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How to teach lay down?


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I was hoping to teach my grey a few basics, as he's come to me with nothing, but all the conventional dog training tips and videos don't really work with him as they expect a basic command of "sit" before getting to lay down. My grey doesn't really sit, in fact, I don't think I've ever seen him sit! He's either all fours up or down. The trouble is, I don't know how to just go straight to lay down from standing. So far I've been saying "lie down" when I know he's about to do it, and saying "good lie down! Good boy!" etc when he does, but it's not been enough to get him to grasp the idea. I also tried holding food near the floor but he doesn't really respond to that other than trying to eat my hand. :chow

 

Any tips?

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1 hour ago, Moo said:

I was hoping to teach my grey a few basics, as he's come to me with nothing, but all the conventional dog training tips and videos don't really work with him as they expect a basic command of "sit" before getting to lay down. My grey doesn't really sit, in fact, I don't think I've ever seen him sit! He's either all fours up or down. The trouble is, I don't know how to just go straight to lay down from standing. So far I've been saying "lie down" when I know he's about to do it, and saying "good lie down! Good boy!" etc when he does, but it's not been enough to get him to grasp the idea. I also tried holding food near the floor but he doesn't really respond to that other than trying to eat my hand. :chow

 

Any tips?

It took us months to get our chap to even get the concept of training. He was very timid and didn't like being touched so we couldn't pat his bum, try to guide him down with treats or try to manoeuvre him into any positions without panicking him. We eventually just did what you are doing - saying "down" several times (he doesn't stand up for long ;)) and then when he did so giving LOTS of excited praise and a nice treat. A few days of doing that several times and he picked it up, which surprised us. He's not a fan of 'tricks' but will do anything if food makes an appearance! 

Also sitting - if your grey is newly retired sitting is just not a natural and comfortable position for him. Ours stands or lies down and rarely sits, unless distracted mid slump. We found over time his muscles relaxed and he could sit, so will now sit for a treat when asked (same process as training down - "sit" when he was in that position, praise, treat) but he'll only do it briefly, it's not a normal relaxed position for him. 

We also (which I hate! Feels gimmicky) trained ours to give us his paws. Mainly as he pees all over his feet so we needed to get him used to us handling/cleaning his paws without making him nervous. Now if I'm eating something tasty he'll come bounding over, sit in front of me and flap his smelly paws in my face.... so be careful what you start :D  

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Hound Nate and I want to a really nice trainer for a "puppy class".  Nate was 2 y/o in a class with 3 bitty puppies.  :lol  The trainer had a really good suggestion for teaching "down" and "sit".

In class we used a folding chair.  At home I used dining chair of a baby gate mounted about 15" from the floor.  The approach was to have Nate standing beside the chair/gate (in the case of the gate, I'd be on the other side).  Treat in hand, I'd the ask for "down", bring the treat to the floor and move it farther and farther away from Nate,under the chair/gate, luring him down.  Nate would stretch that long neck for a bit, but eventually his hind end would drop into a nice "down" and he'd get praise and the treat.  I really liked that approach and it worked great to teach "down".  

To do "sit", the instructor had us start in the "down" position.  I then ask for "sit" and raise the treat right above his snoot and back just a bit, to discourage him from just standing.  That gets him into the sitting position where he gets praise and treats.

gallery_2398_3082_9958.jpg
Lucy with MoMo (FTH Chyna Moon), Spirit, and Miles the slinky kitty (OSH).
Missing Piper "The Perfect" (Oneco Chaplin) and Winston

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We found this Youtube video super helpful in teaching Zula to sit. (Fair warning, it does involve physically maneuvering your hound into position.) Once we used her trick a couple times, Zula would sit just with sliding our hand down her spine, and now she'll sit on command (at least, on carpet/rugs).

Once she could sit, we actually found down pretty easy to teach, just by moving a treat towards the floor when she was in a sitting position.

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4 hours ago, Feefee147 said:

It took us months to get our chap to even get the concept of training. He was very timid and didn't like being touched so we couldn't pat his bum, try to guide him down with treats or try to manoeuvre him into any positions without panicking him. We eventually just did what you are doing - saying "down" several times (he doesn't stand up for long ;)) and then when he did so giving LOTS of excited praise and a nice treat. A few days of doing that several times and he picked it up, which surprised us. He's not a fan of 'tricks' but will do anything if food makes an appearance! 

Also sitting - if your grey is newly retired sitting is just not a natural and comfortable position for him. Ours stands or lies down and rarely sits, unless distracted mid slump. We found over time his muscles relaxed and he could sit, so will now sit for a treat when asked (same process as training down - "sit" when he was in that position, praise, treat) but he'll only do it briefly, it's not a normal relaxed position for him. 

We also (which I hate! Feels gimmicky) trained ours to give us his paws. Mainly as he pees all over his feet so we needed to get him used to us handling/cleaning his paws without making him nervous. Now if I'm eating something tasty he'll come bounding over, sit in front of me and flap his smelly paws in my face.... so be careful what you start :D  

Aww bless him :lol: thankfully my lad is ok with being touched, which is merciful for cleaning up his legs after horse wees as you say. I'll bare in mind about teaching him to give them to me in case I get a face full of paw. :lol He only finished racing this September, so he's still quite hench, but it's good to hear he might be able to sit at some point, I had no idea his muscles might be preventing that from happening! 

 

4 hours ago, LBass said:

Hound Nate and I want to a really nice trainer for a "puppy class".  Nate was 2 y/o in a class with 3 bitty puppies.  :lol  The trainer had a really good suggestion for teaching "down" and "sit".

In class we used a folding chair.  At home I used dining chair of a baby gate mounted about 15" from the floor.  The approach was to have Nate standing beside the chair/gate (in the case of the gate, I'd be on the other side).  Treat in hand, I'd the ask for "down", bring the treat to the floor and move it farther and farther away from Nate,under the chair/gate, luring him down.  Nate would stretch that long neck for a bit, but eventually his hind end would drop into a nice "down" and he'd get praise and the treat.  I really liked that approach and it worked great to teach "down".  

To do "sit", the instructor had us start in the "down" position.  I then ask for "sit" and raise the treat right above his snoot and back just a bit, to discourage him from just standing.  That gets him into the sitting position where he gets praise and treats.

Puppy class might work out great, as I'll be moving in with my mum and dad soon (thanks, Covid >__> ) and they're getting a pup soon (careful introductions needed, but my hound isn't very reactive, touch wood). Maybe they can go to school together. :lol

44 minutes ago, Kathy02 said:

We found this Youtube video super helpful in teaching Zula to sit. (Fair warning, it does involve physically maneuvering your hound into position.) Once we used her trick a couple times, Zula would sit just with sliding our hand down her spine, and now she'll sit on command (at least, on carpet/rugs).

Once she could sit, we actually found down pretty easy to teach, just by moving a treat towards the floor when she was in a sitting position.

Thanks, I'll check it out! My friends' nickname is Zula so it's weird seeing the sentence "teaching Zula to sit" :D

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My dogs leaned 'down' like LBass dogs.....by luring them down.   A couple of mine would go to their elbows first, then a gentle touch on the bum helped them get that down.   

Non-slip footing/carpeting/dog bed is nice for those boney elbows!   The only one of all my wimpy hounds that will actually lay on a bare floor is the Irish lad, Sid.  

'Sit' is easiest taught along-side a thick dog bed, as it's not as far down for the bum to touch the 'ground'.

Have him stand with hind legs against the bed and hold a treat over his nose/head and gently touch his bum.  Sometimes it helps if you can manage luring with the treat while scooping his hinds legs under - as the lady in the video does at 1:30 mark -  onto the dog bed. 

NSK-Winter.jpg.a6ea578c2e544932c5222b81cda3216d.jpg

Nancy...Mom to Sid (Peteles Tiger) and Kibo (112 Carlota Galgos).   Missing Casey, Gomer, Mona, Penelope, BillieJean, Bandit, Nixon (Starz Sammie),  Ruby (Watch Me Dash) and especially  Nigel (Nigel), waiting at the Bridge.

 

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Reading the title of the post again, I wondered it you meant "go lie down on your bed" rather than "assume an AKC style Down"?

Teaching "go lie down on your bed" has been fairly easy for mine by having me say "Good Lie Down!" when they are already in the middle of settling onto theye beds.  Eventually, they "got" that "lie down" meant go to your bed.

gallery_2398_3082_9958.jpg
Lucy with MoMo (FTH Chyna Moon), Spirit, and Miles the slinky kitty (OSH).
Missing Piper "The Perfect" (Oneco Chaplin) and Winston

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