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  #11  
Old 05-22-2010, 12:56 AM
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PWCorgi PWCorgi is offline
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So I'm certainly new to all this but this just baffles me... how do you get to the point where the dog goes to the mat on their own when they are stressed?
I think it is just supposed to act as a safe place. Like when I am stressed I tend to get away from everything stressful and go to my room. I think it is the same principal?


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Because at the moment when she is instructed to lie down anywhere, she's in a ready-to-pounce position and she's very alert to everything. I'd like her to chill out.
Start rewarding any and all calming behaviors that she offers while on the mat. Soon she'll automatically start calming behaviors when she is on the mat and thus she will calm down. That is my understanding anyway.
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  #12  
Old 05-22-2010, 01:22 AM
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Originally Posted by PWCorgi View Post
I think it is just supposed to act as a safe place. Like when I am stressed I tend to get away from everything stressful and go to my room. I think it is the same principal?
I guess I just have a hard time wrapping my brain around the fact that they would know to go there without being told to. I suppose after it's been reinforced enough and it becomes a "happy spot," maybe? It just seems like the owner would have to recognize their dog is stressed, and tell them to go to the mat. It's an interesting concept though. We just started with the mat yesterday so we still have a bit of work to do... I'm thinking once we have the "meat" of the behavior trained (go lie down on your mat), I'll start rewarding for calm behaviors... IF she offers any. That'll require patience and good timing on my part, in order to recognize them and get them marked.
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  #13  
Old 05-22-2010, 01:03 PM
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lizzybeth727 lizzybeth727 is offline
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Originally Posted by Southpaw View Post
I would actually like to teach Juno to CALM DOWN when she's on the mat as well. Because at the moment when she is instructed to lie down anywhere, she's in a ready-to-pounce position and she's very alert to everything. I'd like her to chill out.
How did you teach her down? I teach it by capturing - go to a small, boring room and wait for the dog to get so bored he just wants to go to sleep. When he lays down, click/treat and get him back up to try again. You may not get the pretty "sphinx" down using this method, but IME the dogs are more relaxed in the down.

I also reward dogs for laying down pretty much anytime we're not doing something else. If the dog is just hanging out with me while I'm working on something, and he chooses to lay down and relax, he gets treats. This makes down the default behavior - when he doesn't know what else to do, he'll lay down - which sounds kind of like what you want.
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Old 05-22-2010, 07:00 PM
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How did you teach her down? I teach it by capturing - go to a small, boring room and wait for the dog to get so bored he just wants to go to sleep. When he lays down, click/treat and get him back up to try again. You may not get the pretty "sphinx" down using this method, but IME the dogs are more relaxed in the down.

I also reward dogs for laying down pretty much anytime we're not doing something else. If the dog is just hanging out with me while I'm working on something, and he chooses to lay down and relax, he gets treats. This makes down the default behavior - when he doesn't know what else to do, he'll lay down - which sounds kind of like what you want.
I taught it by luring. The "sphinx" down is pretty much what she gives me, which is what I don't want. I would prefer a more relaxed down, rolled onto one hip sort of thing.

And YES, that is what I want. Maybe that could eventually replace the "I don't know what else to do, so I'll just stare at you and whine" behavior she has going on.
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  #15  
Old 05-22-2010, 09:09 PM
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Yeah, with luring downs you get a "pretty" sphinx down.... But you also get a dog who is less likely to do the behavior if you don't cue him.

You can start over now and re-teach down by capturing it. Just start treating her every time she lays down, and she'll start doing it more and more as a default.
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