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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How should compulsion be used when initiating the dog to the long down? The dog in my case knows "down" (exhaustively), knows to hold it until I say "break" (this is not perfect by any stretch but okay), and is reasonably good at holding the down under distraction but only if she has a high focus on me and the toy or possible retrieve I'm about to initiate.

And what age is appropriate to start teaching the long down?

Edited to say...she is on a prong for all training..but corrections are rare. I have not initiated a lot of compulsive training for her, at all, usually just on walks when she's teed off on a squirrel, etc. I don't have a problem with it, I just don't think I've gotten her to a level where I can start using it effectively.
 

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Quote:How should compulsion be used when initiating the dog to the long down? The dog in my case knows "down" (exhaustively), knows to hold it until I say "break" (this is not perfect by any stretch but okay), and is reasonably good at holding the down under distraction but only if she has a high focus on me and the toy or possible retrieve I'm about to initiate.

If what you are saying is true, then your dog does not know the down. If the dog is getting up before the release command, then you are either to greedy on your time, or your distance.

I have taught this many times, many many times. The thing that I see is people want to much too soon. Then when it has been X amount of time, with so-so training, they want to correct. I did this way back when, so don't feel bad. :)

So, not slamming here, but lets break this down a little more as to what you are doing when she breaks.

Describe what how you go about training this, and then I can help you better.



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I agree with Jeff's thoughs on "to much, to soon". At old, my dog has never broken a down, and that's with NO compulsion. I never added time/distance/distractions at the same time, and constantly returned to him with rewards for not breaking, rather then waiting for a break in order to make a correction. Of course in my compulsion days, I had the same results :D . It still goes back to wanting to much, to soon. Same with ANY training.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks to you both.

I've never corrected her for breaking a down. I think one of my problems is that I usually just do obedience in the context of retrieving...she has to do something in order to get the retrieve. She does not seem to have a particularly high food drive but she'll do a lot to get the fetch. I think that focus may be getting lost when I try it in other situations...almost like she's doing a calculation that there is difference between a 'down for the retrieve' and a 'down in the kitchen.' She's definitely a lot quicker on the field to respond, for sure.

Both 'sits' and 'downs' are taught when we are playing. She has to do either before I throw or before I offer the tug, and she has to do either before I pick up whatever she has brought back. I have started to extend the length of the down or sit in that I'll put her in position and then walk off...10 paces, 25, etc. Or stand quietly for up to a 30 count or something. I say 'break' and she's free to move and that's when I'll throw the toy (with the tug I say 'take it). She's 90% with this but will break it if make an odd movement with an elbow, etc.

I think I have confused things a bit for her. She still mixes up downs and stays sometimes unless I use a hand signal.

I guess I'm just wondering when I start doing longer downs...like 15 minutes at my feet in the living room kind of stuff...if I'm offering her treats occasionally and the like, what role corrections would play if she broke the down. Sounds like you all are saying it would be way too soon to correct, which I'm fine with. I am a baby-steps guy with her because I don't have a lot of people around me to train with, I am fine with taking my time with this and I know I am making rookie mistakes.
 

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Woody, separate the sit stays and down stays from just a sit or down for the toy. In the "stay" exercises, always return to the basic position (Heel/fus) before releasing her. That will help her distinguish the difference between the two and keep her from anticipating. ALSO, make the release very random. By that I mean only release her every 4th, 7th, 10th (examples) time you return to her. DON'T fall into a set pattern. Sometimes come to the position, nothing said, stay a few sec, and walk away again. Sometimes, just walk to the position and keep walking by. That will teach her that just because you've returned, it doesn't mean she's released. Make her think!
Go back to the beginning and stay close before you return. It's going to look like a totally new exerciser to he. Don't add time or distance until she's solid at the present.
Dogs will key off of body language faster then a verbal command. Drop ALL hand signals till she's solid. When she gets confused about the sit or down, just tell her no and walk away for a few sec. When she gets it right, the world is hers! praise, praise, praise!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
working on the stuff you all have suggested as we speak, meant to post this earlier, thanks for your help so far. I have made some serious mistakes, I think, doing ob only in the context of play...and definitely only with object rewards. She's lost pretty much all of her food focus and didn't have that much to begin with. A few nights ago she just smelled the small Orbee in my shorts (that probably sounds worse than I intend it :eek:) and completely forgot about the yummy treats I was offering her.

Oh well, it's springtime in MN, I can carry a bait bag outside now without my fingers freezing off. Life is good for challenges.
 

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A few nights ago she just smelled the small Orbee in my shorts (that probably sounds worse than I intend it :o) [/quote said:
That's just WAY to much info Woody. :lol: :lol: :lol: :wink:
 
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