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Teaching my foster to to a down

Toonces
May 9th, 2006, 04:08 AM
Hi guys,

I need some advise here. How do I get my foster dog Reilly to do a down? We have started school and we came into class 3 weeks behind everyone else. He heels very nice and will do a sit stay but no way will he do a down. I would like him to know before our next class even if he only does it briefly its a start. The school we are going to does not use treats, its all about praise and positive training.

We pratcise about 5 times a day just for 15 mins so he does not get bored and every night on our walk, he is very smart I know he can do it, its me that needs the training:o

I didn't get a chance to talk one on one with the trainer after class last sat because I had to leave right after for a apointment and she was busy with someone else.

Any suggestions?

BMDLuver
May 9th, 2006, 07:49 AM
Have you tried teaching the down with a piece of treat... getting the sit then slowly lowering your hand down his front and across the floor while he follows the treat in your hand with his body?

technodoll
May 9th, 2006, 09:50 AM
at our last training class, the teacher explained that some dogs' need to dominate (or not subordinate ) is too strong to let them willingly do a "down" for their master. they just hate it and will go to great lengths not to down. My friend's 15-mth old male akita had this problem and I saw it resolved in under 2 minutes in front of my eyes, it was awesome to see "dog psychology" in progress!

first, he would not "down" with the sit- put treat in front of nose- slide treat down to the ground method. his butt would just pop up while his head went down for the treat. even with him in the "sit" position, pushing on his shoulders did nothing (don't try this for more than 10 or 15 seconds, because you don't want to force the dog into a down position, you want them to do it of their own accord).

in this class we only use flat nylon buckle collars (no chokes). so the trick is to put a treat on the floor so the dog bends his head down to get it, and then use your foot to hold the leash down on the floor next to his head, so that the dog cannot lift their head and they are left in an awkward position. they then have the choice to lay down to make it comfortable, or struggle against this forced "head down" position". NO PHYSICAL HARM is coming to the dog here, only harm to their ego - remember flat collar, no chokes, no reprimands, you just say "Fido DOWN" and when the dog finally lowers his body to the floor, you praise like crazy!!!

my friend's adolescent akita, stubborn as a mule, took 2 minutes of "rebellion" until he finally layed down, and that was all it took. for the entire rest of the class he had NO problems with the down command, he was praised like crazy and even seemed to enjoy it! My trainer said that the longest it ever took for a dog to "give in" to the subordinate position was a little super-dominant shihtzu mix, little bugger was screeching and fighting for 5 long minutes, he would NOT lay down... until he tired himself out and eventually settled into the down position... and since that moment he was a pleasure to work with, no more dominant issues, it's like he finally accepted his place in the pack and that was that.

hope this works for you, good luck! :thumbs up

OntarioGreys
May 9th, 2006, 10:19 AM
An easy non physical way is to sit in the floor in a hallway, putting your back against one wall and feet on the other so your legs make like a bridge just high enough for the dog to crawl under on his belly, take a treat and pass it under your legs and have the dog follow the treat, as the dog get under almost all the way inside you fist and give a command to lay as they as waiting for the treat give the down comand and release once the back end settles on the floor, you will have to repeat a few times for them to associated the motion of lay down with the command and reward, then try again with the feet higher on the wall to test if they understand the down for the treat, if not go back to the beginning with the feet lower, once that is achieved sit parallel to the wall, and repeat once doing successfully try standing and giving the laydown command

Toonces
May 9th, 2006, 12:51 PM
Thanks for the tips. I will try them out when I get home from work today. The school we go to does not use treats at all but maybe if I try him with them first and then wean him off he will learn

Joey.E.CockersMommy
May 9th, 2006, 02:56 PM
Technodoll=
in this class we only use flat nylon buckle collars (no chokes). so the trick is to put a treat on the floor so the dog bends his head down to get it, and then use your foot to hold the leash down on the floor next to his head, so that the dog cannot lift their head and they are left in an awkward position. they then have the choice to lay down to make it

I pretty much used the same techique has techo - doll expect for the treats - I dont usually use treats for Joey. I found it worked really well - when got Joey we wouldnt do down at all. I even posted a thread about- sorry can't seem to find it.

What I liked about is the first few times with Joey we had to to step on the leash slowly and make him go down - then pretty soon he will go down with no pressure, he just sees the foot on the leash and down he goes - then he did it with no foot on the leash. Now he will do a down from across the room aprox 10ft away :D

Also I find personally with treats we use them on occasion but for the most part we dont.

Joey actually does better when doing commands without a treat - if I introduce a treat to him - he's like hey treat gimme gimme - and he basically forgots any command that may be happening.

Duchess
May 9th, 2006, 06:37 PM
Hi Toonces. ;)

Here's something you might want to try. It's very similar to the method where you lure the dog with the treat but I've found that it works well with dogs that drop the nose and keep the bum in the air. Put Reilly in a sit, hold the treat as close to his nose as needed to get his attention and lure his nose down to the floor but, instead of dragging the treat out in front of him as if you were dragging his nose along the floor, push the treat down between his legs, moving your arm toward his chest. This makes many dogs fold up and drop into a down position. At the same time, you can keep your other hand on his hind end to help guide him, but try not to push on him because the oppositional reflex may actually cause him to try to stand, rather than drop into a down.
Hope this makes sense! :D :D