He's just not as food motivated as I thought!
Seriously... I thought I had some sort of "unwilling to submit" thing going on with Ender because he was really having a tough time going to "DOWN" position from a sit in the house... even with treats. He'd try shake first, batting my hand with his paw and then only if I stood there for a while would he eventually do the "ok I'll slide down and see if this is what she wants"... elbows barely touching the ground.
Well... yesterday we were doing retrieves and I thought... "okay ... great time to do some quick obedience too" so I started doing sits, shakes, stay, wait... etc... then I said down and he plopped down right there and then no hesitation.
So he'll do it for a retrieve ... but is hesitant when it's just a treat... who knew? I'm just glad this doesn't mean he's unwilling or unable to understand "down."
He has plenty of drive from what i make out . He obviously loves to retrieve therefore the effect of you enticing him with play is the same as you'd entice a dog who loves treats . Down is a command that isnt as easily perfected as Sit (which is the easiest) , as long as he's willing to do it sometimes you should do repetition (dont overdo it ) and eventually he'll start doing it inside without any expectation of reward other then the occasional encouragement. Remember he still is a pup and pups specially at ender's age are rebellious at times . If I was you I'd set up a routine whereby Id work on obedience first inside the house and as a reward for doing well take him outsied and play retrieve , it would be hard at first but over a 4-5 day period he'll get the hang of it and will know that doing good on obedience gets him play time .
I'm glad you found what motivates Ender for "down"! Brigetta is not completely food motivated. For the more basic commands: sit, stay, wait she is food motivated, but for other things she is not...so I'm still trying to figure it out.
Teresa, mom to Brigetta and Prudence
Yay!! Go Ender!
Miles is totally food motivated so that makes things a bit easier.
I had a bit of a suprise with Oakley today. I use a closed fist for sit and an open hand for stay. We saw someone at the trail today. The woman held up her hand to stop Oakley from following her. Oakley sat and stayed right there on the spot! I was so impressed! I was glad to know that my hand signals are working!