from down to sit? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 48 (permalink) Old 06-12-2011, 11:25 PM Thread Starter
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Question from down to sit?

my dog knows the sit pretty will i can tell her to sit no hand gestures or lures she will sit but if shes in a down and i say sit she will look at me funny?

she will go from sit or stand to down she wil go from stand to sit but NOT down to sit?

Anyone have any ideas why? and how it can be changed and if it is worth it?
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post #2 of 48 (permalink) Old 06-12-2011, 11:29 PM
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Because dogs don't understand the exercise as positions, they understand it like movement. When you say "Sit" from a stand, your dog thinks you want him to put his butt on the floor, if you say "Sit" and the dog is in a down, he thinks you are nuts, because his butt his already on the floor, along with his belly and his elbows.

You have to teach the "sit" from the "down" like a different exercise with the same name. They think we are dumb, but forgive us.

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post #3 of 48 (permalink) Old 06-12-2011, 11:39 PM
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I use a different word for sitting from a down. I find it easiest that way. I use "up" for moving into a sit from a down. Teach the movement from scratch like Catu said, even if you're still using the word sit. I use a food lure to bring the dog back up into a sit.


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post #4 of 48 (permalink) Old 06-13-2011, 12:07 AM
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Actually I have taught my dog to move interchangably from sit to down to stand and vice versa. I.E from any position to any other position should be obtainable as I think the dog actually does know the difference of one to another.

What is funny is to tell him to "Twirl" when he is in a down. He will actually stand, do a twirl and then down again. Course he also gives me a look like

One thing that seemed to help is also using handsignals along with a verbal.
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post #5 of 48 (permalink) Old 06-13-2011, 01:14 AM Thread Starter
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ok thanks


so before i start training her the vice versa no risk of her getting confused then? ill just use a signal or lure to bring her from a down to a sit or a stand and teach the vice versa like cod but i will call them the samething as long as she wont get the originals confused took month of daily practice for her to understand them with no body movement or gestures.
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post #6 of 48 (permalink) Old 06-13-2011, 01:34 AM
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Go back to using the lure. Even if she fully knows the word "sit" when she's standing, as Catu said - to the dog it's not the same thing. Give the sit command when she's in a down, wait a couple of seconds, then lure her up into a sit - mark and reward. Rinse, repeat. Don't do them at the same time or she'll pay attention to what you're doing and tune out what you're saying - you want her to associate the word with the lure/hand signal. Start waiting longer and longer (gradually) before using the lure (or a hand signal - get the food out of that hand as early as you can, doing the lure motion with an empty hand and reward from the other hand) as a reminder.

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post #7 of 48 (permalink) Old 06-13-2011, 01:45 AM
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I can't see why the dog would get confused - once he knows what a "Sit" is, what difference would it make if he is standing or down when you give him the command. Or vice versa, of course. The only caveat I would say is to make sure that your dog knows what a sit is before you expect him to assume that position no matter what he is doing at the time of the command.

After all, what position was your dog in when you taught him the "Down" for the first time. Was he standing or sitting? Did it matter? No! When you say "Down" he should jump into the Down regardless of what he was doing. That is all we are teaching him.

I.E. we also want the dog to Down while he is walking (Heeling?) don't we.

You want the dog to assume a Sit whether he is walking, standing or even in a Down. Not very difficult to teach this level of obedience - esp. if you start in a location with no distractions, as we should anyway.
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post #8 of 48 (permalink) Old 06-13-2011, 01:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by codmaster View Post
I can't see why the dog would get confused - once he knows what a "Sit" is, what difference would it make if he is standing or down when you give him the command. Or vice versa, of course.
Well, the easy answer is that he doesn't really know what "sit" is yet. Just because the dog has learned a command in one specific context doesn't mean he understands it in all contexts. Changing the picture, even just a little (sit in front of me toe to toe, vs sit at my side in heel position, vs sit across the room from me, or when we're in the car, or I'm sitting on the couch or laying in bed or standing on a chair, or at the vet's office or the park, and yes - whether or not the dog is standing or laying down at the time.....) makes it completely different for the dog, even though WE know it's the same thing. Commands need to be generalized, and in this case, that obviously hasn't happened yet.

No, it's not that difficult to teach, and yes we should definitely do that, but we can never assume that a dog fully understands a command until it's been generalized to a variety of different situations and circumstances.

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Halo 11/9/08-6/17/18 ~ You left pawprints on our hearts
Dena 9/12/04-10/4/08 ~ Forever would have been too short
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post #9 of 48 (permalink) Old 06-13-2011, 01:59 AM
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Actually yes, it does matter when you're teaching the down as well. If you only ask for a down from a sit, the dog won't understand how to down from a stand.

Dogs and other animals are specialists, humans are generalists. This is how we learn. To a child, as they're growing and learning they put things into broad categories. A toddler learning that a bunny is white and fluffy, will call all white and fluffy things bunny until they learn otherwise.

Dogs are the opposite. They do not have the ability to automatically generalize. This is why you have to change up training frequently. Teach them in new places, under new circumstances. If you only ever ask your dog to sit at home, they may not know what you want when you ask them to sit outside of the home. Over time with experience they can begin to generalize. Teach a dog to sit at home, at the pet store, at the park, at a friends house, and they'll know how to sit someplace they've never been.


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post #10 of 48 (permalink) Old 06-13-2011, 02:03 AM
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When I started taking Halo to classes as a puppy, each day I would work with her in a different room in the house. We started mat training one day in the family room, the next day we practiced in the kitchen, then the bedroom, the living room, the dining room, the entry. I did that with everything - each weeks homework was practiced all over the house. And when I started taking her out in public to train, I'd pick a busy street corner one day, we'd stand next to the driveway into a gas station, we'd go to a different strip mall, we'd work outside the supermarket and the bowling alley.

-Debbie-
Cava 1/6/18
Keefer 8/25/05-4/24/19 ~ The sweetest boy
Halo 11/9/08-6/17/18 ~ You left pawprints on our hearts
Dena 9/12/04-10/4/08 ~ Forever would have been too short
Cassidy 6/8/00-10/4/04
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