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I got Bells last July as an 8mo rescue. At the time I was living on a farm and she had about 10 fenced acres to run around, follow me on the horses or just sniff and play. I moved back into society 2 months ago and she's doing much better concerning some issues and worse with others.

We've gotten 100% better with walking. Living in an apartment I try to take her on 2 walks everyday, one often being a long walk through the town or a hike in the national park. She's not pulling as much and I really think she enjoys it better than when i'd just let her in the backyard to do her business at the farm.

She's also better with people since she sees people more often! When we lived on the farm we rarely had visitors and she would go crazy when people came to the house and be obnoxious and jump on people. I not only have a roomate but walk her and visit people often.

Unfortunately she hasn't gotten used to the business of living in town. I live in an apartment and she obviously doesn't understand that there are other people living around us. She'll bark if she hears my neighbor close their door, or run to the window and freak out when the garbage men come. I used to be able to leave her out of her crate during the day when I was at work but I'm worried neighbors will complain if she barks at things all day.

Right now I put her in the spare room when I leave in her crate with a fan (for air circulation and to muffle noise). How can I trust her not to bark and cause a fuss when I'm not there?

Also, this is random but I've never been able to teach her to lay down. She knows the command but instead of laying down nicely and staying she throws herself down on her back and then pops up even more excited. How do i teach a nice calm "down"? I'd like to be able to use this command when I visit people so she lays quietly next to me, or if I have her in a public area.

Thanks!
 

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If the dog is quiet in her crate during the day when you are at work, why let her have the freedom? No need and it insures she won't be chewing on inappropriate things like electrical cords. Just my opinion. Most dogs sleep all day while you are gone so if they are sleeping in a crate, it really makes no difference. That is where my dog is during the day and I own my house. I just don't want to come home to a mess that she and the cats co-conspired...

As to the lie down.. the way I taught it was to lure my dog into it and I trained it in slices on a clicker. Start by not using a word at all other than the clicker or a marker word such as yes. If you say Yes, the dog gets a treat. It isn't as precise as the clicker but it works and you always carry your "yes" with you if you forget the clicker.

so, I got Atka responding to a marker.. and you do that by saying Yes emphatically about 20 times and immediately following with food. Now the dog knows you have the food, so next you can either wait until she offers anything that looks like a lie down or you can lure her into a lie down with food. If she knows sit, get that, then put the food on her nose and lure her into a down.. and the INSTANT her elbows touch the ground, say YES, give the food and release her. Do this about 5 times and then see if she will offer it, or part of it on her own.

Do not reward any incorrect behavior. If she lies down, rolls over and gets silly, turn away, leave and put the food away. Game over.

After you get the lie down in the house, try adding a stay or wait command (if you have already taught this at the sit, it is a lot easier to move it over to the lie down). When she has a solid sit/stay and lie down/stay in the house, start to generalize it to other locations.

Jist my ideas.
 

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Just an addition to Elana's post...(I think she is going to think I follow her around here or something..lol).

What it sounds like Bells is doing (love the name by the way) is popping up out of the down. If you have rewarded her with a treat while she was on the way back up rather than timed exactly for the full down you will never get a down stay without working on your timing. This is where the marker/clicker comes in and the timing of the TREAT is very important. If she gives you the down the marker must come as soon as that chest and bum hit the floor, when you go to give the treat and she starts to pop up REMOVE the treat. Wait. Cue her again if necessary but no treat unless she is down and staying down, if even for a second. It's like when you teach a sit, if you give the treat when the bum is off the floor you are rewarding the getting OUT of the sit, not the sit itself. Once you get a reliable down where she is waiting for the treat before popping up you can work on duration.

To increase the duration of the "down", you don't necessarily have to add a stay cue. What I do to increase duration is delay the click/treat, using a release word just before the click/treat so she doesn't leave the down until I say "let's go" or another cue (sit for example, or come). Assuming she is already giving you a down, you simply increase in very very small increments (seconds) then do click treat. When she is consistent in waiting for the click/treat (does it ten times or more in a row)..then you start going Letsgo/click/treat. So eventually you can remove the click/treat, it having been replaced with the letsgo. (though an occasional reward is still good...lol).
 
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