How do i teach down while moving? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-05-2010, 09:19 AM Thread Starter
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How do i teach down while moving?

I do i teach my 7 month old Josie to go in a down while moving forward?. She knows her downs pretty well and i'd like to get her to go down while moving forward too...

Ideas?. When i try to get her to do it while she's walking she looks at me all confused i am sure i'm confusing her since she is used to just going down from standing.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-05-2010, 09:45 AM
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Re: How do i teach down while moving?

I taught it in a very informal way during play...

He already knew a down very well from a stationary position so we went into the yard and played fetch with 2 balls. Id throw one away from me and he would get it and on the way back while he was in motion Id show him the other ball and make a crouch down motion with my body while giving the down command. He quickly picked up that if he got down as soon as he could, in this case while in motion, Id throw the other ball.

Hope this helps.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-05-2010, 09:50 AM
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Re: How do i teach down while moving?

Like a crawl? Or a Down in Motion?

For a crawl I just lure them forward from their down with a treat.

For a Down in Motion, I get them to walk with me on the left, and draw their nose down with a treat and give the command at the same time. As soon as they're down I treat and release in the beginning. I stop with them in the beginning. I incorporate my body language into it as well, so I usually drop my body on my left side at the same time as I give the command. I will also tug down with the leash to give more guidance.

To make it really solid once they get it I add in corrections.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-05-2010, 09:57 AM
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Re: How do i teach down while moving?

If you talking about a heeling beside you down, then the way we did it was to say down and give hand signal at same time as we were heeling and gently pull down on lead/collar and praise/treat profusely. If you are talking about a recall down, as in Open work, recall dog, and when about 2-3 feet away, step out and give down command and signal and if needed pull gently down on collar and again treat/praise. This worked for us and my boy was doing both quite nicely within a few days.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-05-2010, 12:53 PM
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Re: How do i teach down while moving?

I start by first making them understand that "down" can happen anywhere. So once the dog will down in front of me, I add more distance out in front of me. Then practice recalling the dog and downing at various points as he's being recalled. Then I teach the dog to down to the left of me in the basic position. Once he gets this, he gets that down can happen at a distance, and at any position relative to me. So now I add in the motion. For starters I usually pause and lure the down a bit. I use a larger treat or even a handful of kibble so it takes a few seconds for the dog to eat it, which gives me time to move away and sort of automatically reinforces the dog to stay down while I keep moving. I slowly increase the pace and decrease the amount of luring and/or pausing.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-05-2010, 02:50 PM
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Re: How do i teach down while moving?

^^^ I do like Liesje does. But some dogs will struggle with dropping right to the ground when you're moving away from them, or when they're moving. So with those dogs, I'll continue working on downs, but I'll also work on standing Waits as well.

Dogs who know Wait are often more inclined to do that when they're running or I'm moving. So I'll get them solid on that. And I'm working on building up distance on Down too (not in the same training sessions). Then I can merge these until the dog will drop at any distance and with any motion.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-05-2010, 10:19 PM
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Re: How do i teach down while moving?

Here's another couple of tricks that can be utilized after the dog understands that downs can happen/be commanded anywhere:

1. When the dog is in a down, you can start introducing body movements (yours) while the dog is in a solid down. Start with slow movements while reinforcing/praising the down position and then work your way up to increased movements such as jumping jacks and jogging around while the dog remains in a down. Dog gets used to the idea that down means down even when you are moving around.

2. When you start introducing doing the formal down in motion, instead of actually walking away, stay in your statonary position and you continue to "walk" in that stationary place to first get the dog used to the movement of your legs when you are beside them. Once the dog is used to this, you can then continue onwards in training and start progressing from the "walking in the same spot" to adding a partial step after doing this and then return to the side statonary position. From there, keep adding a step forward etc. This often works very well and helps to deter from creeping forward as well
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-05-2010, 10:21 PM Thread Starter
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Re: How do i teach down while moving?

thanks for the tips guys, i'll try some of your ideas
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