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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, Molly is just over 4 months old. We finished puppy class, which she did wonderfully in, and they let us start "Obedience 101" a few weeks early. first class was yesterday.
To preface, I've been trying to teach Molly "down" (to lay down) on my own for weeks. She seems to "get" everything else and has been very succesful with all other commands I've taught her and is getting much better at staying by my side on leash (unless of course we are visiting the duck pond, lol).
But trying to teach her to lay down by the usual way of getting to a sit first the trying to lure her down with treats has not worked for me. I thought I was doing something wrong.

So yesterday, I have the trainer help me. She can't get Molly to do it either. Seems she is already so low to the ground that she doesn't need to lay down in order to get the treat. We also tried putting her on one of the agility tables so we could bring the treat lower, hopefully getting her to lay down. Nope. She just decided it would be better to jump off and grab the treat, instead of laying down. The trainer has no idea how to get her to do it either. *sigh*

Any ideas? Thanks!

Laura and Molly
 

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Pet therapy teams in my organization have to go through training and testing before they can be registered as therapy dogs- alot of folks have problems with "down". I always suggest reinforcing the natural behavior: in other words, when you're sitting around at home and your dog goes into a down position, reinforce that behavior with praise and a treat while saying the word "down".The dog will soon respond to the word and go into the down position when you give the command. You have to be vigilant and consistant, but it works.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you so much for that suggestion. So am I to assume it will take longer with this approach? That is fine, as long as she eventually gets it. Just wondering what I should expect as a time frame.
Thanks you!!
 

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When I trained other puppies I sometimes had to "help" them. Like gently pushing the tush down for "sit". Maybe while she's in the sit position you could pull her paws out and push down. I'm sure you know what I mean. Very gently. And not forcing anything. Just showing her what you want. Make sure to say "down" and to give the treat! Worth a try anyway. If she doesnt like you moving her, then leave it and maybe try again tomorrow.
 

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I've never been successful with the down command. I know that can do it, because I've seen a lot of flat basset pictures lately, but have no idea how to achieve it when I want it to happen. I'm hoping to train our next one as a therapy dog, so I will get to cross that bridge eventually.
 

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is there a "too late to go to obediance class" age?
almsot two over here. was always a yard dog till the huminz got me at 18mo.
almost done getting settled--i moved in on february 19th. beginning to get the housetraining thing. incidentally i had a breakthrough moment last night when I knocked on the door to go out. they were so proud. so yeah now that i'm getting that and everything it might be time to move along and start actually LEARNING some commands. I'm a little behind as I got a late start... I don't wanna be the oldest girl in class...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Aawww Esther, of course you aren't too old! Molly is by far the youngest in class. We have a couple of rescued pups who are a couple years old.
Have your owner sign you up and show those younger pups what you can do! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
When I trained other puppies I sometimes had to "help" them. Like gently pushing the tush down for "sit". Maybe while she's in the sit position you could pull her paws out and push down. I'm sure you know what I mean. Very gently. And not forcing anything. Just showing her what you want. Make sure to say "down" and to give the treat! Worth a try anyway. If she doesnt like you moving her, then leave it and maybe try again tomorrow.
This is what my mom-in-law was telling me to do. But I don't typically take her dog training advice because she is very "old school" and not too much into the positive training techniques. Not saying that's wrong, but just different.
I think I may try it also, just gently, to see what happens. But I know that Molly, like I think a lot of bassets may be, can be a little stubborn and tends to not want to learn something new unless she thinks it's her idea, or there's something REALLY good in it for her. :rolleyes:
 

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is there a "too late to go to obediance class" age?
almsot two over here. was always a yard dog till the huminz got me at 18mo.
almost done getting settled--i moved in on february 19th. beginning to get the housetraining thing. incidentally i had a breakthrough moment last night when I knocked on the door to go out. they were so proud. so yeah now that i'm getting that and everything it might be time to move along and start actually LEARNING some commands. I'm a little behind as I got a late start... I don't wanna be the oldest girl in class...
Anabelle went to obedience class at the young age of 8 years. Some people looked at us like we were crazy but it was fun and definitely worthwhile. Most of the dogs in the class were fully mature, probably around 3-4 years old.

She was definitely the class clown, especially when it came time to learn to walk on a leash.
 

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Another way you can try to teach her to lay down is to sit on the floor with one of your legs bent into a triangle with your foot flat on the floor. Then, try and lure her under your leg. She should have to lay down to get under your leg. Just keep sliding your foot out to make the triangle shorter if need be. I don't know how tall your pup is. As she goes down say "down" and then click and treat. I don't know if you use clicker training but I've learned that my two respond well to the click. Then they know exactly what I want and what they're getting treats for doing. Good luck with it! It was hard to teach Doppler 'down' but he eventually got it. Now we've just got to teach Virga. I think that'll be interesting.:rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Another way you can try to teach her to lay down is to sit on the floor with one of your legs bent into a triangle with your foot flat on the floor. Then, try and lure her under your leg. She should have to lay down to get under your leg. Just keep sliding your foot out to make the triangle shorter if need be. I don't know how tall your pup is. As she goes down say "down" and then click and treat. I don't know if you use clicker training but I've learned that my two respond well to the click. Then they know exactly what I want and what they're getting treats for doing. Good luck with it! It was hard to teach Doppler 'down' but he eventually got it. Now we've just got to teach Virga. I think that'll be interesting.:rolleyes:
That's a great idea! I never would have thought about that. Thank you!!
 

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This is what my mom-in-law was telling me to do. But I don't typically take her dog training advice because she is very "old school" and not too much into the positive training techniques. Not saying that's wrong, but just different
This technique is called molding. Actual very littler learning occurs and for some dogs they spend more time resisting than learn. But it certain can work as well

I always suggest reinforcing the natural behavior: in other words, when you're sitting around at home and your dog goes into a down position, reinforce that behavior with praise and a treat while saying the word "down".
That technique is called capturing and what I use to teach dog. Keep in mind you reall don't need to teach the dog how to perform the behavior only to do so when request so spending time teaching the behavior is really a waste of time. What you do need to do is up the rate of reinforcement for the behavior so it occurs more often and more predictably so you can teach a cue/command for the behavior. As an aside I personal would avoid using "down" until the behavior were predictable. see links below for explaination
In my household the default behavior before you get anything is down. Want to go putside wait in front of the door in a down. Get treats down, Waiting for meals down, so down for me is like mosts people sit. If my dogs were to offer a behavior most likely it is a down because that is the position they are most likely to be rewarded in.

Other techniques that work for some dogs include lure. To get the down behavior for a short dog from a sit you need the dog sitting agais a wall or something so it can not slide backward. hold the lure between the two front feet. General it is better to do this with your self and your hand to the sdide of the dog reach from under the belly. as the dog head comes down toward the treat bpull your hand back toward the chest and belly this is why tit is important to prevent the dog from sidiang back as it will ajust keep backing up. as you get the treat more under the chest the fron legs have to fold up but you need to move fast enough so the dog does not land up trying to lay or beint obstracted by your hand. It is not easy to pull off

Another luring technique is to sit on the floor leggs straight out with the kness bent creating a tunnel Luring the dog under the tunnel from by your legs froce him into a down provided you do not make the tunnel to tall. THe biggest dray back to this technique is all the physical cues to the behavior. It ocurs on when your sitting in a certain position yadda, yadda so translating that to other situations becomes hard.

How You Get Behavior Really Does Matter
Molding. Molding is physically guiding or otherwise compelling a dog to do a behavior. Pulling up on the dog’s collar while pushing down on his rear is a method of molding a sit. Molding also includes the use of physical props, such as working against a wall to force a straight heel or putting tape on the dog’s face to elicit a paw over the nose.
  • Pros: Molding is easily understood by humans, and thus it’s very easy for beginners. It’s a quick, easy way to teach large behaviors.
  • Cons: Though good for large behaviors, molding is limiting for trainers who want more precise or advanced behaviors, and it requires a great deal of trainer participation, which then has to be faded from the picture. The dog has to do very, very little thinking—his body is set up to perform the desired behavior.
Molding. Molding is physically guiding or otherwise compelling a dog to do a behavior. Pulling up on the dog’s collar while pushing down on his rear is a method of molding a sit. Molding also includes the use of physical props, such as working against a wall to force a straight heel or putting tape on the dog’s face to elicit a paw over the nose.
  • Pros: Molding is easily understood by humans, and thus it’s very easy for beginners. It’s a quick, easy way to teach large behaviors.
  • Cons: Though good for large behaviors, molding is limiting for trainers who want more precise or advanced behaviors, and it requires a great deal of trainer participation, which then has to be faded from the picture. The dog has to do very, very little thinking—his body is set up to perform the desired behavior.
Luring. Luring is a hands-off method of guiding the dog through a behavior. Lures are usually food but may be target sticks or anything else the dog will follow. A common method of luring the sit is to hold food in front of the dog’s nose, and then move the food up and back. As the dog’s head follows the food, generally the back end will drop to the floor.
  • Pros: Luring is fast and flexible, and it’s easy for beginners.
  • Cons: Lures must be faded early or they become part of the behavior, and properly fading a lure is not easy for beginners. Luring, like molding, requires little mental effort by the dog. You’re telling him everything he needs to know, and helping the dog becomes habitual—for both of you.
Capturing. In capturing, the trainer waits for the dog to offer the behavior, then marks and rewards it. Simple!
  • Pros: Capturing is easy for beginners if the desired behavior occurs frequently. Even better, it requires mental effort from the dog to figure out why it’s being rewarded.
  • Cons: Unfortunately, capturing is limited to naturally-occurring behaviors—it’s not likely you can capture a competition-perfect drop on recall. The trainer has to be ready to capture the behavior when it’s offered.

Getting the Behavior


Capturing Behavior
When I use capturing for Chandler, that is exactly what it is - "capturing". I do not entice the behavior, I do not call the dog, I do not give any body language cues, I do not do ANYTHING that could be construed as "giving information" by my dog. If I am capturing, I am after something the dog freely offers, and anything else I might do just muddies the waters.
To explain a bit more - dogs are incredibly attuned to such things as eye contact, and eye contact places pressure upon them. So when I decided to begin capturing Chandler's sits, I never even made eye contact in the first place. Because if I had looked at him, he would have picked right up on the pressure of that and looked right back at me, and from that point on, he would have been preoccupied with the fact that "Mom's attention is on me" and his behaviors would have been affected by that, even if I had then made a point of looking away. [/quote]

Adding the cue
When we teach any behavior, we are usually only muddying up the works if we attach words to the process of learning a behavior. The dog is trying to concentrate on problem solving, on finding out what he needs to do to get you to click and treat him. If we inject supurflous words, like "go to your mat" before the dog has a clue about how to do the behavior, are we not adding a totally useless thing?
...anything we add in the way of verbiage while the dog is actively problem solving is a distractor!

... there is absolutely no advantage to adding a cue word before the dog knows the behavior.


How to Add the Cue
When you train your dog, you want to him to learn that a particular stimulus is a cue for a behavior. In the beginning that cue is just one stimulus in a world of stimuli. Those stimuli -- including your cue --- are largely irrelevant.
Then as behaviors are performed and reinforced, some stimuli begin to stand out. These are called salient stimuli. When certain stimuli stand out above all others and thus cue the behavior, those stimuli are called discriminative stimuli. Your goal is to have a single discriminative stimulus.
Before a cue can be used to induce a behavior, the dog must associate the cue with the behavior. So first I say the cue *as* the dog is doing the behavior. I'll do this for 30+ reps. Then I'll say the cue just as the dog *begins* to do the behavior. I'll do that for another 30+ reps. Then I'll say the cue just before the dog does the behavior (but only when he's about to offer the behavior) for another 30+ reps. Only then, after the dog has heard the cue associated with the behavior for a minimum of 90 reps will I attempt to induce the behavior using the cue.
 

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So am I to assume it will take longer with this approach
Personnally I find capturing the fast approach to training behaviors the dog already knows how to perform. Rather than waste time teaching a behavior the dog knows you either reward the behavior so it happens more frequently, or train under instances when it is most likely to occur ie dog walking toward its bed, dog getting up on the couch etc. You know a down is about to occur. you can start working on adding the cue. and not worry and waist trime trying to get the behavior in the first place.
 

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This is what my mom-in-law was telling me to do. But I don't typically take her dog training advice because she is very "old school" and not too much into the positive training techniques. Not saying that's wrong, but just different.
I think I may try it also, just gently, to see what happens. But I know that Molly, like I think a lot of bassets may be, can be a little stubborn and tends to not want to learn something new unless she thinks it's her idea, or there's something REALLY good in it for her. :rolleyes:
Yeah, I completely understand.
We like the positive training methods too. But it might help to show her what you want. As long as you do it gently it should be ok. Molly would let you know if she didnt want you doing that.(by pulling away, ect.) I should note that I'm totally new to basset training. So my experience probably means nada. But it might be worth a try if all else fails. Use a really good treat and you will probably only have to do it a few times.
 

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Personnally I find capturing the fast approach to training behaviors the dog already knows how to perform. Rather than waste time teaching a behavior the dog knows you either reward the behavior so it happens more frequently, or train under instances when it is most likely to occur ie dog walking toward its bed, dog getting up on the couch etc. You know a down is about to occur. you can start working on adding the cue. and not worry and waist trime trying to get the behavior in the first place.
Yeah. That sounds good too. :D
 

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We like the positive training methods too
Modelling is completely compatable with positive training techniques. The links I provided are from the largest such sight on the web. I will agree however a dogs natural reaction is to resist presure so whether the technique works with a particular dog will vary. Also it can be combined with other technique, You can lure the dog and when he start to go down put pressure on so he can't get back up and once the elbow are unlock it is also hard to impossible to resist the pressure. It is not my favorite technique not because it is old school but often the dog lears only to perform when presure is applied etc it is easy to get stuck without moving to the desired finished behavior.
 

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Like what Virga & Doppler's mom says, the clicker worked very well for us. It was only a couple bucks at the pet store. you can even start w/the commands Molly knows well, like sitting, then 'click', then treat. She will soon associate clicking w/treats. and the clicking tends to be more immediate (you can carry it around and when she lies down you can click, and then go get the treat, to help w/the 'capturing.')

Worm started puppy class at the older age of 7 months. and yes, there are rescues in the class who are older. "I love going to class every week and seeing my puppy frenz. I bark at them and it drives the teacher mad. y'oughta try it, Estha" says Worm.

It was harder to teach "down" than the other commands. Our instructor had us put the treat straight below him, and then when he started sniffing, to gradually bring it out in front of his nose until he stretched and came down. honestly, it didn't seem to be working and then one day, he totally got it. Our instructor also wanted us to have our dogs respond verbally to "down," i didn't think he would know that, but then one day, he did. I think Molly will probably get it eventually, it just takes some time, persistence on your part, and patience.. let us know how it goes!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks Worm! Glad to know we aren't just slow or something, and it took others longer as well.
And as always, MikeyT with the article links! My husband is always asking, "Where do you find out all this information?" Lol, my basset forum friends and all of MikeyT's article links of course! :D
 

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Thanks Worm! Glad to know we aren't just slow or something, and it took others longer as well.
And as always, MikeyT with the article links! My husband is always asking, "Where do you find out all this information?" Lol, my basset forum friends and all of MikeyT's article links of course! :D
lol. That's funny. My husband asked me the same thing! I'm so glad I found this site. I would be so confused and lost without it. Also I would have done without a laugh or two from all the funny pictures and stories.
 
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