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Old 06-21-2008, 12:27 AM
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Megansmom Megansmom is offline
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Default Help, please!!

I'm in a basic puppy obedience/socialization class with Megan. She's a 4-month-old Papillon, and is doing very well with some basic commands like "sit," "watch me," "leave it," and "stand..." etc.

However, she doesn't understand "down". We're clicker training, and I'm using a treat to try to get her from a sit into down, but she just won't "go down." Any tricks to this? This is my first time training a dog, and clicker training, so any advice would be wonderful. My trainer couldn't get her to go down in class last week, either, so she is being a bit stubborn.
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Old 06-21-2008, 09:47 AM
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Your pup isn't being stubborn, she just doens't know what it is that you want.
There are a few different ways to get the down. Sounds like you are luring the down, which I find often doesn't work with very little dogs.
You can Mold the down, gently hold her bum while luring her down in the front.
But I would rather, capture the down with the clicker, at anytime that she lays down, Click/Reward. Or you can Shape the behaviour, you instructor should know how to do all of these.

Btw, cutie puppy.
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Old 06-21-2008, 10:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adojrts View Post
Your pup isn't being stubborn, she just doens't know what it is that you want.
There are a few different ways to get the down. Sounds like you are luring the down, which I find often doesn't work with very little dogs.
You can Mold the down, gently hold her bum while luring her down in the front.
But I would rather, capture the down with the clicker, at anytime that she lays down, Click/Reward. Or you can Shape the behaviour, you instructor should know how to do all of these.

Btw, cutie puppy.
Yeah...I know she isn't being stubborn, but it feels like it...

Thanks for the advice. You're right; I just can't lure her down. I'll try "capturing" the correct behavior with the clicker. Now...I just have to find her laying down when she's not sleeping, lol. It seems like she's always eating, playing or sleeping.
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Old 06-21-2008, 12:49 PM
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You can also try shaping the behaviour with the clicker, that also works very well.
Also make sure you are using the clicker correctly, not all trainers know and often use it wrong. Using it incorrectly can have very limited results.
Especially combined with luring.
check out www.clickersolutions.com
and www.clickingtraining.com
both are excellent sites on clicker training.
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Old 06-21-2008, 04:22 PM
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Megansmom Megansmom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adojrts View Post
You can also try shaping the behaviour with the clicker, that also works very well.
Also make sure you are using the clicker correctly, not all trainers know and often use it wrong. Using it incorrectly can have very limited results.
Especially combined with luring.
check out www.clickersolutions.com
and www.clickingtraining.com
both are excellent sites on clicker training.
Thanks!!
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Old 06-21-2008, 05:01 PM
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sheplovr sheplovr is offline
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I know little of clicker work, but my Shepherds all learn sit, down, heel or fuss, etc. I put some pressure to sit if they are learning that part, then I get in front and nicely pull the legs slowly down, praising the entire time. Soon they learn it and like it. I teach a roll over wth it and a hand shake in beginning and then sit, platz or sit, sorry I use the German Terms as my dogs are from Germany and then roll over, play dead all in one sequence. Then it comes so natural in very short training spans they know my hand signals and do it automatically.
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Old 06-21-2008, 06:42 PM
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I agree with capturing, I think that'll probably be your best bet. I like it better than luring now, too, because you get that 4-legged down - where the dog lays directly from a stand - where with luring usually your dog will always sit first.

What I've found helps too is to work on this in a very boring, relatively small room. Bathrooms are wonderful for this. Bring a book, you'll probably need it. Keep your clicker in your hand, and act un-interesting. Eventually your dog will get bored and lay down. As soon as she lays down, of course, C/T. Continue this until she's laying down as soon as she stands up, and then start adding a cue and/or practicing in other areas. Sometimes it takes a long time to get started - I've sat with dogs for 10+ minutes waiting for downs - but it will happen eventually.
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Old 06-21-2008, 06:53 PM
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MericoX MericoX is offline
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When I was training my puppies to down... I would get a nice soft yummy treat (like hotdog or cheese), and hold it between my thumb and my palm. I would sit down next to them and let them smell the treat.. then put my hand on the ground (not totally on the ground.. but at a sort of angle). They would paw.. and try pouncing on my hand.. but at soon as they would lay down I would C/T. After awhile I includued the command (down in our case) with putting my hand on the floor... then slowly moving my hand higher and higher in the air.

*Knock on wood* It has worked for us so far. Good luck!
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Old 06-21-2008, 08:48 PM
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What great ideas....thanks so much!! She won't be a puppy kindergarten drop-out if I can help it, lol!
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