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Thread: Teaching 12 week old pup down?

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    Default Teaching 12 week old pup down?

    What is the best way to teach a younger puppy to go to the down position. Using hotdog treats to reward sit and sitting and casting overs between to pallets. Tried luring to the down position with treats but it is not working well...should I just hold off on down until later. Thanks

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    Senior Member mostlygold's Avatar
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    While pup is sitting put hotdog in front of nose and slowly lower between front legs. Keep your hand on pups shoulder and gently push down to encourage them to go down rather than back. It only takes a few reps and pup knows what you want.

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    Senior Member Mary Lynn Metras's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mostlygold View Post
    While pup is sitting put hotdog in front of nose and slowly lower between front legs. Keep your hand on pups shoulder and gently push down to encourage them to go down rather than back. It only takes a few reps and pup knows what you want.

    Dawn
    Praise him and try to keep him down a bit more each time by petting him.
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    I have always felt down as opposed to sit is a hard command for a puppy. I do not get stuck on that command. I take my time on it. One method is kneel down put treat under leg and in order to get it he has to get down and stick his head in between your leg. They seem to get the command when with age.
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    Quote Originally Posted by moscowitz View Post
    I have always felt down as opposed to sit is a hard command for a puppy. I do not get stuck on that command. I take my time on it. One method is kneel down put treat under leg and in order to get it he has to get down and stick his head in between your leg. They seem to get the command when with age.
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    Senior Member DarrinGreene's Avatar
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    Teach it to all kinda of big and small dogs every day.

    Some will lure easily from a stand or a sit. You may have to have a lot of patience but if you just put your hand on the floor with a whole handful of treats, the food motivated puppy will lay down.

    Many others don't have the motivation and loose focus so I use either my bent leg or a table, chair or other object with a low "Rung" that pup can crawl under to get the treat.

    Crawling under may require some shaping as a lot of pups aren't necessarily comfortable in a confined space. It lays out like:

    Make the "bar" high enough that pup can walk under it. Lure through several times and reward.
    Lower the bar slightly and keep rewarding pup for walking under (while bending a bit).
    Lower the bar to where pup has to "Bow" to get the treat. Pay the bow several times.
    Once he's "bowing" readily, let him get into a bow and withhold the treat until he lays down.

    30 - 50 reps like this and most will lay down without the "bar"

    Proceed from there as normal.

    Note - with a retriever pups teach down exclusively from a standing position once you have it started. You don't want down to be the next behavior after sit. It may be BS and I can't prove it but I've seen a lot of dogs down after sitting and not immediately receiving a reward. I personally think that if you teach it from a stand there is less likelihood of this happening in the field later.
    Last edited by DarrinGreene; 04-03-2014 at 06:35 AM.
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    Thanks for the suggestions. I think I have been on the right track, I just need a little more patience.

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    Put dog on lead. With your foot on the ground, raise the front of your toes off the floor and bring the lead under your foot. The lead will now be travelling from your dogs collar....down under your foot....and then up to your hand at your side.

    To teach "down" simply give the dog the command and then give the lead a pull. Because the lead is looped under your foot it will pull the dog into a down position. If he fights it, simply step on the lead and give him another down command.

    I would give give it another few weeks before progressing to this though. 12 weeks is still all about having fun and learning not to pee in the house.

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    Member GiGi Grant's Avatar
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    Since it's a pup you're training, you may be able to lure the nose down with a treat under the dog's nose, right on the ground. Place your thumb and index finger just behind the shoulder blades and apply gentle pressure. If need be, move the treat out front just a bit. I use this on pups and small dogs.

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    Not sure of the point at 13 weeks....but reward after luring with a treat should work.

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