere that the dog goes back to and stations himself until needed once again. This is a great idea to help control behaviors so they will all know where to go.
I included a clip showing some dogs stationed during an act.