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Hi. I'm sure that there's got to be another post with this topic, but I have been unable to find it.

Shadow is now 5 months old, has learned sit, stay, come, leave it and walks well on a leash. The only hurdle I am reaching is that he refuses to lay down. it's an ongoing battle.

Can anyone offer any suggestions please??

Thanks
 

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I taught "down" from "sit" by using a treat as a lure.

Kneel down on the floor so you're down at his level. And have him start in a "sit" position.

Hold the yummy stinky treat at the level of the dog's nose, then move your hand slowly straight down, as if you were drawing a line from nose to the ground between his front feet. The nose will follow, forcing him into a down. When he gets there, give him the treat and praise.

If he stands up to try to get the treat as you are lowering it, you have the treat too far forward ahead of him. The treat should be so close to him that he almost has to back up to get it. That will help force him into the down.

If you have to "help" him into the down, I would recommend gently lifting a front paw to help him go down.

Pressing on his shoulders to try and push him into a down will have the opposite effect---he will just push back against the force.


From the down position, you can lead him back up into sit by simply raising the treat straight up and back-- the nose follows, raising the head. You can keep going from "sit" to "down" and back---it's puppy push-ups!

Hope that helps.
 

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I agree with Luca_stl's method. Remember that repetion is the key to success. Many dogs resist "down" because it is a submissive position, but once they get it and are properly rewarded time after time they usually won't mind.
 

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I followed Luca's advice on "down" and it worked beautifully...to the point that now Jackson will go straight into a down from a standing position if a toy or treat is involved.
 

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I lured with treats as Tracy describes and never had a problem with teaching down. The important thing to remember with using food lures is to get the treat out of that hand as quickly as possible, and treat from the other hand. You don't want the behavior dependent on him seeing food in your hand. Usually after a few repetitions they are reliably following the lure into position, and at that point I'll lure with an empty hand, which will become my hand signal. I'll hold a treat in my other hand held behind my back, or deliver it from out of my treat bag.

In addition, I marked (usually with a clicker, but also with my voice) and tossed them a treat when they laid down on their own. They figured out that laying down earned a reward, so they did it more frequently. When I could see that they were just about to lay down I'd give the command "down", wait for the exact second elbows and butt hit the floor, then click/treat so that they learned to associate the verbal cue with the behavior.

It always amazes me when people say they can't teach their dogs down. Your dog lays down dozens of times a day - just mark and reward, and then name it, it's really that simple!
 

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I tried Luca_stl advice today. YAY!!!! It took a couple of tries, but he did it. I only let him see the treat in my hand a couple of times, and then hid it in the other hand, and he actually did it!!! We went from "sit" to "down" and from standing to down for about 10 minutes, then I threw his ball for him. When he brought it back to me, I told him down and wouldn't throw the ball until he was down. Once down, he got to chase his ball.

Thanks everyone.
 

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Good job Diane! I found it's much easier to teach down from a sit, and sit from a stand than it is to teach sit from a down, so work on that too. Otherwise he won't understand that down means to drop to the floor from whatever position he started in, he'll just think it means to lay down from a sit.
 

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Good boy Shadow (and Diane!) we've got a lot of super-smart puppers out there!

A few minutes a day, always keeping it fun and happy--they soak up new stuff like little sponges.
 

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And if you really want to get fancy, you can teach two different downs. Since I am always looking forward to the possibilty of trialing my dog in advanced obedience competitions, I start of teaching the down from a stand and don't do a down from a sit for some time. The down from a stand is to teach the dog to fold down backwards, straight onto the stomach in a sphinx-like position. This is an excellent down for a drop on recall or a utility down as it stops forward motion (since they have to lean back to actually go down).

I lure it at first much like described above except the dog is standing and the treat goes through his front legs so he's reaching back with his head. One hand is laid gently on his shoulders to help him fold into the down. The hand on his shoulders and the treat lure are quickly faded.

Then I teach a "curl on one hip" down where the dog is sitting and I ask for a down. I want them to curl, though, into a relaxed "long-down" position. So instead of bringing the treat straight down, I have the sitting dog on my left side and I bring the treat down to the dog's nose, then slowly bring the treat back along the dog's shoulder and toward his hip. If his nose follows properly, and I touch him gently on the side to help him curl, he will fold into a nicely curled down, all ready for a nap! This is a much better position for a long down than the "spinx" position is.

I use two different commands for these, too. The down from a stand is "platz" and the down from a sit is "down".

Of course, most people don't need two types of downs, but in all honesty I've found them really handy for practical reasons too.

Melanie and the gang in Alaska
 

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I never intentionally taught two different downs, but I could see how it would be very handy if you're competing. My dogs pretty much always fold down into the sphinx position, and if I'm going to release them to get up shortly I leave them that way. If they're going to hang out for awhile I tell them "relax", which means to flop onto a hip and get comfy.
 

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Apollo pretty much as sit down, so I decided to work on "Lay" with him, and he is just not getting it. I got tasty treats ready, and tried to get him to lay down and he just doesnt get it LOL

We did work on sit and shake so he could get some treats and the process was still fun. I did get him to "lay" a few times, but I had to move his front paws, so really doesnt count.

Is he too young for this one or am I doing something wrong?
 

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He'll get it. It may take a few sessions. Keep "pretending" that he did it even if you have to put him in the down position. Praise him for laying down and treat him while he's laying down.

It's kinda like "fake it till you make it." Keep putting him in the down position, and then praise him for it like he did it all by himself. He'll figure out after a few times and beat you to it.
 

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Originally Posted By: DSuddIs he too young for this one or am I doing something wrong?
Not too young, but as Tracy said, it can take a little time for it all to click. In the meantime try this method of capturing behaviors from my earlier post:

Quote:In addition, I marked (usually with a clicker, but also with my voice) and tossed them a treat when they laid down on their own. They figured out that laying down earned a reward, so they did it more frequently. When I could see that they were just about to lay down I'd give the command "down", wait for the exact second elbows and butt hit the floor, then click/treat so that they learned to associate the verbal cue with the behavior.
If you don't have a clicker, use a verbal marker (Yes!). I'd just hang out and watch, and the second they laid down I marked and treated. If you want to get multiple repetitions, toss the treat just far enough away that he has to get up to get it, and then wait for him to lay down again. Once he seems to have the idea, start adding the command when you can see that he's just about to lay down, and then gradually progress to giving the command when he's just standing there, and WAIT. Eventually he'll lay down (have patience!), and then immediately mark and reward.

If you want "down" to mean stay in a down position until I release you or give you another command (such as sit), you don't want to toss the treat out of reach too long because you don't want to encourage him getting up before you tell him to. But it's a good way to start because if he lays down and stays there you don't get as many opportunities to reward him for laying down.

To transition him to staying in place until released, make him stay for a few seconds with calm slow praise, (not your marker word), and steady treat reinforcement, then give the release word.
 

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Makes sense. He seemed to enjoy "training" last night. Thanks guys!
 

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Originally Posted By: Cassidys Mom
Originally Posted By: DSuddIs he too young for this one or am I doing something wrong?
Not too young, but as Tracy said, it can take a little time for it all to click. In the meantime try this method of capturing behaviors from my earlier post:

Quote:In addition, I marked (usually with a clicker, but also with my voice) and tossed them a treat when they laid down on their own. They figured out that laying down earned a reward, so they did it more frequently. When I could see that they were just about to lay down I'd give the command "down", wait for the exact second elbows and butt hit the floor, then click/treat so that they learned to associate the verbal cue with the behavior.
If you don't have a clicker, use a verbal marker (Yes!). I'd just hang out and watch, and the second they laid down I marked and treated. If you want to get multiple repetitions, toss the treat just far enough away that he has to get up to get it, and then wait for him to lay down again. Once he seems to have the idea, start adding the command when you can see that he's just about to lay down, and then gradually progress to giving the command when he's just standing there, and WAIT. Eventually he'll lay down (have patience!), and then immediately mark and reward.

If you want "down" to mean stay in a down position until I release you or give you another command (such as sit), you don't want to toss the treat out of reach too long because you don't want to encourage him getting up before you tell him to. But it's a good way to start because if he lays down and stays there you don't get as many opportunities to reward him for laying down.

To transition him to staying in place until released, make him stay for a few seconds with calm slow praise, (not your marker word), and steady treat reinforcement, then give the release word.
My (almost) 5 month old Riley has learned come, sit, and leave it, but i just can't get "down". When I try the other method (through the legs) she sort of just backs up and/ or chews on my arm in the sitting position... i can't get her to do down. she seems to get confused on what i want her to do. So i am going to try this method!
 

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I was actually lifting Apollo's front legs and moving them forward, and he just natrually laid down. But once he "Layed" down he got praised.
 
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