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eddie1976E 05-30-2014 09:04 PM

The down command
My pup knows the down command and is pretty reliable with it. But being stubborn sometimes he decides he doesn't want to do it. Can't let him get away with that. But I don't know how to force him to do down, after he refuses my command.

Any thoughts?


FelixTheGSD 05-30-2014 09:23 PM

Maybe teach him a "no" marking command, such as "try again," "no," "sorry," etc? That way he will be clear that he is always expected to do the right thing. And use a higher reward than usual at random when doing "down." For example, do it 5 times, 6th time gets a higher reward than usual, do it 3 more times, higher reward, etc. This lets them know that if they always do what you say they have a chance of getting something tasty! This same technique works for transitioning off of treat training (give them a treat at random sometimes for the expected behavior.)

Good luck!

simba405 05-30-2014 11:28 PM

Clearly down is boring to him. You have two choices. Motivate him or correct him.

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Cassidy's Mom 05-31-2014 02:23 AM

How do you know that he "knows" the command? If he's only "pretty reliable", perhaps he hasn't fully generalized it.

JakodaCD OA 05-31-2014 06:29 AM

this is how I was taught to do 'downs', and it's always worked for fact my 11 wk old has them down pretty good.

Get a yummy treat put it in your closed fist, put it in front of his nose so he can smell it,,bring your closed fist 'down' straight to the floor in front of his not open your fist, use your command (i use downLOL),,and say nothing,,keep the fist closed, until the dogs butt /front legs hits the floor, pop open your hand...they may paw your hand, nose your hand, whatever,

I also do alot of free shaping, when the dog goes into a down, without me asking, maybe just lays down, I reward for that "good down"..

Kizzy has been offering all kinds of behaviors since she knows it will get her something, but then again, aussies are quite self serving:)

Baillif 05-31-2014 07:21 AM

You don't need to force him down if he refuses the command. You just need to provide a consequence he would like to avoid should he choose to refuse the command.

You say down. Dog doesn't do it. You mark with a no and consequence happens. Then you ask again.

Deno 05-31-2014 08:57 AM

This is one of many areas where the e-collar can be used for "fast, sure, solid results".

When he ignores the command, give him a little tingle. The results are astounding.

I always gave My Dex about two seconds to respond in the beginning, now on his own he hits the dirt

the second I tell him to. You have to know that he understands the command before you correct him.

I have always used treats to train with and with Dex I used the e-collar to tweak the response time.

I only use the e-collar to tweak known responses.

JakodaCD OA 05-31-2014 08:59 AM

this is a puppy Deno, we know you love your e collars, and there is certainly a place for them when it comes to training should one choose that route.

Personally, I like to try other methods first:)

Deno 05-31-2014 09:24 AM

Diane, I understand your concern, that's why I suggested a little tingle instead of

zapping the fire out of him. When I got my first invisible fence back in

86, they suggested waiting to train your dog till they were 6 months old.

This, from my experience was very bad advice, I started training Dex & Lexie

at around 12 weeks, neither have ever crossed the line. Their health and safety

is my main concern. I know this will cause an uproar, but I want to be

honest about my methods and results. This very well may not be good

advice for every dog but it worked great for mine.

Cassidy's Mom 05-31-2014 12:04 PM

This is a 16/17 week old puppy. It's highly doubtful that the command is fully learned and generalized, especially if he's not complying consistently yet. If my puppy only complied with a command some of the time I wouldn't automatically assume it knew the command but was being stubborn and didn't want to comply, I'd look at my training methods to figure out where the holes where, and if I was clear and consistent enough.

It would be helpful to know how you've trained the command so far, and how long you've been working on it. By that age my pups were slamming themselves into a down, but that's because they knew it was required in order to get something they wanted, such as permission to eat.

I don't have any problem adding consequences for non-compliance once a command is fully generalized to a variety of circumstances and I really KNOW that the dog understands what I want, but it sounds to me like his puppy is still in the learning phase, not the proofing phase.

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