MemberJuly 31, 2011 at 1:54 pm3140
Hi and Welcome!
Kudos to you for rescuing so many dogs! It sounds like you have been making progress with him since you have had him, which is great. Make sure that you are not only working on the obedience portion of this website but working your way up the 11 layer Pyramid as well http://www.selfhelpdogtraining.com/selfhelp/cms/foundationdogtraining.html.
As far as starting the down, if he is having trouble figuring out going to a down position from a sit using a luring technique with the treat, you can try a variation. Sometimes dogs with short legs, like doxies 🙂 , aren’t easily lured into a down because they can just bow their head down to reach the treat without bending their legs at all. If you think he is seems stessed and frustrated with the lure technique and you are following the steps in the video then you can use an alternate technique.
One other technique is a tunnel or bridge technique. Use of this technique will depend on his food aggression issues, because it requires that he crawls underneath your leg or arm to reach a treat. There is NO force used ( no pressing down on his back, or shoulders).
To perform this technique using your leg (which would be my first choice for a dog with his issues)
1.sit on the floor with on legs out in front of you , then bend one knee so that a opening is created between your leg and the floor. The opening must be high enough for your dog to fit through but low enough so that he has to get on his belly to make it through.
2. Hold the treat on the opposite side of your leg from the dog, extend it through the “tunnel” to him and encourage him to come under the “tunnel” by holding the treat to the floor and back through the opening of the “tunnel”. Say”Down” just as he is about to get into the down position for the the treat.
Praise and Deliver the treat as SOON as his belly and elbows hit the ground.
3. If he seems tentative going under your leg you can deliver a treats for putting his head through the opening for a few repetitions, then only give the treat for getting his head and neck through the opening etc. until he is reaching far enough into the “tunnel” to get into the down position.
4.When he is repeatedly going into the down position right away you can try using the lure technique without using your leg as a bridge and say “Down”. This usually transfers over really nicely.
Having him on a leash to do obedience at this point shouldn’t be an issue if he is good on the leash for you normally, since you won’t be using any corrections during Phase 1 anyway.
Let me know how this works out!