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training to lay down

2206 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  bigpoodleperson
I want to start off saying I probably look like an idiot asking such a simple question....but here it goes. Mercury and I have started his classes for him to become a therapy dog. We are still in the obedience part of the classes which I expected to be cake for me.

Merc knows sit, sit/stay, and how to heel really well, but for the life of me I can't get him to understand lay down. I have placed him in a sit and taken a treat and lowered it to the ground in front of him. His front end goes down but his rear pops up. The instructor suggested lowering the treat down between his front legs so he has to lay down with his entire body...and that is exactly what he does...he flops onto his side as if he is playing dead. I have tried having him sit and then pulling his front legs forward so he will be in a proper down position, but he once again flops over onto his side and then often onto his back and just looks at me goofy with his buisness straight up and with a smile on his face. I know he is just confused about what I want but I'm not sure how to show/tell him what I want. He doesn't lay like a sphinx naturally very often either and is usually on his side or back. How can I show him what I want without the rag doll effect?
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I agree. The way i taught Riley was from a stand, to lower the treat in a back/down motion. I let him nibble on the treat on the way down, and gave the whole thing (with lots of praise) when he was fully down. It did take Riley much longer to get the down then it did the sit (which only took 1 time to show, and then i asked the next time and he did it!). Just be patient and praise!
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