Boogie goes DOWN! (sort of)

May 18, 2009 at 7:54 am Leave a comment

DISCLAIMER: This blog post was written in 2009. We no longer do Obedience Training using “dominance”-based methods. We no longer use collar corrections. These methods made Boogie MORE TENSE, MORE TRIGGERED and more prone to aggressive behaviors. We switched over to reward-based methods in February 2010 and saw improvements. 


Posted Date: : May 18, 2009 7:11 PM

I have been trying to work on the “Down” command all day.

As I wrote a few days ago, we seem to have a 50% success rate with this command, and ONLY if there is a soft surface and a treat involved. It’s a struggle. I bring the treat to Boogie’s nose and lead it down to the floor towards his legs so that he will have to “buckle over” and lie down to get it. The stubborn little Boogie will remain seated and sniff at my closed hand for ages before he lies down. IF he lies down at all. And only if there is carpet. If there is no carpet, Boogie sits there, snorts and looks up me in the eye as if to say: “It ain’t gonna happen”.

Well, lo and behold, this afternoon I had some success in getting him to lie down ON THE HARDWOOD FLOOR. Check out this video below. This is the first time ever, that Boogie has gone down on the floor on his own, without any physical touching/manipulation whatsoever!

It’s by no means a perfect response. As you can see, he lies down for like ONE SECOND and then his butt is off the floor and he is up again. (therefore no treat)

Second time – notice that he paws at my hand for the treat… (his body isn’t fully relaxed on the floor).

Third time – without a treat in front of him, no response.

We still have a long way to go… but hey, the fact that Boogie actually went down ON THE FLOOR on his own (if only for a couple of seconds) is a sign of progress!

Whether he has formed a firm association in his mind between the DOWN command and the “lying down” action – I am not 100% sure. What do you think? Can you tell by the video?

P.S. One thing for sure, he is going to get FAT from all these training treats!

May 19th
– next day update

To people who don’t own (naughty) dogs, this must seem like a pointless repetitive crazy-dog-person’s obsession. But I paid for the training, and this is an essential part of the curriculum and Jill the trainer is on my case, so…

This morning on our walk, I am pleased to report that the DOWN command worked again! Dog trainers say that you should never repeat a command over and over if the dog doesn’t respond the first time- this would render the command word meaningless.

Well, I did have to repeat myself a few times (+ combo of collar correction & treats) to make Boogie lie down ON THE GRASS but he finally did it.


And then on the FLOOR again. Look!

NOTE: Right now, he is still SLOW to respond… like, he has to think about it, or that he doesn’t really want to and waits to see if he will get the treat anyway.

The command does NOT work if there is no treat in my hand.

Entry filed under: Training.

Walking on leash: Boogie makes progress! Boogie crate-training part 2: Location, location.

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