• Michael D’Abruzzo

    July 31, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    This dog sounds like may be a potential bite risk with the “down”. Sometimes dogs with this presentation will bite if frustated enough. suggestions:

    Take step backwards and tell us about how the “pack structure” is in the home. Most importantly how it relates to you and this dog. Affection, toys, resting places, etc as described in layer 5 on the triangle.

    This dog may need a basket muzzle with a hole trimmed in the front before doing the down or

    Use a backtie on a slippery floor. Give little pieces of treats as the dog streches to get them out of the hand. Hold the treats low. When dog gets tired and goes to the ground, then jackpot the dog with a small handful of whatever you are doing –

    If either of these is just too difficult, which it may be with the combination of temperamant and extreme stature, hold off on the down. It is not very important for any aggression rehab plan. For dogs like this I have done modified “sit” rules where the dog can slide into a down if tired. This way when u need a stay, you can just do a sit. If it will be for a long time the dog can just slide into a down. The sit is a very safe stay command to teach and enforce going on to phase 2 – but down is not very safe unless u have things in place to be prepared if the dog gets frustrated.

    Once the dog gets ahead of the game on a good phase 2 sit. A down can sometimes be revisted and much easier to do.

    But, please tell us the specifics of the pack stuture, before we move on.