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Tips on training the vorous

Tips on training the vorous exercise. I'm sure lots of folks have lots of great ideas for this exercise. I use a Modified Target approach. A small soccer cone is placed at the end of a football field, near the goal posts. Depending on dog, food or toy is placed at the base. Dog is shown reward, jazzed up, then drug back a ways and sent. NO downs. It is free food/toy at this point. Do this a few times daily for a few days. Each time, move farther back before dog is sent. Allow dog to be a wild creature. No sits, etc. All you are teaching is a desire to LEAVE you fast to go to a particular spot. When dog can be sent from 50-60 yds. back and still knows exactly what its job is, start to add some rules. Dog must sit at heel and give eye contact to be sent. And variations of that. Maybe sit, down, come front. Obedience to be sent. Mix it up. Then ask dog to heel two paces with eye contact to be sent. Etc., etc., etc. During the time that you are doing your field work, teach a down from "anywhere" in the house, yard, etc. For food or toy. Work on your down separately. Not in the same session with your voraus. Back to VORAUS training....keep moving target closer and closer to goal post. Until the goal post becomes the target.

At this point in training, you probably have a dog that is wild to be sent, knows where to go, and will do obedience exercises in order to be "allowed" to go to target. When you achieve this, it is time to put the down and the voraus together. It is here that the beauty of this technique becomes evident. 

The first time you send the dog, with the intention of downing it, DO NOT put food or toy in normal spot. Allow dog to think that you have, however. Jazz dog up, ask for obedience, then send. DOWN the dog halfway there. Yeah, you are right. The sob is going to ignore you. Holler down again. The instant you get a down, throw the toy or race toward dog with food. Or throw food. Release dog. Now, repeat exercise. Except put the food/toy out there. Send dog. Now go back to no food/toy and downing dog. 

Once....when you get it and reward, go home. Next day, repeat process. Dog should show a faster down. 

What you are teaching at this point is that IF you say down, there is NOTHING there so fastest way to food/toy is to down. I down dog only about once per training session of about 5-10 sends. Keep it unpredictable. Sometimes, don't down dog. Just do sends. And remember: NEVER DOWN DOG ON THE TARGET. 

Always before the target. So dog learns that when you say down, nothing is there. So no searching behavior, or running all way to goal post stuff.......Down gets a rapid turn & platz. 

My final step is to chain the dumbbell and the send away, so that retrieving exercises "predict" the send away. This eliminates the forging and anticipation in the regular heeling pattern. 


My send-away post was so long winded that I forgot to add an important finish to it. In addition to chaining the dumbbells to the send-away, I also teach the dogs that there is ALWAYS a "wait time" between dumbbells and being sent.....

.I simulate the short time that you are required to wait to send dog while other dog is being picked up. The dogs have learned to "mark" their target visually, and I use this short time to have them mark, and to jazz them up while waiting. 

This becomes a predictor, as well as the dumbbell exercises becoming a predictor of the send-away. So many times we teach a beautiful send-away, but forget to incorporate it into the routine for the dogs. So you go to trial, do the whole thing and go to send the beast and it just looks at you......or it is confused. 

If you have given it "predictors", this won't happen. This is a little along the lines of a favorite competitor's "intake of air" cue....

Predictors and cues....they are legal!

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