down while heeling - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-24-2011, 06:37 PM Thread Starter
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Question down while heeling

Down

Achieving a down with a prong collar is the easiest of all whether your dog is in a sitting or standing position. Remove the slack from the lead. Give the command “Dimwit Down” and pull down on the lead sharply and firmly. Maintain the pressure in this instance. Resisting? Place your hand or foot on the lead, about a foot from the collar, and push down with your hand or foot while pulling up on the lead. Hold the pressure down until your dog will stay when you release the pressure with your hand or foot. Again lots of praise and pats for doing what you want. Never reward poor behaviour or responses.

If you have to physically lay on your dog to get it down do so. This shouldn’t be necessary with a prong collar. At least I’ve never seen it to be. Do NOT let the dog up until you decide/choose to and give it the release word or another command. If you have to force it down, don’t let the dog up while it is struggling. Doing so will only reinforce that if it fights it can get its’ way.

The key to all dog training. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Consistency. Consistency. Consistency



Got this from here http://www.dogforums.com/dog-training-forum/53570-prong-collar-basics.html



just wanted to post the above

my trianer is getting me to down my dog while heeling now that my dog uses a prong collar, i can usually get her to down but she is really slow about it and or sometimes wont go down

my trainer insists i do it and be able to down her quick without using treats or toys because she is 15 months old now claims shes too young etc..

I am still going to reward but use both. ANyone have comments on geting a dog to down while using the prong? Provided the dog knows the command alread but is use to being lured by treats?
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-24-2011, 06:48 PM
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The method you copied from that other forum is NOT the best way to teach down. If you can only "usually get her to down but she is really slow about it or sometimes won't go down", maybe she hasn't fully generalized the command yet. How long have you been working on teaching down? How exactly have you gone about it? Have you worked with her in every room in your house, in your garage, backyard, front yard? At a park? With her in front of you, toe to toe, and also at your side? How about with your back turned to her? With you sitting in a chair or laying on the floor? When she's in the car?

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-24-2011, 07:02 PM
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Hmmm. The posted method (forced down) was what a lot of AKC people used to use. They had dogs that would slowly slowly slowly lower themselves into a down.
It is much easier to train with "clicker" style training - let the dog volunteer the action, you name it, praise and reward big time. Do this a few times and watch what happens - Bingo! snappy down. The late Barker the Younger had the best down in any of the trials we were in. "Down" = dog throwing herself into the down in anticipation of the reward. (She WAS food motivated!)
Try it at home and see if you don't get a much better down than the method advocated by the trainer. Then go find yourself a more up to date trainer before she introduces more compulsion training.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-24-2011, 07:08 PM
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My only comment is to find another trainer. There is a place for correction after a behavior is learned (and even there I am learning some ways not involving correction are better), but not for compulsion training.

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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-24-2011, 09:54 PM
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That is a bad way to teach the down. If your dog understands what down is, why would you still be using food as a lure? It doesn't sound like your dog has a good reliable down so it's unfair to correct her for it. You need to teach her to down without luring long before you can use a collar correction.

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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-24-2011, 10:21 PM Thread Starter
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i still use food as a lure to keep her happy and keep training fun i wasnt ever planning on taking out food totally?

is it okay to switch back and fourth sometimes use food and other times no lure?

also is there a limit to how many times we can pratice it a day? or does it matter?
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-24-2011, 10:38 PM
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It would appear that food (or any other reward) is best NOT used as a lure but rather as a reward AFTER the act.

You CAN use food as a lure briefly when you are TEACHING a behavior but never as a "LURE". Then you are teaching the dog to do the behavior when he can see the lure, but what if you are fresh out of the treat?
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-24-2011, 10:50 PM
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You can use food as a lure in the very beginning to teach the behavior and then you have to transition from luring to food as a reward or else your dog will only do what you ask when bribed and not because she has to. Once you make the transition to food as reward, you do not do any more luring unless she's very confused and you need to remind her what's expected.

You also want to be using a lot of praise so your dog doesn't need to have food on your body somewhere before she'll pay attention to you.

You can train as many times a day as you want so long as you don't over do it and you keep it fun.

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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-25-2011, 07:25 AM
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Laying on your dog to teach him to "Down"? Forcing him to the ground by means of force via a progn collar? Seriously? And you wonder why he doesn't trust you enough to get into a submissive position for you? Luring is not bribing. Luring teaches the dog to move his body into the position you desire it to be moved into. Treating, with an immediate verbal signal or click to mark the desired position, is the dog's reward and incentive to learn what you want him to do. You reward the dog at every stage as he progresses: not when he is phyiscally pinned to ground with no willingness or understanding on his part. Any trainer who says a 15 month old GSD should have an immediate drop on a down command needs to retire, or at the very least get some further education.

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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-25-2011, 09:25 AM
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Ever see one of the top obedience dogs drop on recall? - immediate and quick. I have seen it in 9-10 mo puppies as well so yes it is possible. And they were happy enthusiastic workers as well.
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