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Discussion Starter #1
Hey, I have a 10 week old Labrador retriever who I'm trying teach to lie down. I managed to teach him sit within 2 days but lie down seems to be like rocket science to him! I've spent about 10 days teaching him lie down and it's gotten to the point I think I'm doing something wrong.

Here's what I do:

Start him in sit position
Lure him with treat to down position while saying "down" each time
Click clicker and give him treat once he's in position

But when I try verbal command alone he just sits there looking confused.

Any help greatly appreciated, thanks!
 

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My guess would be that you're moving too fast and skipping a few steps!

First thing you'll want to do is to switch from lure (food used to move dog into position) to reward (dog moves into position and then food comes out of pocket or other out of sight location). To do this lure 2-3 times in a row. Your puppy should be quickly and easily dropping into a down. Then the next time make the same motion with your hand as if you did have food. Your puppy will likely down. Click and get treat from pocket/bait bag, counter, etc. That hand motion/signal is your cue for down. If you don't make this transition then it's very likely you unintentionally train your dog to only do a down when you have food on hand.

Once your puppy understands your hand signal (likely hand touching ground - and should you wish to change this signal do so in small increments), then you can begin to add your verbal cue. You'll say ''down'' and then translate with your hand signal. Click and treat. You want your word to come first followed by the hand signal. Eventually your puppy will make the connection and respond to your verbal ''down''.
 

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Agree with both! Plus, a lot of times people add the cue word much too early. Most of the time before your puppy even has a clue what the word means. If you follow kmes advice, he'll be going into a down easily soon :)
 
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Pax responds better to hand signals than he does verbal cues. Everything I teach I use both a hand signal along with verbal. He is rock solid on visual cues but sometimes also gets confused on just verbal cues.

I agree with over using the word. You should lure then click only and word only once when they do the action.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
UPDATE

Ok so I have moved from lure to hand signal and he's doing that part with ease.

Here's what I'm doing now

I'm saying "Down" followed by hand signal to the floor.

Once he's in position I click and give him treat out of my pocket.

But when I try "Down" by itself he still doesn't respond.

Am I on the right track?
 

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It may take a while to transition from hand signals to purely verbal command. Make sure you're not overusing the verbal command either, that will desensitize him to it, never say it more than twice, but just once is ideal. Some dogs just do better w hand signals and it may always help to give a hand signal of some kind, even if it's something more subtle such as pointing at the ground as you're standing up (that's what I use for my dog). Just keep at it, work on slowly making the hand signal more subtle and using the verbal command, he's still so young, eventually he'll get it.
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You're still moving too fast for him. Keep doing a hand signal + verbal down. When he does that right EVERY time for say, a day, try just saying down. Many dogs struggle with verbal commands. And really, if he knows the hand signal you can still get him to lie down without saying anything!
 

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You're doing it right, you probably just need to give it more time. Sit was always easy to each my dog. Right now only one dog has successfully learned lay and it took me about two weeks. Still working on it with the puppy and it's take awhile.

Keep at it! You'll get it :)
 
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