Training Downs-Please Don't Call 911!!! - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-14-2017, 04:06 PM Thread Starter
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Training Downs-Please Don't Call 911!!!

Those who saw a thread I started yesterday know that I have just started working on getting Newlie to go “down” when in motion so that if he ever gets loose, I could maybe prevent him from running out into a street. Well, we were working on it this morning and caused a bit of a neighborhood uproar. (Sigh)

I am relatively soft-spoken person and I learned early on that if I used my regular voice, Newlie would just blow me off. One of the many things I had to learn how to do was to talk louder, deeper and more emphatically to help him get the message that what I said wasn’t optional.

So, this morning, I was working with him out in the yard and having him do a number of downs just as we went through our morning routine. After a few minutes of this, I hit the ball, Newlie chased it and as he started back to me I yelled “DOWN’ in my loudest voice and pointed my finger at the ground. He laid down immediately (instead of running a few more steps before he did) and I was thrilled! Newlie proceeded to duplicate that four or five more times and, of course, I was effusive in telling him how wonderful he was! Then, we switched to some different things and after a few more minutes came back to our “downs.” On the next four or five tries, despite my bellows, he reverted back to running a few steps before going down, so I told him “good,” but no jumping around like an idiot.

Anyway, I had been hearing some background neighborhood noise and chatter, but I wasn’t really paying much attention as my focus was on Newlie. Finally, I hear someone close by that sounded like she was calling to me, so Newlie and I walk up to the gate. She said “Honey, are you OK? Do you need help?” It took me a minute to compute that evidently she had thought I was in some kind of trouble, being attacked or something. I told her no, that I was fine and explained I was training the dog, apologized for the disturbance and thanked her for checking. The lady was very nice and then I saw her turn and motion to someone or some people out of my line of sight and say “Oh no, she’s fine, she is just training the dog.” Could my humiliation be any more complete? I was ready to sink into the ground.

I guess I should be glad that they didn’t call the police and I didn’t have to explain to THEM that I was “just training the dog.” Of course, in my defense, I don’t really think I sounded like a female in distress, I probably sounded more like I needed an exorcist. My guess is that they are not usually listed in the phone book, though.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-14-2017, 04:15 PM
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Absolutely hilarious!!

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-14-2017, 04:18 PM
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haha good story

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-14-2017, 04:19 PM
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Love it! Too funny! Those that don't work with animals must truly think those of us that do, are flipping nuts, lol!
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-14-2017, 06:19 PM
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Lolol!Great story!

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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-14-2017, 07:31 PM
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Hahaha! That's great! It's almost like when the neighbourhood knows of that one dog because the owner always yells it's name super loud after it barks.

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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-14-2017, 07:34 PM
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Oh man, I thought that maybe the motion of the DOWN command was pressing buttons on your phone. And I could just hear a 9-1-1 call come in with someone yelling DOWN!!!

I think the dog is coming a few more steps before going down because you overdid it on praise when he did it right, so he is anticipating getting praised again. I am not sure why you are saying "good" for this response if that is not what you want. I think that sometimes a little negative communication, an eh-eh! can help fine tune an exercise and get it right, rather better than giving mediocre praise for a mediocre performance.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-14-2017, 07:41 PM
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tee hee hee hee. If your neighbor thought that you were a crazy dog person, they have confirmed it now.
wonderful story.

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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-14-2017, 08:57 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by selzer View Post
Oh man, I thought that maybe the motion of the DOWN command was pressing buttons on your phone. And I could just hear a 9-1-1 call come in with someone yelling DOWN!!!

I think the dog is coming a few more steps before going down because you overdid it on praise when he did it right, so he is anticipating getting praised again. I am not sure why you are saying "good" for this response if that is not what you want. I think that sometimes a little negative communication, an eh-eh! can help fine tune an exercise and get it right, rather better than giving mediocre praise for a mediocre performance.
Hahahaha!

Well, I don't know, you might be right. Here was my thinking. Newlie knows "down," but a stationary "down," not one that comes when you are running. So, since it was new to him, (today was only the second day we worked on it.) I was pleased by the fact that my voice and pointing at the ground was enough to get him to lay down while running, even if he did take take a couple of steps before he did it. Yesterday, I put a little expression in my voice because I wanted him to feel that he at least got part of it right. Today, we upped the ante, though, because the first four or five times he did it, he did exactly what he was supposed to, he went down as soon as I said it and I did everything but put a crown on him. Then, after a few minutes of doing other things, we went back to it and that's when he reverted to taking the few extra steps again. So, I kind of felt like he was still trying to figure out what I wanted, so I said "good," but with very little expression in my voice. You might be be right, though, maybe a eh-eh would have been better, but I guess the timing would have to be right so that he doesn't think the eh-eh means don't lay down. I don't want to confuse him, anymore than I already do!
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-14-2017, 10:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newlie View Post
Hahahaha!

Well, I don't know, you might be right. Here was my thinking. Newlie knows "down," but a stationary "down," not one that comes when you are running. So, since it was new to him, (today was only the second day we worked on it.) I was pleased by the fact that my voice and pointing at the ground was enough to get him to lay down while running, even if he did take take a couple of steps before he did it. Yesterday, I put a little expression in my voice because I wanted him to feel that he at least got part of it right. Today, we upped the ante, though, because the first four or five times he did it, he did exactly what he was supposed to, he went down as soon as I said it and I did everything but put a crown on him. Then, after a few minutes of doing other things, we went back to it and that's when he reverted to taking the few extra steps again. So, I kind of felt like he was still trying to figure out what I wanted, so I said "good," but with very little expression in my voice. You might be be right, though, maybe a eh-eh would have been better, but I guess the timing would have to be right so that he doesn't think the eh-eh means don't lay down. I don't want to confuse him, anymore than I already do!
Ok, mediocre praise does sound better in that situation than negative communication if you don't believe it is fair. I try not to do something new too many times close together. 2-3 times and then move on. I also like to give them some space to think about it. So maybe we don't do it the next day or for 3-4 days, than 2-3 times again we work on it.
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