Call it 'Down', 'Drop', or 'Lie', this is one of the more advanced basic commands.
Put yourself in the following scenario:
You and your dog are enjoying a walk on a beautiful spring day. He ambles off-lead, sniffing the grass as you stroll along a woodland path. The trees start to thin and you emerge back out onto the sidewalk just as the dog spots a cat on the opposite side of the street. He darts off, racing straight for the road as a car sweeps round the corner. Horrified, you realize he's about to run straight into its path.
What do you do?
Simple! Taking a good lungful of air, you holler "Down". He drops to the sidewalk, giving you time to run over and grab his collar.
Your dog is trained to "Down".
The 'Down' command has two important assets. One, it requires to dog to stop moving, and two, it takes more effort to rise from down than sit, hence putting you in control and buying time.
Teaching a dog to lie down gives your great control in a whole variety of situations. It involves the dog transiting from a sit, standing position, or even running, to lying upright on the ground waiting for the next command.
From lying quietly at a cafe to dropping down instead of running into a road, this is a great skill to teach. Indeed an emergency 'Down' could even save his life. And once he's mastered 'Down', you can further improve his obedience by adding distance (stepping away from him) or time (having lie for timed periods)
The 'Down' position is deceptively difficult for some dogs to master, so be patient with your pooch (as with any training exercise.) Remember, if he is struggling, end the session on a positive note and start again later. Training should always be fun, so give him marks for effort and be happy that he gave it a go.
You will need:
Start your training in a quiet location away from distractions. It's also helpful if you are familiar with the principles of reward-based training, and the dog already knows how to sit.
Always make training sessions fun, so be extravagant with praise when the dog does as commanded. However, if the dog is struggling to concentrate or seems confused, bring the session to an end.
Daily training is essential, with three, five to ten minutes sessions per day being preferable to one 15 to 30-minute session.
I have 2 dogs and they are jealous of each other.
Alex(Husky) has been living with me since he was born. Recently I adopted Jack (German shepherd).
Jack is friendly and obedient but he bully Alex and doesn't allow him to drink or eat.
On the other side, when I'm with them Alex shows an aggressive behavior toward Jack (barking, jumps on Jack, and sometimes bites his tail).
Note that at the beginning Alex was so friendly with Jack and gave him his treat then came to me and got another one.
How can I stop Jack's bullying? And how can I stop the jealousy between them?
Thanks for your help,
Hello Alexander, First, crate train both dogs using the crate manners and Surprise methods from the article and video linked below. Feed both dogs in separate locked crates at meal times. Crate manners: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Second, teach both dogs the Out command (which means leave the area) and make whoever is causing issues leave the area as needed - including if pup is hovering around water bowl to guard. Out command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Decide what your house rules are for both dogs and you be the one to enforce the rules instead of the dogs. No aggression, no pushiness, no stealing toys, no stealing food, no being possessive of people or things, or any other unwanted behavior - if one dog is causing a problem you be the one to enforce the rules so that the dogs are NOT working it out themselves. For example, if pup comes over to your other dog when he is trying to leave, tell pup Out. If he obeys, praise and reward him. If he disobeys, stand in front of your other dog, blocking the pup from getting to him, and walk toward pup calmly but firmly until pup leaves the area and stops trying to go back to your other dog. If your Jack growls at pup, make him leave the room while also disciplining pup if needed. Be vigilant and take the pressure off of your dogs - you want them to learn to look to you when there is a problem, and for them to learn respect for each other because you have taught it to them and not because they have used aggression. Teach both dogs the Place command and work up to having them both stay on their separate Place beds calmly for 1-2 hours. This is a great calming, self-control building, and tolerance exercise. It also helps get them both in a working, more respectful mindset while in the same room as each other. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Finally, work on manners and building respect and trust for you, especially with Jack - but it's important for both for different reasons. Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Working method and Consistency method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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How to stop aggressive biting?
Hello, you can try methods and training to stop Zora from biting, but if she is aggressive biting, that may be a different story. In that case, I would recommend a trainer come to the home to assess Zora and give you helpful tips to stop the biting. She may be trying to be the boss - you've got to start showing leadership. First, make her wait for everything. This means when you place her food down, have her sit first. Then you release her with an "okay" to eat. When putting on her leash to go for a walk, have her sit. When getting a treat, have her sit and so on. There are tips here for stopping the biting; you can try the Leave It command: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite. Also read this guide through for excellent tips: https://wagwalking.com/training/not-bite-2. Redirect Zora's attention away from biting with a toy, such as a textured teething toy. If you do not have luck after these methods, call a trainer. Remember, obedience classes will help, too, so be sure to enroll Zora as soon as the vet gives the okay. Good luck!
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Scruffy was a rescue we have had for 6 months. At first we could walk anywhere in the neighborhood. Now we cannot do that. She will stop in her tracks if we go to far from the house and she will refuse to move, especially if she hears a noise like a car door and children really cause her fear. We have progressed a little to walking a short distance from the house by giving her treats, but it is very dependent on what is going on around her. How can we help her get over her fears of unexpected noise and walk farther?
Hi there. I have some follow up questions that I am unable to ask, so I hope that I am not giving you repeat information. The first thing you can do is switch to a harness if you are using a collar. Another thing to try is to re-establish her confidence with being outside of the house. My dog (any many of my customers dogs) have gone through weird periods of time like this. You can set her up on leash, outside the home. Just far enough to the point where she refuses to walk. And sit there with her for about 10-15 minutes giving her treats whenever something startles her. This will teach her to associate positives with whatever is triggering her fear. Spend about a week doing this, no walking, and you will see improvement.
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How to train him
Hello, Next, check out these videos of a puppy class. Follow along with your puppy at home and practice the exercises to help with general basic obedience: Puppy Class videos: Week 1, pt 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnhJGU2NO5k Week 1, pt 2: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-1-part-2-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 2, pt 1 https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-2-part-1-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 2, pt 2: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-2-part-2-home-jasper-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 3, pt 1: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-3-part-1-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 3, pt 2: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-3-part-2-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 4, pt 1: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-4-part-1-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 4, pt 2: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-4-part-2-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 5, pt 1: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-5-part-1-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 5, pt 2: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-5-part-2-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 6, pt 1: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-6-part-1-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 6, pt 2: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-6-part-2-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1-0 Finally, check out the PDF e-book downloads found on this website, written by one of the founders of the association of professional dog trainers, and a pioneer in starting puppy kindergarten classes in the USA. Click on the pictures of the puppies to download the PDF books: https://www.lifedogtraining.com/freedownloads/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Over excitement when people come around. She jumps straight up and is just wild.
Hello Francine, I would in general work on several commands that increase impulse control - this will take repetition and working her up to distractions gradually. Pup essentially needs an off-leash level of obedience to help with self-control, even though she is inside. One benefit of this, even though it will mean some work and time on your end, is that it should help pup learn better calmness and self-control in general and the training practice should stimulate her mentally, which can wear her out more. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s Out - which means leave the area: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Down-Stay: https://www.thelabradorsite.com/train-your-labrador-to-lie-down-and-stay/ Leash method for jumping: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-australian-shepherds-to-not-jump I would work up to pup doing a 1 hour place command, gradually adding distractions like toys and food being dropped, family entering and exiting the front door, and you dancing around silly, start with the basics of Place and gradually make it harder as she improves, consistently returning her to place when she breaks command due to distraction, and keeping sessions frequent but short. You want to work up to pup handling all kinds of silly things when guests aren't there, including the front door opening, then recruit dog friendly friends who are willing to practicing entering and leaving your home over and over again to work up to pup being able to handle that distraction also. Once pup has stayed on Place for long enough to become calm and bored, then let pup get up to greet guests with a leash on to practice the leash method from the article linked above. I would instruct guests who want to greet pup to command pup to sit, then feed pup a treat under their chin (not holding it above their head or that encourages jumping), so that pup starts to expect to automatically sit to greet guests and has a go-to behavior that they can't do at the same time as jumping. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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I have always always loved dogs!!! I have also for many many years taken care of my neighbors dogs when they were out of town or had to work late. I have taught my dog Sebastian all sorts of things he is especially good at soccer!! Seriously!!! I believe in rewarding them well. The neighborhood I live brings their dogs over to play with Sebastian because he is sociable and I’m a major dog lover. I’m a notary public. I’m very trustworthy and never meet a stranger and Dogs sense things. So as of yet I haven’t met one that hasn’t warmed up to me. I’ve also been a huge advocate for homeless dogs in our area. If I could adopt everyone of them I would...Recently our neighbor lost their dog. They had the dog only a day and it was for his little girls. I took it upon myself to keep up the search, place food outside and water and I kept noticing him hanging around but he was very skiddish. I’m sure he had been abused but I’m happy to say that Sebastian my dog and I were finally able to get him to approach us and know there was no danger. The little girls screamed with delight when they got him back and the parents were so appreciative they tried to offer a cash reward but I refused. I did it from my heart because I knew this dog was going to be in a great environment and shown much love. It was a blessing!!! I also take Sebastian to nursing homes in the area and the people love it. It would be a god send to have a job like this because I love to walk and love being outside!!! Thank you!!!