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Peggy Sue, Standard Poodle Born May 2019
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Poodle friends, this month we’re going to learn a super cute trick that was inspired by a conversation I had with @Asta's Mom. It’s from the AKC intermediate list and also happens to have many practical applications:

Head down!

Here’s a video tutorial:


And here’s another video tutorial, with a bonus trick at the end:


The bonus trick combines “Head down” with the very first trick we worked on, all the way back in September. Remember what it was? Peggy sure does!

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I love that this month’s trick puts a natural rest pose on cue, which can have a positive effect on dogs who ask for attention in undesirable ways. It also looks very cute in photos. :) Hope to see some of yours!

Happy training!
Robin & Peggy

P.S. Missed a previous month? It's never too late! Check out Trick Club: September, Trick Club: October, Trick Club: November, Trick Club: December, and Trick Club: January.
 

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I still have Scary Box, so we'll see how this one goes :)
 

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Remy
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Love the video!!

We haven’t had any luck. Remy is only 6 months old so I’m wondering if he’s too young for this right now. Hopefully we will go back to it down the road. I taught him to “give paw” instead. I wanted to keep it positive.

I think I taught chin down to my parti boy when he was older. I also added a visual cue - when I nodded my head, he would chin down - no verbal command needed. It’s a fun addition to the behavior.
 

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Well, Annie has taught herself a version of this trick. I like to sit on the small step leading down to an addition, which is also right next to a heating register on one side and the dryer, running on the other (read toasty and warm), and eat snacks. Annie has taught herself to stand behind me and do a chin rest on my shoulder, in hopes of acquiring some yoghurt/cheese/etc. It's so ridiculously cute that I give in. I have even accidentally taught duration by trying to resist for a while. Clever poodle.

I have been lazy so have no where near the duration on the actual cued version. Good job Peggy and Robin!
 

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Peggy Sue, Standard Poodle Born May 2019
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Discussion Starter #11
Well, Annie has taught herself a version of this trick. I like to sit on the small step leading down to an addition, which is also right next to a heating register on one side and the dryer, running on the other (read toasty and warm), and eat snacks. Annie has taught herself to stand behind me and do a chin rest on my shoulder, in hopes of acquiring some yoghurt/cheese/etc. It's so ridiculously cute that I give in. I have even accidentally taught duration by trying to resist for a while. Clever poodle.

I have been lazy so have no where near the duration on the actual cued version. Good job Peggy and Robin!
That is really sweet. I’m going to try it with Peggy. Will be like a hug. :) We’ve yet to encounter a surface that she won’t put her chin down on, but this level of novelty is sure to get her all amped up. Will be a good challenge. Thanks for the idea!
 

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Peggy Sue, Standard Poodle Born May 2019
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Discussion Starter #12
Love the video!!

We haven’t had any luck. Remy is only 6 months old so I’m wondering if he’s too young for this right now. Hopefully we will go back to it down the road. I taught him to “give paw” instead. I wanted to keep it positive.

I think I taught chin down to my parti boy when he was older. I also added a visual cue - when I nodded my head, he would chin down - no verbal command needed. It’s a fun addition to the behavior.
It was around Remy’s age I tried to teach Peggy to roll over, and we made only minor progress. I, too, decided it was best to move onto something else.

I think it’s important to recognize which challenges are good challenges, and which are better shelved for a different day....or dog. Lol.
 

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Galen is confused, because he already knows how to crawl and roll onto his side. He can't believe I want something as simple as a head down. He keeps offering a crawl. I think I will try putting a pillow in front of him.
 

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Peggy Sue, Standard Poodle Born May 2019
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Discussion Starter #14
Galen is confused, because he already knows how to crawl and roll onto his side. He can't believe I want something as simple as a head down. He keeps offering a crawl. I think I will try putting a pillow in front of him.
It’s tricky when they overlap like that. Maybe a chair between you would help? That’s what I’ve started using to build duration:

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I also find a clicker helpful for capturing small movements. That’s what I used when I initially trained this. Makes me think I should pull it out again and revisit our nemesis, rollover.
 

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I'm working really hard on this trick, because I'd like the end result of this, but with his head down, like a sweet little hug :
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Yep! Just need duration :)
 
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It’s tricky when they overlap like that. Maybe a chair between you would help? That’s what I’ve started using to build duration:

View attachment 473867

I also find a clicker helpful for capturing small movements. That’s what I used when I initially trained this. Makes me think I should pull it out again and revisit our nemesis, rollover.
I think we broke the logjam by harnessing the powers of generalization. Rather, the power of a task not being generalized. I had him lie on the couch. He has never practiced crawling or rolling on the couch, because he'd obviously fall off. So,when I lured him to put his head down, it didn't occur to him to try going anywhere. Easy peasy. He was putting his head down within two minutes. Now we just need to build duration and practice other locations.
 

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Peggy Sue, Standard Poodle Born May 2019
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Discussion Starter #19
Woo hoo! Amazing how fast it can go when we figure out how to explain to them what we want. I can just imagine Galen thinking, “This is all you wanted? Why didn’t you just say so??”
 

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Since Asta generalizes so well I look for commands or behaviors that he already knows. He will place his chin down periodically so I am just teaching the command - Chin - whenever I see the behavior. Eventually with my help he will make the connection.
 
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