My 7 yr. black lab Bina seems to have ADD = she can "sit" very good but I can't get her to learn down. I already tried the treat on the floor and luring to the floor - all she does is bend her head down from sit or standing position to pick up the treat. She also gets frustrated and starts barking - usually the only time she barks. I think some of it may have to do with her size. She is an exceptionally large retriever. I have never seen her laying down resting without being on her side. My other dogs all lay on their bellies but she never has. Any suggestions?
Well I am not a training expert, but a few things to try:
Try training on different surfaces. If she is big, she may feel like she is slipping. Does she have hip problems or arthritis that possibly hurt her? Maybe she is barking out of frustration because she has trouble going down to the floor in that position. Just a thought.
Then instead of placing the treat on the floor...have her sit and show her the treat. Slowly lure her to the floor with the treat. Almost pull it away and down at the same time. That way she has room to move down and still keep her eyes on the treat. Then of course reward! Good luck! I am sure some other members will give you some advice as well!
<br />Debbie and Sambuca
I could give you some ideas, but I find it curious that you have never seen her laying in the "down" position, resting. Maybe for some reason, her weight or whatever (or like Sambucasmom said -- arthritis? hip issues?) this is not a comfortable position for her. Obviously, most dogs, like mine, and your other ones, will lay on their bellies all the time, so teaching down is just a matter of getting them into a position with is already natural to them, you just want them to do it on command. If that position is NOT natural to Bina, there could be a reason for that.
Having said that, is there a reason that her "down" HAS to be on her belly? Would it be sufficient for that particular dog that you allow her "down" to be on her side (the way she usually lays?) I know with Misty, when I give her the down command, she will sometimes flop onto her side. I really don't care -- maybe this is "incorrect," but my attitude is, I am simply trying to teach her obedience -- i.e. to lear to respond to my commands. If I give a command, and she consistently responds, really that is all I feel is important. It is not so important to me if she performs a perfect-looking sit, or down. I just want her learning to obey.
Just a thought --
I was just about to post another response, that was more detailed to the help I gave you in the introductions section, but this is exactly what I was going to say!!Originally Posted by Sambucasmom
Keep us informed on how the training goes!
About the walking on the leash thing, try walking along with a treat close at your side, this will work like the same way as a horse with a carrot on a string, if you get my drift. I am no expert in training either, but as far as treats go, it works wonders with Belle, if I am trying to teach her something. After all she is a lab
I know you said you have tried luring her, but are you doing it the right way? you want to lure the treat right in front of her face straight down while in the sit position, and then slowely pull it back, towards you. The second her hind legs come off the ground you take the treat away. You could also put some pressure on her back while you lure her. I never had to put pressure on murphys back, but I also had a trainer show me how to lure him.