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We had our first obedience class night night and I was so happy with my dog. She did great. Ive worked with her for three weeks now since we got her and she is good on the lead/heel/sit (obviously she could be better).

Im having problems with the down... i always have to get down to her level to get her to follow the "treat" down and away until she is "down". However, if im standing and point to the floor and say "down" its not getting through.

How long did it take for you to get your dog understand the "down" command?

Any suggestions on how i should teach this would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!
 

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My dog picked it up like that. My formula is pretty simple. 5 times with the lure/click. 5 times with no lure and just praise. If the dog can't get the behavior with no lure, then I go back to the lure or (depending on how long we've been at it) give up for the time being.
 

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In the early stages, getting down to her level is often necessary. The key move is the hand/arm movement....dogs learn that body language very quickly so, be sure you're consistent with the hand motion. Sometimes, it helps to do this at the dogs side instead of directly in front of her.
 

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I would try capturing the behavior. That means being observant of your dog and waiting for her to down on her own. Mark the behavior with your bridge word or click and reward her lots. Wait for her to do it again.

If your reward is really special, she may volunteer the behavior more and more. This is when you'll add the cue...the moment you can predict she'll volunteer the behavior.
 

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Anytime you give a command you MUST enforce it. Use gentle pressure on the shoulders to get her to drop when you tell her to. Or gently put her in a down.

Stay with the lure for a while long, I'm guessing the dog doesn't yet know what she should do.
 

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Im having problems with the down... i always have to get down to her level to get her to follow the "treat" down and away until she is "down". However, if im standing and point to the floor and say "down" its not getting through.
That probably means you're advancing too quickly for her. Get down to her level and lure her down with the treat. No need to say "down" -- she doesn't know what it means yet. Give lots of praise and rewards when she is lying down. Keep doing this till she is more familiar with the behaviour. Soon she will start being quicker and quicker with it -- that's a sign that she knows what's expected of her. Eventually you will be able to fade out the hand signals gradually.

For example, now you might have to get down to her level and move your hand in a very pronounced manner all the way from her nose to the ground and away. Later on, you might be able to move your hand just from her nose to the ground. Later still, you should be able to just move your hand from her nose in a downward gesture and so on. Keep fading the hand signal till you no longer have to move; and AS YOU ARE FADING IT you should be introducing the verbal cue "down" by quickly inserting it in between the hand signal and her response.
 

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I would not recommend molding (physically putting her into the down) because in some dogs they learn that the movement REQUIRES physical touch. This can be a problem when you move to "down from a distance". If you have to mold the dog it means they don't understand the behaviour you want yet. "Following through" like mentioned previously IS important, but only when the dog KNOWS the behaviour..yours obviously does not know it yet. It's like punishing a kid for not writing an essay when he hasn't learned yet to read.

If you still have to continue doing it from sitting until you are getting consistent compliance then do so. Don't worry about doing it at the speed of the rest of the class. They all learn at different speeds and will have some things they learn faster than others. Your dog may naturally be great at a sit but take longer to learn a stand. Also to keep in mind, many dogs are 'space sensitive' and find going from you sitting to you standing uncomfortable as you can be seen as "looming" over the dog. There are a couple of things you can try...try doing the standing lure from the SIDE of the dog instead of her right in front of you. Try doing it on one knee instead of crouched all the way down and gradually moving to a stand. One of the pups in the class I work in consistently backedup (moved away from the owner, who was in his vertical space) on the down command, once the owner shifted her position in relation to the pup the down was offered quickly and happily.

I agree as well, that your arm movements must remain the same until you get complete understanding before you add the cue word. Get the behaviour FIRST and then name it. Make sure your rate of reinforcement is high enough that your pup is "winning" as much as possible...it could be that moving to the standing position is causing such a difference in rate of reinforcement (because she doesn't GET it yet) is setting her up to fail, not to succeed. Anytime you are teaching a new thing if you don't have success, you need to go back one step, reinforce that well and then try the new step again.

Dogs learn with repetition...HUNDREDS of reps and done in many different places under different distractions. You need to start small and work up to these situations in order for your guy to really get it.
 

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How long did it take for you to get your dog understand the "down" command?
That's the method I'm using. After four months of it not working (and exhausting several other suggestions made by people here), he finally started to catch on in approximatelt the last month. So, we've been working on it for about a month and I'd say he's about 50% there. He knows the position and the hand signal, but doesn't know the command and won't follow the hand signal unless he knows a treat awaits.

Anyway, just keep up what you're doing. You're doing it right. :)
 

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We had our first obedience class night night and I was so happy with my dog. She did great. Ive worked with her for three weeks now since we got her and she is good on the lead/heel/sit (obviously she could be better).

Im having problems with the down... i always have to get down to her level to get her to follow the "treat" down and away until she is "down". However, if im standing and point to the floor and say "down" its not getting through.

How long did it take for you to get your dog understand the "down" command?

Any suggestions on how i should teach this would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!
Took about a week. She may be reacting to your body language and hand as a signal.

I inadvertently added a tiny hand signal to it (I tend to do that too often) a couple of weeks back with Hope and noticed she picked up on the tiny hand signal very fast, so I just made the hand signal a little more exaggerated like a nrmal hand signal and used it with the cue consistently. She's got the verbal cue now a few weeks later, and uses it well, but if I have really good food like hamburger she literally throws herself down with the hand signal like she's ducking a bullet.

Are you doing something different with the hand you point down with when you are standing than when you are luring? Maybe try luring with the other hand and using a consistent hand signal with the same hand in both positions?

You can find out whether that's it or not by just doing your usual down that she will follow, but just be silent. If she does as well without a verbal cue she's likely just cueing on your body or hand as a signal entirely, you can use that if she sees an obvious consistent signal when both standing and luring and associate the verbal cue over time..

Or capture with a clicker. I haven't used one that much but when I have it worked very well, and very quickly. Hope's first command ever for a 3yr old dog with no concept of voice commands was sit, captured with a clicker and trained in a day. I've been training her now a lot without it, but I will go back to it for more advanced training later.
 

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That's the method I'm using. After four months of it not working (and exhausting several other suggestions made by people here), he finally started to catch on in approximatelt the last month. So, we've been working on it for about a month and I'd say he's about 50% there. He knows the position and the hand signal, but doesn't know the command and won't follow the hand signal unless he knows a treat awaits.

Anyway, just keep up what you're doing. You're doing it right. :)

No offense, but that's kind of slow. 6 weeks was tops for my collie puppy and now she'll hit the floor whenever she is commanded, and wherever she's commanded, and in a good fold back down to boot. And she's not an easy dog to train.

And him not following the hand signal unless he knows a treat is waiting sounds like he's teaching you to bribe him.

Better not dawdle about this too much longer. ;-)
 

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Wow, so according to tx here.... you should probably go to your dog and brag about tx's collies and how they learn so quickly. Sounds good, let me know how it goes. :p
 

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It happens. We don't do "training sessions," so I'm teaching this via times of opportunity.
Most training classes will advise you to do training sessions at home between classes. I do several 5-minute sessions per day when training a dog. It certainly helps to speed things up.

I'm also a huge fan of training dogs to do things WITHOUT physically manipulating them. It makes the dog think for itself and can help them learn what you want from them a bit faster.

I usually train basic commands by luring and rewarding the action, and then once the dog is reliably doing what I want, I connect a word to it like "down" as they are performing the action, and that's how they learn what "down" means to me.
 

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Most training classes will advise you to do training sessions at home between classes. I do several 5-minute sessions per day when training a dog. It certainly helps to speed things up.

I'm also a huge fan of training dogs to do things WITHOUT physically manipulating them. It makes the dog think for itself and can help them learn what you want from them a bit faster.

I usually train basic commands by luring and rewarding the action, and then once the dog is reliably doing what I want, I connect a word to it like "down" as they are performing the action, and that's how they learn what "down" means to me.
I like your methods. i am currently trying that sort with "stay". The only problem is that she knows when we "are in session" and that I have a treat waiting so she automatically sits without me saying anything. We have been working on sit for a while and she does sit on command but she also sits because she knows when I have her sit: I have treat in my hand, I am walking towards with a leash, etc. It makes it hard to teach other commands when she connects the treat with sit, at all times. Sorry, I am sort of thread jacking :eek:
 

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I like your methods. i am currently trying that sort with "stay". The only problem is that she knows when we "are in session" and that I have a treat waiting so she automatically sits without me saying anything. We have been working on sit for a while and she does sit on command but she also sits because she knows when I have her sit: I have treat in my hand, I am walking towards with a leash, etc. It makes it hard to teach other commands when she connects the treat with sit, at all times. Sorry, I am sort of thread jacking :eek:
That's pretty easy to solve, you just have to slowly phase out the treats for that command. In the beginning, I show the treat in order to lure the dog, but once they are reliably performing the command and know what "sit" means, I'll start hiding the treat in my fist. Then in my OTHER hand while I'm asking fo the sit with the first hand. Then I'll hide it in my pocket, but still ACT like I'm holding a treat. After that, I'll hide the treats on a bowl off to the side.

Once I'm no longer having to be holding a treat to get my dog to sit for me, I'll start praising and petting in place of the treat every now and then, and I'll slowly increase the frequency of praise-petting while I'm slowly phasing out the treats. Works for me!

Every dog is different though, just like people. =3
 

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Wow, so according to tx here.... you should probably go to your dog and brag about tx's collies and how they learn so quickly. Sounds good, let me know how it goes. :p
I was surprised that it was taking that long, and it still seemed like the dog was still relying heavily on luring/wanting the food and didn't yet have a command for the behavior.

My dogs are like anyone else's dogs.

Said puppy of mine was very resistant to down at first (she wouldn't offer it, lure it or anything like that) but I still got it through to her after awhile. :p

I like your methods. i am currently trying that sort with "stay". The only problem is that she knows when we "are in session" and that I have a treat waiting so she automatically sits without me saying anything. We have been working on sit for a while and she does sit on command but she also sits because she knows when I have her sit: I have treat in my hand, I am walking towards with a leash, etc. It makes it hard to teach other commands when she connects the treat with sit, at all times. Sorry, I am sort of thread jacking :eek:

Once she knows sit thoroughly and does it promptly on command, don't reward sits that she gives you for 'no reason'. If she sits and you want her to stand or whatever, just put her back in her stand or down.

You can get them stuck if you work on too little too slow. My newest dog in training is currently working on sit, down, stand, go outs and handtargeting and is fixing to start retrieving, basic jumping, eye contact and heeling and we've only been working for couple of weeks. They key is to make it fun and to keep them guessing.

You also might want to try to put your treats in a treat pouch or pocket and not have them in your hand when you start up.
 

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Once she knows sit thoroughly and does it promptly on command, don't reward sits that she gives you for 'no reason'. If she sits and you want her to stand or whatever, just put her back in her stand or down.

You can get them stuck if you work on too little too slow. My newest dog in training is currently working on sit, down, stand, go outs and handtargeting and is fixing to start retrieving, basic jumping, eye contact and heeling and we've only been working for couple of weeks. They key is to make it fun and to keep them guessing.

You also might want to try to put your treats in a treat pouch or pocket and not have them in your hand when you start up.
Cool, thanks
 

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I started puppy obedience class with my almost 3 month old westie. The first week we were learning to sit. That was easy.

The next week we were training "down". Lucy wasn't getting it. The instructor came over and tackled her to the floor. I couldn't believe it. A tiny little puppy and she tackled her to the floor. :mad: How can that be training.? The next week we were expected to know "down". Lucy still was not getting it. She was tackled to the floor again. :( The next week "ditto".

I did not like the trainers methods very much. I didn't even finish out the session. By the fourth week we still had not learned/been trained anything much. I will continue on my own teaching the basics and enroll her into intermediate classes somewhere else.
 
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