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Can't Teach My Dog to Lay Down on Command. Any Suggestions?

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posted on Jul, 10 2014 @ 06:59 PM
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I'm a little embarrassed to admit this, I've taught several dogs throughout the years to lay down on command. I have two dogs now and one is picking it up, but the other just doesn't seem to "get it".

He's a rescue and he came to me at about 3 years old. He's shaping up to be a good dog, not perfect yet, but progressing nicely. He walks next to me with a dropped leash away from the house under normal distraction, he goes to his kennel when I tell him to, he comes when he's called, he's generalized the "sit" command and he stays in the sit position for a considerable length of time. He loves to play fetch and retrieves nicely. He presents as a dog who really wants to please.

But I can't lure him into laying down. He's very food motivated but it's like he just doesn't get what I'm trying to get him to do.

I've tried open hand and closed hand luring. I've tried making a bridge out of my legs. Nothing I do seems to work and I've watched numerous youtube videos trying to come up with a way to convey what I want him to do. (I haven't tried forcing him into the down position yet, I'd rather not go that route, particularly with this dog if I don't have to).

Any ideas?




posted on Jul, 10 2014 @ 07:02 PM
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a reply to: imwilliam

If he is a rescue dog he might have experienced head trauma, and will never be able to do more than love you unconditionally and try to be lovable.



posted on Jul, 10 2014 @ 07:10 PM
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a reply to: imwilliam

Persistence, and patience my friend.

No different than kids.

Habit, doing it over and over without giving up.

Ive had good obedient dogs, and one husky that wouldn't listen unless I'm holding food, then I could get her to make dinner, and do my taxes, etc.

Good luck!



posted on Jul, 10 2014 @ 07:14 PM
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Umm, yes, I have a suggestion. It's just the one you don't want
to hear.

Gently press him down, say good boy when he obeys, give him
a treat, scratch his ears, pet his head, let him up, pause for
a few seconds, and repeat over and over again.

Persistent repetition...if that doesn't work the teach him to "sit"
instead and be satisfied with it...he may never learn "lay-down".



posted on Jul, 10 2014 @ 07:20 PM
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watch.




posted on Jul, 10 2014 @ 07:23 PM
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Hmmm.
Could be a number of things to think of or try. Let's go!

1. Possibly he's hard of hearing? Try using a hand-command at the same time as voice during training will help overcome it and provide a visual feedback for him.
2. Doesn't want to submit to you? As in laying down for you is showing you as his dominant leader (technically), so he could be not willing or nervous at showing weakness. How else does he behave? Anxiety is pretty common in dogs and you might need to speak with a vet about options.
3. Try training him when he's calm. Pick your moment when he's already on the laying ground, and go sit next to him. Then just give him a treat while saying the command (and hand gesture). Keep it going for a minute or so, but once he's gotten up, if he no longer will follow the command and lie back down - that's it for this session, quickly get up and put away the treats.
4. I had a dog who I trained as a teenager. I kind of skipped the laying down command and instead taught him 'BANG' whereby I shot him with a banana. Very awkward in public shouting 'BANG' at your dog.....
5. Does he ever 'lay down' much? Like when ever he goes to the floor, is he okay with lying, or does he flop over to one side quickly? Perhaps it hurts his chest in that position?
6. One other thing you can try, is working from the sitting position. Then make the treats just out of his range, if he brings his feet forward (while leaving his butt on the floor) to reach it, that's okay. Keep that going moving the treat just further away from his reach and lower as well. Sometimes it takes tiny inches to make it the full mile.

Also, training time is fun time for you both. If you're frustrated with his progress you can be sure he is frustrated too, so remember that training time is a relaxing time. No point if there is lots going on around your house (visitors, kids, etc.)
edit on 10-7-2014 by Qumulys because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 10 2014 @ 07:29 PM
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a reply to: imwilliam

Hi imwilliam:

You just never know with rescue dogs...he may have experienced some sort of abuse connected with "down."

Sounds like he is happy, healthy and on his way to being well adjusted. I would be satisfied with the sit and stay commands and not sweat the small stuff.

for adopting to a forever home!



posted on Jul, 10 2014 @ 07:29 PM
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My dog who used to lay on command but then suddenly stopped doing it. As time went on I realised he had painful joints and the act of getting up and down was painful for him. You should watch him when he decides to lay down, see if he's very slow at it, if so you might have to forget the lay down command.
edit on 10-7-2014 by VoidHawk because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 10 2014 @ 07:50 PM
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I appreciate all the responses, thoughts and suggestions. Thank you and I've starred each of your posts.

I have considered a physical problem, but he's very athletic and I'm not seeing anything else that suggests it. The bio I got on him indicated he'd had a rough life, but more in line with neglect and multiple homes than anything else and he's not hand shy or anything like that.

However, your responses have got me thinking and I'm starting to wonder about something. Because I have two, their individual time is normally outside and that usually starts with fetch, which he loves. Maybe he's just too keyed up after fetch to do something like "lay down"? I'll try and get some individual time inside where things are calmer, (And not associated with fetch), and work with him on the down command.

Thanks again everyone.



posted on Jul, 10 2014 @ 07:59 PM
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a reply to: imwilliam

Good luck!

I tried for months to teach my dog to sit or come when called. He just looks at me. I gave up lol It wasn't important and he is a good dog. I just blame it on the Pekingese half of him for being stubborn.

He does come 50% of the time when you call his name but telling him to sit or lay down, well I think it would take a miracle to see that happen.



posted on Jul, 10 2014 @ 08:07 PM
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a reply to: imwilliam

He does well with the other things you've taught him, just concentrate on what he does best.
Keep getting your other dog to lie down, and eventually the rescue dog might just copy



posted on Jul, 10 2014 @ 08:19 PM
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a reply to: imwilliam

Our dog sits only when we have a dog snack. I would rather have my dog not sit, and instead get her to stop digging holes in our backyard and catching fire flies and eating them. lol
edit on 10-7-2014 by WeRpeons because: (no reason given)

edit on 10-7-2014 by WeRpeons because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 10 2014 @ 08:28 PM
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Keep getting your other dog to lie down, and eventually the rescue dog might just copy


lol . . . they're both rescues. The second one was what they call a "failed foster" . . . supposed to be temporary but ended up being permanent. I think they knew that was going to happen.

I did try to work them both together earlier, hoping for the "copying" thing, but it didn't work. Might work now that the female is getting so much better at it.

We need a dog forum here



posted on Jul, 10 2014 @ 08:33 PM
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a reply to: mblahnikluver




I tried for months to teach my dog to sit or come when called. He just looks at me. I gave up lol It wasn't important and he is a good dog. I just blame it on the Pekingese half of him for being stubborn.


With these two dogs I've been trying to use Michael Ellis's techniques/style. He's got quite a few youtube videos out there and I really like his approach. It's been really effective . . . other than the lay down thing.

If I had a Pekingese, I might not worry so much about them behaving. But these are big dogs and yes . . . I am imagining how much easier it might be if they were smaller like a Pekingese . . . and it's not an entirely unpleasant bit of imagining



posted on Jul, 10 2014 @ 09:20 PM
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I have taught both Cats and Dogs to sit and submit or lay down by simply having a 3rd party teach us "both" to do it at the same time.If you have a Wife the dog already knows who is boss,have her take you both to the park and "teach" you to sit ,stay,and lay,down,then DO IT WITH YOUR DOG.He will love it,and soon will compete with you to be the first to lay down when you are both asked to do so.Dont make this technique a habit it can be confusing if done to much but for the real humps in the road it is acceptable and I have never seen it cause regression behaviourly.



posted on Jul, 10 2014 @ 09:26 PM
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originally posted by: imwilliam
a reply to: mblahnikluver




I tried for months to teach my dog to sit or come when called. He just looks at me. I gave up lol It wasn't important and he is a good dog. I just blame it on the Pekingese half of him for being stubborn.


With these two dogs I've been trying to use Michael Ellis's techniques/style. He's got quite a few youtube videos out there and I really like his approach. It's been really effective . . . other than the lay down thing.

If I had a Pekingese, I might not worry so much about them behaving. But these are big dogs and yes . . . I am imagining how much easier it might be if they were smaller like a Pekingese . . . and it's not an entirely unpleasant bit of imagining



Rosco is Pekingese/Corgi


He is a sweet dog but stubborn with commands. I have been trying since i got him to not get so excited when people come over and jump up on their legs. Some people say they dont' mind but I do! I don't want him doing that. He just completely ignores me. If he was a bigger dog it would be a must but he is only 18lbs so he doesn't get in the way all that much.

I have never heard of the persons technique you mentioned. I will have to google them.



posted on Jul, 10 2014 @ 10:18 PM
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I have the same trouble with my eight year old son. He'll speak, roll over, and play dead for biscuits but he refuses to lie down. He also says he's getting too old for a leash, but I'm the pack leader.



posted on Jul, 11 2014 @ 12:06 AM
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a reply to: imwilliam
No embarrassment as we all have something that haunts us.
My advice, if you indeed have a working method, keep plugging away at it.
I have a single problem with my female who is damn near the perfect dog.
In winter time she craps right on the mat just inside the door!
It used to be all of the time but....drives me nuts!
I have taken every step I could think of to deter her and still on occasion...
At least the mat is rubberized and washable...
If I still had hair, I'd tear it out over frustration.
Otherwise, she is the perfect friggin dog.



posted on Jul, 11 2014 @ 06:17 AM
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a reply to: centhwevir1979




I have the same trouble with my eight year old son. He'll speak, roll over, and play dead for biscuits but he refuses to lie down. He also says he's getting too old for a leash, but I'm the pack leader.


Well . . . I don't use them myself, but I've heard some people have had good luck with shock collars.



posted on Jul, 11 2014 @ 08:46 AM
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a reply to: imwilliam

Please don't push on him. My first thought was that he might have a hip problem, but I read that he's very athletic otherwise.

Have you considered clicker training? It's the most successful method I've used for behaviors like this (one-word/one action behaviors). The idea is that you "mark" a behavior with the clicker so they REALLY understand exactly what you want. You don't have to use a clicker (you can make a noise or say "YES"!!, but the clicker is a unique sound and your dog will come to love it.

This is a good video. www.youtube.com... It includes "charging" the clicker. Once the dog knows what the clicker means (a treat), you can look for opportunities to click when he lies down on his own, so you can "mark" the behavior and that will help him understand what you want. For example, if normally, you go in to watch TV, and he comes in and lies down on the floor, use this as a training opportunity. Take the clicker and some treats with you and go in and sit down like you're getting ready to watch TV. When he comes in and lies down, click and treat. You don't need to say anything at this time.

Once he starts "offering the behavior" on his own, you can add the verbal cue "down" and eventually fade out the treats, so he lies down on command.

If you're interested in this method or have any questions, I'll be glad to answer them.

I love clicker training and have used it on my dogs since they were puppies. It's not the only method I use, but when I get the clicker and treats out, my dogs start offering behaviors they've learned in the past. It makes a dog think and that's my favorite thing about it.




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