Teaching Down

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Teaching Down

Postby Duck_Popper » Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:51 pm

Can anyone help me with teaching down?

It has to be one if the hardest obedience commands to teach. My pup teal has sit, stay, here, and HEEL drilled into her head pretty good. I would say she is perform sit and stay @ 100%. Heel is about 70% right now. However, down is at a whopping 0%. The only thing I have seen is the treat to the nose and down, putting your hand with the treat to the ground.

The only other one is while walking the pup with the lead in your right hand, pup at a heel on your left, stopping and commanding the sit. Then with your left foot stepping on the lead and saying down. In turn pulling her to the ground. The other is enforcing the down with your thumb in between her shoulder blades.

Anyone have any suggestions?
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Re: Teaching Down

Postby Holeinmywaders » Thu Nov 07, 2013 6:31 am

I did it with a treat and the leash under foot when Jax was very small. I use the hand signal more now than the voice command because sometimes I am trying to be quiet and it impresses the crap out of your hunting buddies in a blind :biggrin: . I found that I can "sometimes" get him to do it at a distance from the sit command or whistle. Other times he will get down and crawl to me.

It is something we have to work on more.
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Re: Teaching Down

Postby i_willie12 » Thu Nov 07, 2013 9:08 am

pretty much like this Dog at a sit Treat in face take treat to the ground say down.. repeat repeat repeat.. They will do it

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Re: Teaching Down

Postby O.D.Lid » Sun Nov 10, 2013 9:59 pm

I sat in front of my dog gently pulled his front legs towards me while saying down.Over and over and over and over(get the picture?) Lots of praise every time,you'll get it. Do it over and over and over. Did I mention repeat this as few times? :bow:
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Re: Teaching Down

Postby Duckdon » Mon Nov 11, 2013 11:10 am

I don't think you mentioned how old your pup is to date.

I teach down before sit, before heel. I start with a little pup, on the couch, while watching TV. Down and a gentle shaking side to side while putting pressure to push him down. Then hold him there until quiet with lots of praise. It's not a fight and beat um up deal but a fun excersize. Treats are good.....

Then when in the field or yard "Down" is taught on leash, with the same shaking downward pressure. The side to side movement prevents the pup from bracing his feet against the downward pressure. Then keep him down and give lots of praise until he submits to down.

Then on a check cord, down with the hand command, whistle command and pressure as needed.
Lots of reps.

I will add tha blowing a dog off their feet puts them in a submissive position, one that no dog likes. That in itself makes it harder to teach but consistant reps will get it done.
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Re: Teaching Down

Postby SC_YellowDawg » Mon Nov 11, 2013 11:07 pm

How old is the dog?

I'm no expert but in my experience dogs (especially young pups) learn best through positive reinforcement and rewards (treats/ praise). The learning experience becomes stress/fear-free and enjoyable, also they learn to love the learning process...makes learning new stuff later a lot easier later. When you force a dog into a position it makes them resistant to preform next time. When you let them figure out what they need to do to get the reward they want, their more eager. Takes a lot of patience but it's much more enjoyable for both parties.

Start with the dog sitting. Show the dog the treat, then quickly move it at a downward angle towards the front paws. When the pup follows the treat they end up with his nose between his front paws. In this awkward position they will usually lie down to get closer to the treat. If they don't go down move the treat along the floor toward/under the dog. The instant the dogs belly hits the floor release the treat. Repeat. After they consistently go down with less hesitation, try same steps with only your finger. When the dog follows, give a treat from your pocket. Remember to only reward the behavior you want (down) by only giving the treat while they are still laying on the floor.
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Re: Teaching Down

Postby Duck_Popper » Tue Nov 12, 2013 8:46 am

Took her in the garage last night and tried it with the reward. She had it in about 10 attempts. Removed the treat and just used praise. She is a smart dog!! Now I just need to teach her the down command from the heel position, right now she understands it from a forward facing sit.

That will be tonight's homework.

Thanks everyone.
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