Pets.ca - Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 

-->

Down rant

Spirit
March 3rd, 2007, 08:32 PM
Ugh... I feel so bad. I realized last night that I think we have a bad association with "down". He's great with all of his commands, and even though he goes down (and I rarely have to ask him twice), he usually does it slowly and reluctantly (it's never been his favorite command). Well I realized today that I sometimes tend to put him in a down position for punishment, or when I want to avoid a possible situation. I'm never angry when I do it, but it's also not as rewarded as other commands (ie. sit = a pat on the head or treat). I release him fairly quickly (and when I do I'm always happy about it - I don't hold a grudge for whatever it was he did to warrant a down), but today I did this (after he decided to help himself to my drink), and the look on his face kinda broke me. I wasn't angry about it... I just wanted him to back off my juice, but he looked like I had just given him the scolding of his life (complete submission - head down, ears flat, eyes up, etc).

When he was younger, I used to ask him to lay down away from me while I was eating (I lived alone and couldn't watch him if he got into trouble), so he quickly learned that if he lay down (or even just stay away) from me while I had food, I would offer some of it to him when I was done (as a reward for not begging).

Anyway... it's just something I realized and am feeling kind of crappy about it. Does anyone have any suggestions how I can make down fun again? :sad:

clm
March 3rd, 2007, 09:42 PM
Sounds to me like you answered your own question. Time to start rewarding him after the down sometimes, maybe with something a little more special. You might want to add an additional training exercise like a roll over for a belly rub following the down sometimes. None of my dogs liked down either, I think it's just because they thought it was the ultimate submission. They'd do it, but usually with a little grumbling and they knew they were getting a treat for doing it too, so nothing negative there.

Cindy

Prin
March 3rd, 2007, 10:25 PM
Down is also a submissive position, so it might be getting harder and he might be getting more reluctant just because he's in adolescence... :o It could just be another teenage challenge, IMO...

I put my dogs in a "dead" position when they're bad, and no matter what, they always do it. No hesitation, but they also know if they don't do it asap, I will do it for them... :evil: To me treats won't fix the hesitation, respect will. :o

Spirit
March 3rd, 2007, 10:40 PM
*sigh* The look on his face made me want to cry. lol! It could be an adolescent thing (he completely "forgot" the command for about a month, about 2 months ago)... I'm hoping anyway.

It's just something that occured to me, and I felt really bad about it and needed to vent. He's such a good dog, and I've never really had to punish him for anything. He does the occasional puppy thing, but nothing that warrants a "punishment".

Though one time I did scare him when he stole a chicken wing. He took it straight out of the oven and swallowed it whole. I opened the door, took out the pan, and he ran into the kitchen, grabbed one, and swallowed. I lost my MIND. He was about 5 months old and I grabbed tonsils trying to get that thing out, but it was gone. I was so panicked about him swallowing a bone that I dropped the tray (wings all over the floor) and pinned him down (sort of on his back) to get a better grip when I shoved my hand down his throat. I still can't get past how he didn't burn himself or at the very least, drop it. I mean we're talking still on the pan, not even out of the oven long enough for me to put it on the counter.

Anyway, I saw the fear in his face and all I could think to do was to put him in his crate and walk away. He didn't make a SOUND. When *I* calmed down I went to get him and pretended like everything was okay, but I think I cried for like 2 days. I felt SO GUILTY for reacting like that. I still feel guilty.

We should make this the guilty thread. What have you done that you feel bad about? LOL :sad:

rainbow
March 3rd, 2007, 10:45 PM
Don't beat yourself up about it....we've probably all been there at one time. ;) Mine was when Logan "stole" an onion off the counter. :o

Prin
March 3rd, 2007, 10:46 PM
Aww. :grouphug: I think the times I've scared my doggies the most were when I was angry by myself... They'd come in and be all, "What's all the fuss about?" and then disappear really quickly...:o

grand cherokee
March 4th, 2007, 03:45 PM
We should make this the guilty thread. What have you done that you feel bad about? LOL :sad:

BOO !!!! to cure hiccups, it worked tho.
lol

Frenchy
March 4th, 2007, 04:57 PM
Aww. :grouphug: I think the times I've scared my doggies the most were when I was angry by myself... They'd come in and be all, "What's all the fuss about?" and then disappear really quickly...:o

Me too, it's usually at my computer, Sam is usually by my side. There is this one swear word (in french) if I say it, and I don't scream, I just say it, he goes into another room. So I try not to swear anymore.