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I started training Damian myself, teaching him the common sit, stay, lay down, easy, etc.

Well last week I started SchH training with him. Now I'm in the process of unteaching the easy, haha. I've only been to trainng twice, but for the life of me, I cannot get Damian to lay down front feet first. The trainer taught me to use a chair or my leg with treats. It works pretty good doing it that way. The second I try it with only a treat, he plops down hind legs first.

He is still very young, and I'm still learning patience, but I do not want to go to the next training session with nothing accomplished. Any ideas?
 

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This is how I taught Ike: hand (with treats between thumb and forefinger) into the dog and then guide the dog's head down. The head position is the key. Since whatever head does hiney does the opposite, if you can get the head to drop first, then the butt will go have to go up as the head goes down and then you will have the beginning of what they call a "sphinx" down. Down correctly, Ike's butt should be the last thing to hit the ground. Once Ike is down, mark/open hand/treat.

There is a recent thread in the "How to" section about this:
http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/how-do-i-teach-my-dog/129317-teaching-random-down.html
 

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I take the treat in my hand and I move it underneath their chin, between the dog's front legs basically.

You can kinda see it in this video of our recent agility class (it's just past the halfway mark, when we get to the table):



If you're wondering why I kept pulling the treat back, it was because the first few times she backed up too much and was in danger of falling off the table.
 
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