Training the 'down' command

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Training the 'down' command

Postby woody » Sun Jul 01, 2018 6:27 pm

What in your experience is the most effective way to train the 'down' command where the dog drops immediately. Has anyone used the older German methods?
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Re: Training the 'down' command

Postby Drahthaar1108 » Mon Jul 02, 2018 9:24 pm

I start with a pinch collar short lead , pull down the lead and push down on their withers ,and say down at the same time, then a little later on use my hand pointing at the ground and say down. Forrest
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Re: Training the 'down' command

Postby Drahthaar1108 » Mon Jul 02, 2018 9:24 pm

I start with a pinch collar short lead , pull down the lead and push down on their withers ,and say down at the same time, then a little later on use my hand pointing at the ground and say down. Forrest
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Re: Training the 'down' command

Postby Duckdon » Mon Jul 02, 2018 11:53 pm

Positive reinforcement with Marker Training and Hot Dogs starting from the sit position to the down with a luring motion. Then adding the e-collar once the down command is known.
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Re: Training the 'down' command

Postby AverageGuy » Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:52 am

Duckdon wrote:Positive reinforcement with Marker Training and Hot Dogs starting from the sit position to the down with a luring motion.
Don and Crew.


I do this. Then start walking around and away from the puppy while in a Down position. Correct and reward according to compliance or breaking. I also combine the verbal Down with a downward pointing finger for a hand signal. Then practice in various situations and distractions as it comes together. I use OK for release and never allow the pup to self release.
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Re: Training the 'down' command

Postby Misskiwi67 » Tue Jul 03, 2018 11:16 am

AverageGuy wrote:
Duckdon wrote:Positive reinforcement with Marker Training and Hot Dogs starting from the sit position to the down with a luring motion.
Don and Crew.


I do this. Then start walking around and away from the puppy while in a Down position. Correct and reward according to compliance or breaking. I also combine the verbal Down with a downward pointing finger for a hand signal. Then practice in various situations and distractions as it comes together. I use OK for release and never allow the pup to self release.


Me too. I start Young, around 10 weeks. I prefer a down as a default over sit.

I use “free” as a release so the dog isn’t inadvertently released during conversation
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Re: Training the 'down' command

Postby JONOV » Tue Jul 03, 2018 2:20 pm

I started it before I collar conditioned, so between down with a treat for compliance, and reinforcing with the e-collar, I'd step on the lead.

It's been the single most useful command, both while duck hunting and in everyday use.
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Re: Training the 'down' command

Postby hicntry » Tue Jul 03, 2018 3:20 pm

I racked my brain to answer this question to show how I teach down. ...then I realised that I never taught down as a command. I just told them to go lay down and they did. I did teach sit but that was already conditioned before I ever used a command for the action.
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Re: Training the 'down' command

Postby mastercaster » Tue Jul 03, 2018 3:46 pm

I also taught "Down" really early,,,,first couple of weeks I had my pup. I did it with the pup on the lead. When I knew she understood the command if she didn't comply immediately I'd put my foot on the lead close to her head and push it to the floor in a fairly quick continuous movement,,,,not a jerky motion. When I give the command "Down" she does it on the spot. If I tell Sako to "Go lay down" she goes to her bed, same as if I say "Go to your bed." She understands both really well.

As far as a hand command goes I was told to hold my hand upward and level, palm up at head height. Seemed strange to me but it was explained to me that if your hand is down by you waist and you're pointing downward your dog might not see if through the bushes of especially if there happened to be traffic or if other people happened to be in her/his sight line.

In terms of safety, I think "Whoa" is just as good as "Down" if you thought your dog was in a dangerous area and you didn't want her/him to move.

Sako at 10 weeks of age,,,"sit, down, stay, and on your bed":

https://youtu.be/hkf6Gfc2i4g
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Re: Training the 'down' command

Postby PL_Guy » Tue Jul 03, 2018 4:10 pm

The "best" way is to use some intrinsic inherited natural reward associated with hunting behavior as positive reinforcement. The dog of my avatar had an extreme desire to retrieve. I used that to develop all his retrieving skills including blind retrieve handling. I knew a trainer in England a number of years ago who talked about training their remote "sit" which is the down you're referring to in his pointers. The pointers there love to run. He used the release to run as the reward for "sitting" very effectively. I may have a description stored somewhere. I'll post if I find it.

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Re: Training the 'down' command

Postby 3drahthaars » Wed Jul 04, 2018 3:35 pm

I think the most effective is the one that suits your pup's temperament and intelligence.

PR in the beginning seem to help followed by pinch collar and overlap to e-collar.

It's a constant process to keep crisp, head between the paws from a jack knife stop...

I've seen only one dog reliably trained to do it here in the US... and, one Rott in a park in Brussels... not an easy command based on its infrequency.

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