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I've been working with Apollo a lot every day. He can now sit, shake, down, stay and sit back up from a down with no hesitation. We have also been working on heel (with lots of help from the prong collar) and sitting when I stop which he's been doing really well with. I've been keeping the sessions short and tossing in some play time in between to make it fun. And overall, I'm reallllly pleased with the progress he's making. I also noticed that he's a lot more calm now that I have him on a regular training schedule. I do have a couple questions though...

1) Whenever I give a sit command, he will walk over to me and sit infront of me instead of just sitting right where he is. How do I change this so that he will just sit right where he is?

2) He will NOT lay down OUTSIDE. He'll sit, stay, come, and shake perfectly but whenever I ask him to lay down when we're outside, he stares at me like I'm insane...like he's never heard the down command a day in his life. Then, when I try to show him what I want by physically placing him in the down position he goes crazy and jumps back up like he just does NOT want his tummy touching the ground. We've tried this on the grass and cement with no luck. He understands it perfectly when we're inside, so what's going on outside? He'll do everything else so I'm wondering why he's so resistant to lay down.
 

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For the sit when Apollo starts walking over to you say Ahhh in a stern voice, when he stops to look at you say sit again. If he doesn't do that then say Ahh again and walk over to him and show him how to sit. Do this a few times and he should catch on.

Laying outside, the only think I can thing of is get a throw rug and put it outside on the cement first walk him over to it, and tell him sit, then lay. Then move the rug to the grassy area and do a sit and lay. Then just make him lay just off of the rug until you can get him completly off the rug.

You will probably get better advice than this. I really don't know if this is the "correct" way to train these things, but this is what I would do. :) I hope it helps you a little bit.
 

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There are 2 ways that I know of to work on that pretty "heel" sit.
1. You can gently guide his rump with your hand. When you stop, be prepared and as he starts to swing in front of you, you reach down with your left hand and guide his rump to where you want it and tell him to sit. Make sure you really praise him when he sits where he's supposed to.
2. You can walk very closely to a fence or wall. I did this with Chi a few times. He won't be able to swing out in front of you because the he'll be close enough to to the fence. Again, make sure you really give lots of praise when he sits where he's supposed to.

I did both of these with Chi and I can't remember the last time she tried to get infront of me. Every now and then she'll swing her butt out a bit but now I just say "nope" and take a few steps forward, she'll generally correct herself.

Like Gracie's mom said, you'll probably get better advice than this, but it's what I have found works for us ;-)

So glad that he's doing so good :)
 

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Hi,

I think with the sit the advice is pretty spot on. Another way I would do this is when he begins to come out in front of you, use the "Ahhh" correction, bump his head with your thigh and proceed immediately into heel. Then try again.

With the down, I have been taught to put pressure on the leash by using your feet to step down on the leash until the dog catches on that by going down he will relieve himself of the pressure.

Both these things sound like the dog trying to show dominance, again, told to me by my trainer. By coming round to the front, he is trying to take the lead, and a dog trying to be dominant hates going into down as this is a very submissive position.

Regards,
TH
 

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Is it dominance or is it that he's a pup that's not been taught exactly where to sit. Odds are that Apollo was taught to sit like most pets: owner stand in front of puppy, holds a treat and asks puppy to sit, puppy sits and receives treat. Puppy is then used to sitting in front of the owner in order to receive the desired treat and praise. I could be wrong but I know this is how I have taught sit and how most everyone I know has taught sit. Now that he knows sit, he just needs to be taught where to sit.
As far as down goes... Have you tried using the exact same steps to teach him down outside as you have inside? I know that Storm HATED lying down outside, not sure why, she just did. I resorted to pretty much just reteaching her the command outside and finally got it but she always had such a look of contempt when I asked her to down outside :)
 

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Tracy,

The sit command could have been exactly as you described, that the dog has associated sitting with being in front. Hence I offered that correction, which I found to be effective with teaching the dog to sit beside you.

With the down command, the dog is already performing it without hesitation so the point that he does not understand the command is not possible. He may be picky on where he chooses to execute the command which is a dominance issue.

Regards,
TH
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Gracie's_Mom said:
But I think what ILMD is trying to say is when she tells Apollo to sit he walks over to her and sits instead of just sitting right where he was at. ILMD just wants Apollo to just sit is what I am assuming. :)
That's right. And it's like Tracy said, when I taught him to sit, I would have him sit right in front of me and then give him his treat and praise, so I think he's used to that.

With the heeling/sitting he will only sit next to me if I keep the leash really short so that he has no other choice. If I give him enough slack, he will heel ok, but then when I stop he'll sit in front of me (facing me).

With the sitting in other situations...For example, when I'm sitting on the couch and he's on the opposite side of the room, if I ask him to sit he'll come over to me and then sit in front of me instead of just sitting, and I'm wondering if it's possible to correct this so that he'll just sit where he is.

As for the laying down outside...I've tried teaching it over, but I honestly can't even get him to lay down for a second, even physically pushing his body down. I have him sit (which he does with no problem) but then when I ask him to lay down he just seems like he has no clue what I mean. But when I then try to push him into a down he will plant his paws firmly on the ground and push back up against me, making it almost impossible. If I do succeed in getting him to lay down, it's never for more than half a second before he scrambles to get back up. I think I'll try the rug idea and see how that works...
 

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I'd say to guide him with your leash, and hand if necessary, after getting some treats only when he's in the correct position, Apollo will pick it up quick enough! With Lex, I taught her the "closer" command (any wording you choose). After guiding her a few times with the leash, that is I kept the leash tight if she went to sit anywhere else but directly beside me, and rewarding sitting at my side. Everytime she had to reposition herself I said CLOSER, and now she wiggles her butt right up beside me if she isn't positioned close enough. It's really cute if I say it more than once, she props herself right up on my leg to get as close as possible.

As for laying outside, position yourself in front of or beside Apollo, and give him the down command, if he does not respond at once, scoop your hand under his haunches and press down on his shoulder area. Consider it teaching the down command all over again, so there isn't an option but to obey you. In my classes we had a beagle that would only down on a rug or towel. So the owner had to bring in a towel every class, IMO, it's not going to hurt them to down, and they should do it no matter what. Otherwise, you will have a dog that will only down on a towel, which I don't really think fixes the problem. Make sure to really really reward him once he complies though! Even five seconds of down deserves a treat, the second he hits the down position! For whatever reason Apollo has associated "down" outside with a negative thing, and you have to work to change his way of thinking about it, which will thereby change his behaviour.

Keep positive!!! You'll work it out!
 

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Sitting from where they are is a great challenge, but its quite easy. If they have a good stay, then all you need to do is to add distance. Start small with the distance and then increase it. From a standing position, use the stay command and take one step back and then walk back in and reward. Continue to add more distance. I usually like to do a half moon for distances. That is walk back about 6 feet and then walk around to the side of the dog on each side, go back to directly infront of dog and walk back in and reward if they stay. The goal is to be able to walk completely around the dog in a stay position. This will get them use to distances. Once they are doing this, you can now start to add other commands with distances. This also builds a stronger stay command. Start with small distances first and then add more distances when they are doing it reliabily.

For the down, you might want to work your way to doing this outside. Remember, doing a command in the kitchen and its works fine, but once you go to the living room, they do not understand, its just because they never did it in other rooms. They do not understand. I try to do commands in every room in the house, so they start to learn. Try doing the down command before going through the door to the outside. Then do it on the porch, if you have one or in the garage with the door open. Then keep moving closer to being outside until you are outside.

One of the thinks I keep in mind is that in every new location, they will not understand what you want them to do. Practice it every where. I do alot of the commands on our daily walks, downs stays, sit, etc. The more you do it everywhere, the easier it gets.
 

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Kratty said:
Sitting from where they are is a great challenge, but its quite easy. If they have a good stay, then all you need to do is to add distance. Start small with the distance and then increase it. From a standing position, use the stay command and take one step back and then walk back in and reward. Continue to add more distance. I usually like to do a half moon for distances. That is walk back about 6 feet and then walk around to the side of the dog on each side, go back to directly infront of dog and walk back in and reward if they stay. The goal is to be able to walk completely around the dog in a stay position. This will get them use to distances. Once they are doing this, you can now start to add other commands with distances. This also builds a stronger stay command. Start with small distances first and then add more distances when they are doing it reliabily.

For the down, you might want to work your way to doing this outside. Remember, doing a command in the kitchen and its works fine, but once you go to the living room, they do not understand, its just because they never did it in other rooms. They do not understand. I try to do commands in every room in the house, so they start to learn. Try doing the down command before going through the door to the outside. Then do it on the porch, if you have one or in the garage with the door open. Then keep moving closer to being outside until you are outside.

One of the thinks I keep in mind is that in every new location, they will not understand what you want them to do. Practice it every where. I do alot of the commands on our daily walks, downs stays, sit, etc. The more you do it everywhere, the easier it gets.
i agree, get the pup to stay well, then from distance impliment sit while still under the stay command, this worked very well for my first dobe.

ive also noticed its a trust thing, if your having a problem with down in the grass, before you train, get down on the grass yourself and play a little first. i do this in going through doors, up steps, and such, he watches you says hmmm its ok and i trust my owner, well he really doesnt say that but you know what i mean.
 

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you had good advice on why hes sitting in front - i think its exactly like tracyjo says -- its where everyone teaches their dog to sit - thats where your boy thinks he needs to sit!


i wouldnt be so quick to say his failure to down outside is dominance - i think its dangerous to assume everything our dogs do is a quest for dominance. most pets are NOT seeking dominance at all, they are confused or afraid.

some dogs simply dont like downing outside. hell, dobes are infamous for not wanting to do things in the rain, have you ever been laughed at when showing for a dobe that hovers but doesnt sit or down? bowie personally wont down in snow easiy - he will hover and ACT Like hes down, but he isnt touching.

start it over, and personally, i would start more positive. if he only heels with constant prong collar corrections, and youre trying to force him down - it sounds like you are MAKING him do all this obedience. personally for me, i want a willing partner who obeys me with happiness, and i dont get it by forcing and correcting.

my own doberman, for the record, IS pretty dominant (with the bite history to prove it), and when using traditional training methods it took OVER TWO YEARS to get him to down, and even then it involved me going down with him, with the treat.

when i started clicker training, i had a reliable down base either on a verbal command ONLY, or a flick of the hand ONLY, in under a week. and its a down that is so fast, i wince when his elbows hit.
 
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