Training is a troublesome task, but it is mandatory for every pet owner. How to teach a dog to “lie down”, where to start training, what training methods exist – all in detail in one article.
Where and when to train a dog
Cynological practice shows that dogs are quite amenable to education from the age of 1.5-2 months. Accordingly, you can start introducing the first commands to the puppy at this age, provided that the baby has learned his nickname. Young dogs, in the period of active growth, have an increased appetite, which simplifies the training method of encouragement.
The first introduction to the “lie down” team should start at home, in a well-known environment where nothing distracts the puppy. The pet should be walking – so it is easier for him to concentrate on the trainer. You can only move to areas with extraneous stimuli when the dog has mastered the order and clearly understands what is wanted from it.
Training with an adult dog, as well as with a puppy, begins in a well-known place, distractions are added gradually.
Professional trainers know at least a dozen training options for each individual skill. An ordinary owner does not need such deep knowledge, it is enough to consider the most popular and effective ways to train a dog to “lie down”. The methods listed below are suitable for Pets of any age, breed, and psychological state.
When choosing any method of teaching, for any dog, the end of the exercise is indicated by the word (most often “walk”). I.e., the dog does not decide when to get up, but the owner. This will help in subsequent training when working out excerpts.
A method of aiming
The most common and simple method of teaching the “lie down” command. Equally suitable for the smallest puppies and older dogs. Does not cause discomfort to the animal, with regular repetition gives a good result, helps to establish contact with the owner.
- Starting position-the dog is sitting in front of the trainer;
- The trainer has motivation in his hand (a piece of Goodies or a favorite toy);
- A fist with a motivational object is brought to the very nose of the pet, waiting for the dog to be interested in the thing in his hand;
- Slowly, take the hand with the treat from the dog’s nose down and a little away from it;
- When it is already clear that the dog is going to lie down, give the command ” lie down»;
- After the performance, they give motivation – a treat or a toy;
- Finish the exercise with the command “walk”.
It is very important that the dog receives the reward in the prone position, otherwise it is not the execution of the order that is supported, but the termination of the desired action. To increase food motivation, training is carried out with a hungry dog – before eating, or skip one feeding.
If the game is chosen as motivation and the owner throws a ball as a reward, then after laying, the pet is praised with stroking and affectionate words. Aportirovochny object is thrown after the command “walk”.
Method of coercion
The method of coercion is not suitable for timid, insecure dogs, and it is also not recommended for very small puppies. The method is based on forcibly forcing the animal to lie down. You can use any variation of the effect:
With a leash attached to the collar. Just pull the leash down, causing the dog unpleasant sensations, which can only be avoided in the prone position.
Variation of “modeling”, if the pet does not resist. The dog is placed with the help of hands (from a sitting position, take the paws and bring them to a horizontal position).
Strongly press on the withers when the dog is sitting. Pain will force the animal to lie down.
An immediate order is given only when it is clear that the pet will lie down in any case. As a reward in this case, the absence of unpleasant and painful sensations acts.
It is very important to observe the measure of force, so as not to injure or intimidate the dog. Otherwise, the predator, at the level of self-preservation instinct, can go into a defensive position or start running away (depending on the characteristics of the psyche or breed).
Behavior selection method
A very simple method, but it is rarely used, because when using it, the owner will have to be patient. Suitable for all breeds and ages, but training takes a long time.
The essence of the behavior selection method is simple:
- The owner “catches” the moments when the dog is in a horizontal position;
- Gives the command ” lie down»;
- Encourages, in any convenient way.
- This training system is suitable for poorly motivated or very restless animals who find it difficult to concentrate on the instructor.
Method of imitation
The method of imitation is used in group classes, if there is an adult trained individual. Great for young dogs up to a year old.
The essence of the training system is based on competition. The instructor gives the trained pet the command “lie down”, after which the adult dog is actively praised, treated to a treat. The puppy at this moment is in a free position, as a rule, the desire to also get a piece of” yummy ” motivates the young animal to repeat the action for the older relative.
Some puppies first try to just pick up a treat, all unnecessary actions are simply ignored. You just need to make sure that the adult dog does not bite the little one if he tries to take the food by force.
Gesture command training
The gesture indicating “lie down” in the General training course looks like this-the hand is at chest level, the palm looks down.
You need to start training with a gesture only after the dog has fully mastered the voice command. Canines learn to respond to gestures faster, and if you do the opposite, it may be difficult to perceive a voice order.
To train a dog to perform a gesture command, you must first say “lie down” in your voice, then make a hand movement. Gradually, the gesture begins to be shown simultaneously with the command, then voice orders are excluded altogether.
It is very useful to teach sign commands to breeds of dogs that are prone to age-related hearing loss.
The most common mistakes of owners
Sometimes it happens that despite the efforts of the owner, it is not possible to teach the dog the command “lie down”. This can happen for a number of reasons:
Differences in the team. The owner says “lie down”, then “lie down”, then “lie down” – the pet is confused and can not understand what they want from him.
Untimely reinforcements. The treat is given at the wrong time, when the dog has not yet gone to bed or when it has already started to get up.
The dog is afraid of the trainer. Too cruel parenting methods leave an imprint on the relationship between a pet and a person. If the dog is intimidated, he only thinks about how to avoid punishment. Not about what you need to do to get a reward.
Health problems or distraction to natural needs. If the animal is in pain or needs to go to the toilet, it will be very difficult for him to concentrate on the lesson.
Too many stimuli at the initial stage of training. Dogs receive information through the surrounding odors, which can greatly excite the nervous system, and therefore distract from the trainer. The beginning of practicing skills should always be carried out only in a well-known place, gradually adding stimuli.
Often, owners of very active or young animals face another problem – the dog eats a treat, and immediately jumps up. To avoid such problems, be sure to use a word or gesture indicating the end of the exercise (“walk”). If the problem is already there, then you need to:
Take a few small pieces of Goodies in your hand, and feed one at a time for a few seconds, give the last one and say “walk”.
Hold the dog by force on the leash and release only after the command “walk”.