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Old 11-06-2012, 01:41 AM   #1 (permalink)
Jag
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Red face Griping about 'down'

Grim sits well, but will whine and gripe if I tell him to 'down'. He knows what it means, but he doesn't want to do it. Anybody else have a dog that complains about a certain command? Also, the only time he'll do 'watch me' is if he knows I have a treat in my hand. Then all I have to do is say his name and his head whips up and he's VERY intense with his look. I'm trying to increase the time that he'll look me in the eye, but after a couple seconds he starts whining and griping about that, too. KNOWING he can do these things, but either refuses or will only do it when he knows I have something he wants... with the griping and moaning... I hope this gets better soon!! I love that he's vocal, but it seems that most of the time he uses it to tell me what he doesn't want to do.
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Old 11-06-2012, 01:46 AM   #2 (permalink)
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A lot of dogs have problems downing for people in the beginning of training. Down is a very submissive position that they generally don't want to be in. If you know he knows it, start correcting. Light tugs downwards with the leash until he goes all the way down. Then praise with treats/happy voice.

As for the focus...I wouldn't expect much from a 4 month old. You've taught him that looking at you for a second gives him a treat. I'm guessing now you're extending that time period. It will take a lot of time to extend that to a point where he looks at you for a while without a treat.
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Old 11-06-2012, 01:55 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I guess I should have thought of the 'submissive' part. I've never had a shepherd complain about down. My first boy used to gripe at me about rolling over... but that was it. Grim right now is flexing his dominance muscle in the house with my Pug. I didn't expect that to fly as she's got an "I'm in charge" personality, but she submits every time.
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Old 11-06-2012, 03:22 AM   #4 (permalink)
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It took me forever to teach Annie a solid down. She'd down okay but then she'd pop right back up. Now she'll stay there, but you can tell by looking at her that she's waiting for the signal to get up. We call it her ready to launch mode.
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Old 11-06-2012, 08:21 AM   #5 (permalink)
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something I use to do as well, when they DO down, as in just casually lay down, I am usually saying GOOD DOWN! and toss a treat.."Free Shaping", don't ask for the command, when they "do" what you'd like them to do, at any time, PRAISE and reward..
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Old 11-06-2012, 09:42 AM   #6 (permalink)
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You have an alpha and these things are against his nature. Eye contact is a challenge in the dog world and of course he won't want to do it .
I am just starting to get good, prolonged eye contact.
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Old 11-06-2012, 09:55 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I would play tug, when you out him, tease him up with the tug and ask for positions. Then mark, reward him with the tug(ball, whatever) when he does what you are asking. Some dogs need training to be more of a game and keep it fun then when pup is a bit older you can put the 'boring' back into it.
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Old 11-06-2012, 09:57 AM   #8 (permalink)
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My pup was starting to sass me about the down in our obedience class.

If they don't listen, we're supposed to guide them down. So I did - and she lay there with her front legs in awkward positions with her head right on the ground and cocked a bit to the side, and gave me the stink eye. And she did her ENTIRE 3 minute down stay like that

I think it's normal, as stated already, it's a submissive position, so they are sometimes less cooperative about it. I try to make it fun, by getting her to down before I throw her Kong or feed her etc.
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Old 11-06-2012, 10:28 AM   #9 (permalink)
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This is also Gaia's least favorite position, it's hilarious when she does it. She full out throws herself down, there's nothing graceful about it, and then gives me the "look" I'm sure I gave my parents a million times when I was growing up.

I really like the idea of making it a game, she works way better when there's a tug involved.
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Old 11-06-2012, 11:09 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I do what Diane suggests - "capture" him doing it on his own by marking and rewarding him when he does. If you want to get in lots of repetitions, release him and toss the treat just far enough away that he has to get up to get it. Wait for him to "down" again - rinse, repeat. I don't even add the word for awhile, just click (or verbal marker)/treat for a down.

I had Halo throwing herself into a down with eye contact by the time we went into puppy class (off leash, in a room full of people and other puppies!) three weeks after we got her. One week one of the women stopped me in the bathroom after class to ask how I got her to focus like that.
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