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Discussion Starter #1
Yesterday when we got home from work (I take my dogs with me) I opened the car door and let the dogs out. I didn't grab their leashes right away and a neighbor's cat ran out from under a bush, in front of my dogs. They took off after the cat. I yelled "DOWN!" and they both dropped instantly:) I walked over and got their leashes, gave them a ton of praise and ear rubs and together we walked in the direction the cat went. They got to sniff around and check out the area and see the cat was gone. I didn't want them to think listening to me meant they wouldn't be able to investigate. I'm so proud of them . . . and I am making sure to grab their leashes before they jump out of the car now.

I've been working a lot with them on down. I think having an immobilizing command is important. I'm not sure if I had told them to come and turn away from the cat that they would have listened. But telling them to do something where they could still be looking at what they were interested in seemed like a more reasonable compromise and it was.

These are 2 high prey drive dogs, so I'm very pleased with them and kicking myself for not being more careful!
 

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Good job. Sounds like they were trained well. With Lola I have her in a booster seat for dogs. She is secured in there but can move around inside the seat and lay down. One time I had the window rolled down and was driving along she was standing on her hind legs with her front paws on the door edge looking out the window. She looked like she was higher than usual and it was then that I saw I did not secure her in the seat so I pulled over and secured her.

When we get to where we are going if she is allowed to come out such as at the dog park I secure her leash first to her. She is good in the fact that she does not jump out of the booster seat until I get her unsecured from the seat and then put her leash on. As soon as her leash is on she jumps out of the seat knowing she is allowed to go where I am going.
 

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Don't feel bad. That's the exact situation you've trainedyour dogs the emergency down for. It's a backup. My dogs woul've chased an outdoor cat. I need to start working on stuff like that. And you should feel very proud of them.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
They get secured in there with harnesses, but I usually unhook them and then grab my stuff. let them jump out of the car and then grab their leashes. So I just need to alter my routine to grabbing the leashes before they jump out of the car.

Thanks cerbiesmom, I am proud of them:)
 

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I owuld love to know how you worked with them *any advice or tricks* One of my girls is very good and listens and stays by my side on or off a leash but the one thing I worry about if she was outside with me and seen an outside kitty I knowhe has indoor kittys but the outside one she just doesnt understand that at all.... LOL So I would love to teach both of my girls a command like that.. Thanks and that is great work like others have said dont feel bad about it be proud of them and yourself for teaching them and working with them..
 

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I live in an apartment complex and we're overrun with wild cats; They're big, mean, vicious, and a complete nuisance to us and each other! They fight and howl all hours of the night and they're not domesticated, therefore if you come up on one too closely they spit and hiss... Well, as much as this might create an issue later on in life, little Donatello is my guard dog. Every time we leave the apartment he scouts out the bushes and chases off any cats by our door. However, if he gets too carried away, all I have to say is "C'mon," and lead him away and he ignores them... He's easily trained, so this may not be as big a problem as I'm thinking.

Animal control has been called dozens of times over the years and they say there's nothing they can do... *Psh, yeah right! The cats could very well be diseased for all I know, so I make sure to keep Donatello a good foot or so back when he's "scouting", because the last thing I need is for him to get sick from a cat scratch.
 

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That is awesome. How did you train the both of them to do that... did you train them separately or together.. by yourself?
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Well, assuming your dog already knows what down means in a variety of places and situations . . . What I have done with my dogs is, at first, one at a time take them on walks. We encounter lots of things on our walks. Lots of things they would like to get closer to/investigate. When I see them perk up and interested in something I tell them down. If they do, I mark it (good! yes! or click whatever) and release them and we go investigate it, or at least get as close as we can, as their reward for going down. If they do not go down, I do an abrupt 180 and walk the opposite way of what they are interested in. I have been doing this daily with them all the time since shortly after I got Lloyd and since I got Allie. When they were doing it 99% of the time singly I took them out together and we practiced. I also do this with sit, but I use down more and it is what comes out of my mouth when I panic, so we practice that the most.

The hardest is when an animal runs by. They did eventually get it though and when they down for that I release them and we run (well more like jog) together "after" the animal. By then the animal is long gone, but its still a great reward for the dogs.

Thats how I did it/do it. Don't know if its the "right way" but it apparently worked. The one thing we haven't practiced much with this is around other dogs, that is something I do need to work more on. Where we are living now though we don't run into that many dogs, and not everyone is willing to let your dogs greet their's, so it can be hard to reward it. We have practiced a ton though with wild animals (we run into lots of deer and other animals), cars, skateboarders, bicycles, rollerbladers . . . .
 
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