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Old 09-06-2005, 11:52 AM
Mikey27X834 Mikey27X834 is offline
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I read you have to be especially careful when you teach a dog this position, because they see it as a submissive position.
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Old 09-07-2005, 08:44 AM
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Barb04 Barb04 is offline
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Creature Teacher gave this advice for Rocky a long time ago and I've saved it for future use:

Make sure you have a solid "sit", because "down" is pretty tough. We define "down" as ankles and elbows on the floor, no less. Lots of dogs try to cheat on their downs, so don't give in to a half-crouch. With Rocky in a sit, hold a treat in your hand. Pretend there's a wire hooking your hand to Rocky's nose, and pull his face down toward the floor. When he follows your hand, give him the treat. When he's doing it every time, move a step further: pull his head to the floor, then move your hand away from him just a little. When you see his elbows bend as he reaches for your hand, give him the treat. Again, practice this a few times. Then move on to getting those elbows bent a little more, then a little more, until they actually hit the floor. The exact moment they do, say "down" clearly, give Rocky the treat, and throw a party! Act like no dog in the world has ever done anything so smart. Then go back to the beginning. Repeat a million times. If you do this six or seven times a day for about two weeks, you should be able to tell him "down" and have him actually do it. Be sure to carefully couple the word "down" with the action just as it happens, not before or after. You'll slow him down a lot if you tell him "down. down. Rocky, down." over and over and over again. The word will lose meaning if he's not associating it with the movement of his body. (This same idea applies to teaching any command.)
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