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Old 07-12-2012, 10:26 PM
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Default Training Down

So "Indy" (the dutchie) has apparently never been taught to down. She apparently has no idea what laying down is also, so I can't exactly capture it. I have seen her laying down like twice. Otherwise, even in the crate she's standing up because she hears me coming. Luring isn't working, and I don't really want to force her to lay down and then treat her for it. She's catching on to other stuff really quickly, but she's not had a whole lot of formal training besides loose leash walking and sitting. She'll also wait at doors really well, but very little, if any recall training that I can tell.

Anyway, are there other creative ways to get a dog to lay down that I'm missing?
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Old 07-12-2012, 10:35 PM
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I don't have any video of the first few sessions but I've taught Ruca and Amber a fold-back down using the awesome-sauce methods brought over from Belgium. They use a food lure and social pressure, marking when the dog's weight shifts at first.

http://youtu.be/ehdy7-LdcWE
At 56 seconds you can see a little bit of how it was taught.

Erin might have video as she saw the same people this year...?
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Old 07-12-2012, 10:35 PM
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Crawling under a low barrier works for some to capture the first few times and then you can fade out the barrier.

Going into a small room (ie bathroom) and waiting them out can also be an option, though potentially time consuming.
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Old 07-12-2012, 10:36 PM
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No vid of obed stuff from this year's seminar and I think I missed that part last year.
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Old 07-12-2012, 10:36 PM
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How are you trying to lure it and what happens when you try? I have a couple different suggestions depending on what goes wrong and when.
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Old 07-12-2012, 10:37 PM
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After a LONG exercise session, take the puppy into a boring room (I know, "boring" is a relative term, but do your best, LOL) like a bathroom. Bring a long book and make yourself comfortable. EVENTUALLY the puppy will get bored and lay down. It could take a while... I once waited 45 minutes. When the puppy lays down, click and throw an AMAZING PARTY for like 30-60 seconds. Then go back to reading your book and wait for the puppy to lay down again. Or just end the session after the one click, and come back to it later. Don't expect the second down to be faster than the first (though it usually is), you may be waiting another 45 minutes (but that's kind of the worst case scenario ).

I really like this method for high energy dogs, because it's a great way to teach them:

1. The Down cue;
2. How to relax in a boring place;
3. To think about offering behaviors for rewards instead of just waiting to be lured;
4. That you know how to throw AWESOME PARTIES for good behaviors.

All really important life lessons for puppies as well as dogs new to training. It may take a long time for the behavior to really sink in to the puppy's brain, but given how many valuable lessons are in that session, IMO it's very much worth it in the long run.

One more suggestion: If you're going to do this method to teach down, I'd suggest NOT teaching sit until after they have down figured out. You can teach sit in certain contexts, like sit at the door, but if the puppy thinks he's supposed to sit in the boring room, it will take some extra time for him to figure out that sitting is not going to work there.
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Old 07-12-2012, 10:39 PM
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First, I tell her to sit, she does that well and reliably. Then bringing the food down to her chest, so her nose is practically touching her chest, and bringing the lure slowly down and out, in an arc. She doesn't move her elbows really at all, just keeps stretching her neck out and down. This was how I first got Knox to down, but it's not working for her. And I'm afraid doing it standing up will throw her for a loop at first, because I have to be kneeling beside her to even get that.
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Old 07-12-2012, 10:47 PM
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I shaped down with Didgie.

I started with a glance downwards, then head moving slightly down, then more lowered shoulders and pretty soon after that she offered down. I was heading towards asking for a nose poke on the ground but she downed before that came into play, but I think Sara went all the way to a nose poke on the ground with Zinga which turned into a gorgeous down.

I gotta say, I was pretty impressed with shaping it, think that's going to be my go to to start with for future dogs.
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Old 07-12-2012, 10:48 PM
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You can try pushing the treat in towards her instead of out and away once you reach ground level. If that doesnt work I second the barrier method! You can use your leg or a broom/pole secured between two chairs and lure her under until she falls into a down.

If neither of those work you could also try shaping it. Just click and treat for her putting her head lower and lower until she starts crouching then work on gettin the crouch lower until she falls into a down.
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Old 07-12-2012, 10:53 PM
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Pen was 3 when I got him, and hadn't been taught anything (not even sit). So I taught him that, and it took him a while LOL.

For down, he also wasn't following the lure, so I thought of a sort of creative way to do it.

I brought out a mat and shaped him to go on that. Once he was going on it and standing (took a few sessions as he had obviously never done shaping before), I would then treat him for going and sitting on it.

Eventually, he went in to a down on it during a session (I did have to wait him out, but it wasn't too long). For some reason, it was easier for him to offer a down on the mat than on the floor. Once he was offering that a lot, I tried him on regular carpet, and he was offering sits AND downs like it was nobody's business.

Now, after like a year, he can LLW, sit, and down (and obviously he has a decent recall and drop/leave it). That's ALL he can do. But my goodness, he's reliable everywhere.
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