Monday, October 15, 2012


Olive came to stay with us for training the 2nd week of July.  I remember that I started her on a number of behaviors right away.  I wanted to give this girl all I had.

Some things just came easily to her.  Sit, back up, it's your choice, crate games, nose touch....easy.  Then there was the down.  I couldn't get her to down.  Shaping, not happening.  Lure, just wasn't into it. I was worried because I wanted this down to be one of her foundation behaviors.  One of those things that become second nature to her.

As I tried different things without success, I decided to try raw meat. Using the raw chicken, I lured her to the down. She got down but lay on her side.  I thought, "well she is down, it's what she wants to do, let's just use it."  Thus we started the "Bang your dead" behavior.  We played this for weeks.  So much fun, but not really a down. I figured, I don't need a "Q".  I'll get laughs in agility when I tell Olive down on the table and she plays dead for the judge.  Ha!

Two days ago.  I pointed my finger to the ground and she did an actual down!!!!  Fortunately I had not given the verbal cue for "Bang" and was able to reward it.  Now, "poof" we have a down.  Amazing. 

Training isn't like waving a magic wand.  It is more like spending months conjuring up a spell. 

I just love dog training.  Do a little everyday and it will pay off in the end.

We have baby grids!!! woo hoo!!!!  Note:  All of the rewards for staying were edited out.  I went back multiple times and gave her a cookie for sitting at the start line.  She has a nice little jumping style.  Maybe we can get a little straighter, but very good for a first time.  Down is at the end of the video.

1 comment:

Elf said...

Dog brains are strange and wonderful things. Sounds like you're enjoying the journey.