[nagdu] teaching follow

Jenine Stanley jeninems at wowway.com
Fri Apr 15 12:43:52 UTC 2011

GDF does not teach the dogs to follow. We do teach you, the handler, to
teach the follow command. Here's how I was taught. Other GDF grads can chime
in as this can vary slightly from instructor to instructor. 

If you want your dog to follow someone, have that person walk ahead and
slightly to your right. Tell him/her to snap fingers, jingle keys or make
some other noise you can focus on. Ask him/her not to talk to the dog but to
tell you when turns are coming up, etc. Carry on a conversation if possible.
Then tell your dog "Follow" using whatever hand signal you've been taught
for things like forward. Some instructors use a forward motion with the
entire hand, some use just the index finger in a sweeping forward motion,
sort of pointing toward the person to follow. Having the audible cue of
snapping or keys works well to make sure you're not forging ahead. 

My dogs have done this command in varying degrees. TJ, my little Golden guy
hated to follow anyone. Molly would follow but she needed a good reason,
unless it was a man in uniform, then she was glued to him. <grin> No

Toby and swap liked to follow but also liked to lead and look back to make
sure the pack was all there and safe. 

My Jerry Lee, Rock & Roll Labrador, rarely slowed to follow anyone but would
unless she found something more interesting. 

When GDF teaches this command, we do tell people about the pitfalls of
having the dog follow too much and that some dogs are just flat out better
at it than others. 

Jenine Stanley
jeninems at wowway.com

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