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At our training class we were supposed to have worked on sit, down, and touch. Delilah is amazing at sit and touch but down is another story. She needs to be lured down with my hand- a treat's not necessary, but if I don't let her follow my fingers she doesn't know what to do. I've tried waiting so I can capture the behavior instead but she doesn't offer it- she stares at me and sits and runs off her mat and runs back on and then just sits again and then eventually gets bored/frustrated and wanders off.

In class everyone had to stand up and tell their dogs "down," we weren't allowed to use luring or even a hand signal. Everyone else's dogs lay down but Delilah just stared at me blankly. I'm worried that I taught her wrong even though I taught her the way they showed us the first class. She is not associating the cue word with the behavior.

Another problem is that once I lure her into a down, she pops back up as soon as I take my hand away. This problem has to do with the luring too. She won't stay in the down position when I'm trying to give her the treat. I try to not give her the treat until she's lying down again, but we're clicker training so I've already clicked so I think I need to give her the treat anyways since I've clicked?

The trainer didn't come over to help me one on one- she just kept saying that we weren't supposed to use hand signals/pointing/luring and saying things like "it doesn't look like everyone did the homework..." And Delilah kept yapping at everyone in the class whenever someone moved and I got so frustrated and anxious when I tried to ask a question I started stuttering and then I started crying in the middle of class. :( So I tried asking but got too scared to even finish the question. :(

I don't know what I'm doing wrong, I thought I was doing the same thing as everyone else. I'm new to clicker training, Delilah's catching on so well but me not so much. I never had these problems with Mia!
 

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Down is a slightly harder position. You could have her lay down under something like your leg so she can't pop up. And when you get her down LOTS of treats and quick, then when shes just about to eat all the treats say "Yes", "Okay", what ever your release word is. I personally did the luring. And my instructor did it by what ever works best for you and your dog. Every dog learns differently just like people.

Also when you do get her down right when she hits the floor Click and reward and say your release word and have a big party. She's just taking a little bit longer then the rest of the dogs.

And get some really yummy treats :)
 

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I know it's easier said than done, but try not to stress about it. Celebrate Delilah's successes and just work with her the way you feel is best for what she is having trouble with. :thumbsup:

Fwiw, I totally have people train down via luring in my classes. Week one we just lure (I often show sit to down as well as stand to down). I just want dogs quickly following treats and learning how to move bodies to change positions. Week 2 I make sure everyone makes the switch from lure to reward. Week 3 we work on adding the verbal cue (''down", then translate with hand signal, and finally mark and reward from pocket or treat bag) and I also explain how to change the hand signal (hand to ground) over time to get themselves upright. Even then, it's not unusual for me to have to give a creative solution to at least one student...

For actually training down, if you were in my class I might have you try an exercise I use for adding the verbal and get speedy folding downs...
Get Delilah into a down and feed multiple treats one after the other (treats delivered on the ground between her paws). Then tell her ''get it" and hold a single treat up high so that she needs to stand (resets for a down). You could also ise a hand target to get her up. Wait. If she is clicker savvy, chances are she'll down again. If so click and treat on ground between paws. If she doesn't then lure her or give your hand signal again and reward with multiple treats one at a time between paws. Then a single treat high up to reset for a down. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Once she is quickly dropping down on her own after eating that high treat, you can start adding the verbal "down" just before or as she downs. She'll make the connection in time.:)

You could do a similar version for sit to down using the ''get it'' and treat to get her up into sit to reset instead of a stand. ;)

Let me know if that doesn't make sense! I might have a vid of this on my phone...
 

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What I don't understand is why you have to teach your dog in the way the trainer wants. Shouldn't it be by how your dog learns best? To be honest, I would let the trainer know that you will use whatever method works best for you and your dog, whether it be by luring, verbal, signal, or whatever else works. There is also no reason why your trainer needs to say such snarky remarks during class. Totally unnecessary and counterproductive.

That being said, you are not doing anything wrong. All dogs learn at different paces and it seems like she is not understanding the way the trainer wants you to teach her to lay down.

At home, when she is already laying down, you can approach her and say "down" and give a treat. I've had to use this method for previous dogs that did not respond to the traditional way to teaching "down". Another way I've taught down was to actually sit on the floor and the dog would come over for some pets. They usually lay down when i'm on the floor. As soon as they began to lay down I would say "down" then treat.

Don't be so hard on yourself. Sounds like they both of you are doing great, just hit a little bump along the way.
 

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The way I teach down is I sit on the floor with my knees bent so they form a tunnel. I then lure the dog sorta half way through. To keep up with the lure, they lay down because it's just the natural thing to do. When they lay, mark and reward.

The verbal cue is usually the last thing you add. You want your dog to be reliably performing the behavior with a hand signal or other context cue before you start adding the verbal.
 

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When I've taught down (to 15+ dogs) its always the same way. With the dog in a sit I gently place them in a down position while issueing the command. I then hold my hand over the back to keep them from getting up, give a positive marker and treat. I repeat this several times while increasing the amount of time between placing down and treating. Eventually I stop physically preventing them from getting up and treat if they stay down. If they seem to get it, I try issuing the command in my 'command voice' while holding a treat. Some dogs get it right away, with others I've had to go back to the beginning and repeat, but eventually they all associate the position with the reward. It's important to get the timing of the positive marker right, it's right when their belly touches the ground and their joints are relaxed.
 

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So here's a video of my puppy doing the quick down exercise I suggested...
It's not a ''how to'' video (was for my eyes to assess) so hopefully with the description above it'll make sense... Basically heavily reinforce the down then reset by pulling her up into a stand (or sit if she only knows how to move from sit to down). A strong reinforcement history for down results in the dog dropping down predictably on their own. Gets the handler upright and the verbal can be added pretty quickly.

Also though this was an early session, it wasn't Leggs' first time. He had already begun dropping into a down uncued/on his own so I was beginning to add the verbal.
 

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she just kept saying that we weren't supposed to use hand signals/pointing/luring and saying things like "it doesn't look like everyone did the homework..."
This sentence alone feels to me that she is not the right trainer for you and your dog.

Personally I think luring IS the best way to initiate the behavior you want and since day one I taught Pax with BOTH hand signals and verbal cues. He responds MUCH better with hand signals than he does verbal.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Need Help with "Down"

Thanks everyone for your suggestions! They're very helpful!

This is the best training facility in my county- balanced training is very popular around here so the alternative if I wanted to do positive training would be either Petco classes, or hire a private trainer which I can't afford right now but will likely need in the future for her reactivity. There used to be another facility that did positive training and dog sports but I think they went out of business because their website isn't up anymore and they haven't posted on their fb for a couple of years. So this is my best option if I want to do agility. The good news is that this is only the second class and the trainer that regularly teaches it wasn't there because of a family emergency so this was a substitute trainer. The actual trainer for this class seems better so I hope she'll be back next week.
@kmes- I tried that exercise you posted and I was still having trouble with her popping up after I clicked so I did it without the clicker and we did much better! By the end I didn't even have to lure her but she still needed a hand signal. It's improvement though! Gotta figure out the clicker problem now.
 

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I think sometimes that by associating the click with the treat, they also associate it with being done with the behavior - as in, "yay! I'm done...treat time!!!" Which then causes them to stop doing what they were doing so they can collect their treat. I think of it like a bell signaling the end of class, haha.

I use the clicker some and it's great, but I've found sometimes flexibility is a necessity :)
 

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Thanks everyone for your suggestions! They're very helpful!

This is the best training facility in my county- balanced training is very popular around here so the alternative if I wanted to do positive training would be either Petco classes, or hire a private trainer which I can't afford right now but will likely need in the future for her reactivity. There used to be another facility that did positive training and dog sports but I think they went out of business because their website isn't up anymore and they haven't posted on their fb for a couple of years. So this is my best option if I want to do agility. The good news is that this is only the second class and the trainer that regularly teaches it wasn't there because of a family emergency so this was a substitute trainer. The actual trainer for this class seems better so I hope she'll be back next week.
@kmes- I tried that exercise you posted and I was still having trouble with her popping up after I clicked so I did it without the clicker and we did much better! By the end I didn't even have to lure her but she still needed a hand signal. It's improvement though! Gotta figure out the clicker problem now.
Watch how @kmes gives a series of rewards once her puppy is down....That's how she's teaching him to go down and STAY down, and how she shows him that the click isn't a release to get back up. The down behavior is rewarded with the click and initial treat, and reinforcement is continued even after the click until she cues him to get up again. Rewarding in the position you want is very beneficial. She gives treats one after the other pretty quickly....With your issue just starting off, you want to try to do it even faster. BEFORE she pops up, try to get in a second treat. You may even need to get your hand down there with treats AS you click. She will figure it out!

Once the puppy figures out to lay down and stay there, you can increase the interval between treats and add more time.
 

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Watch how @kmes gives a series of rewards once her puppy is down....That's how she's teaching him to go down and STAY down, and how she shows him that the click isn't a release to get back up. The down behavior is rewarded with the click and initial treat, and reinforcement is continued even after the click until she cues him to get up again. Rewarding in the position you want is very beneficial. She gives treats one after the other pretty quickly....With your issue just starting off, you want to try to do it even faster. BEFORE she pops up, try to get in a second treat. You may even need to get your hand down there with treats AS you click. She will figure it out!

Once the puppy figures out to lay down and stay there, you can increase the interval between treats and add more time.
She doesn't even stay down long enough for the first treat. She hears the click and gets up as soon as she hears it. And I'm not sure what to do because I don't want to give her the treat after she's gotten up but I already clicked so I have to, right? (I haven't been giving the treat if she's not lying down for it but I feel like that's wrong).

I have the treats in my pocket- I tried having them in my hand so I could reward her more quickly but that gets tricky trying to hold the clicker and give the hand signal and she starts following the treat I'm holding instead of paying attention to what I'm asking her.

Without the clicker I've been giving her successive treats-4 or 5 before I let her get up. She seems to be getting it without the clicker. That's a problem though because we're supposed to be using the clicker and that's what everyone uses in class. Maybe she's getting confused by hearing all of the clickers in class? I know of at least one time when she heard the person next to me click and then run over and look at me like I was going to give her a treat.
 

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She doesn't even stay down long enough for the first treat. She hears the click and gets up as soon as she hears it. And I'm not sure what to do because I don't want to give her the treat after she's gotten up but I already clicked so I have to, right? (I haven't been giving the treat if she's not lying down for it but I feel like that's wrong).

I have the treats in my pocket- I tried having them in my hand so I could reward her more quickly but that gets tricky trying to hold the clicker and give the hand signal and she starts following the treat I'm holding instead of paying attention to what I'm asking her.

Without the clicker I've been giving her successive treats-4 or 5 before I let her get up. She seems to be getting it without the clicker. That's a problem though because we're supposed to be using the clicker and that's what everyone uses in class. Maybe she's getting confused by hearing all of the clickers in class? I know of at least one time when she heard the person next to me click and then run over and look at me like I was going to give her a treat.
No, I wouldn't say you HAVE to reward after the click. What you're dealing with is actually a fairly common issue. Dogs end up seeing the click as a release because they usually have to go to the owner to get the reward. It's an issue with agility training too where you specifically want to train distance. You have to learn to throw the toy or treat so the dog is rewarded for staying out there. Otherwise it becomes habit for the dog to return to you for it's reward, which you obviously don't always want.

If you click and she gets up that quickly, then just reset her back into a down and try again if you absolutely cannot beat her to it. She may get frustrated, but she will learn. And again, you do have to be quick. You can also try going in to give her the reward AS you click, or just before you click. So when you do click, she's still already down.
 

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i remember one of the mods either tiggerbounce, amandab, or zoesmom taught me the way @TiggerBounce mentioned and posted a video of them demonstrating it for me and jessie caught on right away, she was like your dog till then. i was ever so grateful this was 2013 however! ever since now when i say down she mostly goes down right away without any lure same for recall now!

This is a rough patch we all go through and you both will get there and i know how you feel ive been that way in the past with Jessie especially when she kept running off 8 months of age onward and when i moved house when she was 10 months she lost all her training and oh my god it was horrible going back to basics and her running out the door like a rabbit so fast and not able to get her back at one stage i cried so hard and said i should give her to a shelter. I remember posting about it but kwenemi and others on here really discouraged me from sending her to a shelter that we would get through this rough patch and i regret even posting that!

So what im saying is i have faith in you that you can get through this and like Jessie your pup will turn into a wonderful dog and adult. keep practising
 
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intrestingly Jessie has decided she wont go down at all, so im back to the method i used to get her to go down. i think its that attitude of hmmm let me think about whether to do this or not ad let me get back to you that she has right now. So working on her down ontop of everything else lol
 
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