Teaching DOWN (Dweck)
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Thread: Teaching DOWN (Dweck)

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    Ender's Mom's Avatar
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    DefaultTeaching DOWN (Dweck)

    Since you asked Dan... here is what I've tried so far...

    Ender is confused I think about "down"

    The first method I tried was the sit-down... he goes into sit all the time... I think he knows he looks 10 times cutier and puppyish when he sits down. So what I did was treat in one hand... said DOWN (kind of long and drawn out)... and moved tread hand down towards his paws. He did the whole "I think my head can reach the floor even when I'm sitting" move so I gently pushed on his shoulders and since we were on hardwood floors his back end just slid back and he went into down position. "GOOD DOWN" gave treat...

    Now... after a 20-30 times doing this he still doesn't really "get" it and every time I have to put the treat all the way between his paws and then he'll 50/50 need the "push." So I guess he's improving maybe. Now... when I hold his food bowl and make him "sit/stay" before I let him eat, he will sometimes sit and then it's like he suddenly thinks "hmmm maybe if I try that down move she'll let me have it sooner"

    So... here's my problem. I don't want to have to practically get on the floor in order for him to go down and also I think I want to teach him to down before making him sit first. Like an emergency down (but perhaps I'm getting ahead of myself there). And as for getting him "down" outside the house... well... he's maybe done it once but admittedly.. it's not something I work on all the time as I'm usually consumed with "no pull" "walk nicely" "sit" (at curbs) and "sit/stay" when bikes/rollerbladers/joggers come tearing past.

    Any suggestions would be much appreciated... or maybe if you could just give me an idea how many downs with the shoulder push should be needed before he "gets" it automatically.
    ~Lindsay

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    Chester B. Dickens is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Teaching DOWN (Dweck)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ender's Mom
    I think I want to teach him to down before making him sit first.* Like an emergency down (but perhaps I'm getting ahead of myself there).*
    This would be a moving drop. Get Ender to understand DOWN from the sit first, and wait 'til its pretty secure before moving on to the drop.

    BUT once you get there, it's relatively easy to translate. Heel with Ender, moving along, and give him the DOWN command as you're walking. Take your left arm (holding the leash somewhere north of the snap) and LOCK IT TITE like a tire iron. Then, as you continue to move, plunge that arm to the ground (concurrent w/the command). He should go right down. Then PRAISE like heck!!!!!

    In the higher arenas of competition, this move gets coupled w/a recall for a Drop on Recall, which Wesley is STILL learning!!!!!

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    Chester B. Dickens is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Teaching DOWN (Dweck)

    Quote Originally Posted by maggiesparents
    Maggie will do sit and then go straight into down even if we dont ask for it.* once she is in a down, she is not doing anything else unless we get her to a new spot. Thanks
    A classic passive-dominant move. "Oh, Mommy! FLUMP I'm exhausted and couldn't possibly get up right now. Oh, what a tough day I've had. And now this CLASS? Oy vey! Fetch me a pillow, someone, willya??"

    My advice is MAKE her sit when you say sit. If you need to walk a step or two forward or literally D-R-A-G her into the sit, do so. She needs to find out you mean what you say.....

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    DefaultRe: Teaching DOWN (Dweck)

    maggiesparents... you are welcome to hijack any thread of mine since I'm sure I will need the advice eventually.

    Dweck... which "down" method do you suggest I try first? I don't "think" Ender is passive/dominant... but I kind of like your "no treat" method since it seems to me to get in the way sometimes.
    ~Lindsay

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    Chester B. Dickens is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Teaching DOWN (Dweck)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ender's Mom
    maggiesparents... you are welcome to hijack any thread of mine since I'm sure I will need the advice eventually.

    Dweck... which "down" method do you suggest I try first?* I don't "think" Ender is passive/dominant... but I kind of like your "no treat" method since it seems to me to get in the way sometimes.
    I'd try the sweep method - I outlined it in the "I'm a Bad Daddy" thread. I should put it in the stickied thread at the top.....

    It's in the OUR BEST ADVICE sticky, too!

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    Ender's Mom's Avatar
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    DefaultRe: Teaching DOWN (Dweck)

    Quote Originally Posted by dweck
    Quote Originally Posted by Ender's Mom
    maggiesparents... you are welcome to hijack any thread of mine since I'm sure I will need the advice eventually.

    Dweck... which "down" method do you suggest I try first? I don't "think" Ender is passive/dominant... but I kind of like your "no treat" method since it seems to me to get in the way sometimes.
    I'd try the sweep method - I outlined it in the "I'm a Bad Daddy" thread. I should put it in the stickied thread at the top.....
    Yeah... I asked you to put it in the sticky in the "bad daddy" thread. Ok... we will try that method tomorrow probably (tonight he'll be exhausted from doggy day care)

    Do you think the whole thing about praising him when he's allready doing the behavior you want. I mean he lays down a lot... should I be saying "good down Ender" etc? Right now he just gets "good" or "good boy" or "good job" whenever he does something I want when we are "busy" on the computer or eating... not training.
    ~Lindsay

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    Chester B. Dickens is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Teaching DOWN (Dweck)

    Quote Originally Posted by maggiesparents
    Our trainer told us that she thought Maggie was very dominant still so we are working on that.
    Remember, though, that there are two types of dominance: passive and active. Passive dominance is a wilting lily dog, who stops everything because the world is forever coming to an end. Or silly-willies -- they'll roll over while heeling and wag and smile... life's a big joke, see how cute I am?? They're also LEEEEEANERS; they'll sit in heel but schlumpf their weight onto you left leg just because they can. They'll also sit ON your feet. Or put one of their feet on your feet. All this needs to stop, because if they get away with A, it'll be followed by B and C and D. SETTLE, QUIT IT! ENOUGH! WATCH ME, PAY ATTENTION are all good commands for getting pasive dominant dogs in line. Once they figure out that you're in charge (and for some dogs, this takes a loooooooooooong time!), things begin improving immediately.

    Active dominant is easier to spot because it's the dog acting stubborn, not silly or cute. They'll growl at you. Bat at the leash. Mouth you. Walk away from an exercise. Look away from you. Yawn. Develop a 'mystery scratch' right in the middle of heeling. Insist on bolting through the door ahead of you.

    She also suggested that we eat our dinner (or a snack) right in front of her and make a big deal about it before we feed her and she will start to understand that she is not at the top of the pack.* Do you know if this will work?
    Yes. This is commonly called a NILIF regimen, meaning Nothing in Life is Free. The dog EARNS every meal, treat, bellyrub, praiseword, privelege. You don't feed the dog w/out a successful sit/stay first. You don't *go for a walk without SOME behavior first that you have dictated. I'd say keep going w/what you're doing...

    sometimes she won't even look at us.
    Ah, but she knows... She may not want you to know she knows, but she knows.... *;D

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    DefaultRe: Teaching DOWN (Dweck)


    I just want to say....THANK YOU. This thread is so helpfull. I am at the stage of Sit with my baby. I am using treats for now and she has it. Now I can tell her to sit without the treat and she does. The next move for me is the down (I guess). She is still just a baby and it is all fun with her, but this thread will help me for weeks to come!!!!

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    DefaultRe: Teaching DOWN (Dweck)

    Lindsey - with the down, once you get the treat down between his paws try moving it away from him on the floor. This will force him to move his front feet forward and down to try and get the treat. Down is very hard to teach with some dogs. They either won't go down or will pop right back up. Just keep working at it. You'll probably have to practice it many thousand of times before it's steady. Definitely don't teach the moving down first.

    Lindsey and Tracie - anytime your dog goes down from a sit or visa-versa, ALWAYS IMMEDIATELY put them back in the original position. So many students in my class will let a dog go from a sit to a down as long as they don't move. They tell me that they thought it was OK because the dog stayed in place. It's not ok. They're doing what they want to do, not what you told them to do.
    Last week at class our instructor had her Obedience titled Std. Poodle in line for the sits and downs. Dixie was next to Buddy and me. Cynthia had told her to sit. Dixie went down. I reach over and grabbed her by the collar and told her that her Mama had told her to sit and put her back in a sitting position. If looks could have killed, I'd be dead. She sat after that. Sometimes its always good to get someone else to correct your dog. It shows them that you don't have to be present for them to be corrected for doing something wrong.


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    DefaultRe: Teaching DOWN (Dweck)

    I think dogs can show both passive and agressive dominace. If you give the sit command and your dog goes straight to down. You should re-enforce the sit command and pull them up into a sit command. Dont let your dog think that down and sit are the same command. Allie understands the difference between the commands because if she is down, and I tell her to sit, she gets up to a sit.

    If your using down to get off people and to lay down your fine, make sure you use "off" for furniture, do not use down. My trainer told me that that is a command mistake and dogs get confused. They dont know if you want them to lay down on the furniture, or get off of it...

    Theres 2-3 ways to teach down. Once, push between the shoulder blades, its like a button that almost garentees a down position. Allie will sometimes be passive dominate and squirm out of it. You can also do the sweep with your arm which takes them from a sit to a down. Last but not least, the treat between the paws as you already mentioned. The treat worked best for us.

    You will teach things like the down command twice. Once for inside and again for outside. I've found that Allie will not down on my terms outside, only inside. If we arent somewhere she is used to, she wants to stay in a stance she can easily protect herself in until she feels safe. Down will best be taught in a safe place with no distractions...

    Hope Ive helped.

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