My puppy won't lie down with the word "down" - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-11-2010, 08:49 PM Thread Starter
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My puppy won't lie down with the word "down"

It's been a while since he knows the command "lie down" but he hasn't associated the word with the action. Can someone help me
he only does the command when I use my hand to tell him to. But if I hide my hand behind me and tell him to go down he stares at me like ???? which means he does not know what "down" means. It's just with "down" that im having the problem. Im sure Im doing something wrong

He knows how to sit, play dead, stay,fetch with just the word but when it comes to DOWN he just stares at me..
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-11-2010, 09:08 PM
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You're making great progress with the hand signal. With the verbal command, try shortening it to one word and be sure to use the hand signal at the same time. Say the word slowly as you give the hand signal. For a single word command, you can just say "down" unless you use that word as a correction when your puppy jumps on you. That could also be why your puppy is confused. I had the same problem with my Husky so I switched to "rest" and after a while I was able to stop the hand signal. Good Luck!


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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-11-2010, 09:11 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Mary Beth View Post
You're making great progress with the hand signal. With the verbal command, try shortening it to one word and be sure to use the hand signal at the same time. Say the word slowly as you give the hand signal. For a single word command, you can just say "down" unless you use that word as a correction when your puppy jumps on you. That could also be why your puppy is confused. I had the same problem with my Husky so I switched to "rest" and after a while I was able to stop the hand signal. Good Luck!
Yes, that's what I use "DOWN". He's not confused, it's the only word i use in english besides of "UP" the others one are in spanish

Thanks btw
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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-11-2010, 09:12 PM
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We taught all our dogs down with the hand signal first and just the word down. We use the word off to get off of something, and out to go outside. How old is the pup? Maybe you need to keep using the hand signal and word together a little longer.
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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-11-2010, 09:13 PM
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My male pup doesn't like to lie down on command either- the female, no problem. Stosh definitely responds to the hand signal better, even though I say 'down' at the same time. I don't know how old your male pup is, but it's a challenge for intact males [not neutered] to lie down on command, it puts them in a vulnerable, submissive position. So give lots of praise and treats when he does it, whether it's a hand or verbal command. Good job!
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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-11-2010, 09:13 PM Thread Starter
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We taught all our dogs down with the hand signal first and just the word down. We use the word off to get off of something, and out to go outside. How old is the pup? Maybe you need to keep using the hand signal and word together a little longer.
He's 5 MO about to be 6 in 10 days
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-11-2010, 09:14 PM Thread Starter
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And he only does it when I have food in my hand ..-. but when it comes to sit,etc he does it without food Maybe it's thanks to what Stosh said.. never thot that
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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-11-2010, 09:15 PM Thread Starter
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I've been trying to teach him with a clicker, it'd make it easier..but gosh I just can't seem to find one in my country :/ they don't even know what it works for
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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-11-2010, 09:18 PM
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Try Amazon.com for a clicker! If you can't find one, let me know and I'll send you one
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-11-2010, 09:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helios View Post
It's been a while since he knows the command "lie down" but he hasn't associated the word with the action. Can someone help me
he only does the command when I use my hand to tell him to. But if I hide my hand behind me and tell him to go down he stares at me like ???? which means he does not know what "down" means. It's just with "down" that im having the problem. Im sure Im doing something wrong

He knows how to sit, play dead, stay,fetch with just the word but when it comes to DOWN he just stares at me..
In order to associate the verbal cue with the hand signal, say the word (that he doesn't know) then follow with the hand signal (that he does know). The verbal cue will become a predictor of the hand signal so that when he hears the word he learns that the hand signal will be coming shortly. Gradually wait longer and longer after saying "down" before using the hand signal, as a reminder of what the word means. The first time he gets it without having to show him the hand signal make a HUGE fuss - happy praise and a jackpot of treats, one after another. Repeat. There were many times when I was teaching Halo verbal commands where I'd just stand there and wait for her to work it out - 10, 20, 30 seconds, before using the hand signal.

You should find that in time you no longer need to use the hand signal, but I like to practice with both from time to time to make sure that he continues to respond to both. In Halo's Puppy 2 class we had to demonstrate that they understood sit, stand, and down, using all verbal cues, and also all hand signals. We did drills - sit/down/sit/stand/down/stand. If you work on it a little each day you'll get there!

If there are things that he's doing consistently with a verbal cue but you'd like to teach him a hand signal, reverse it - you always do what they don't know before you do what they do know.

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