Teaching the Down

I was watching Victoria Stilwell the other day teaching a down to a dog who didn’t know a down. And I’d forgotten the under-the-leg method. I am clicker training Jessi because she really needs a job, she needs things to do and think about. So we are clicker training. I am proud to say she already has learned the nose touch to my palm, and she is responding very well to the click after only three sessions. The fourth we started working on the down.

She really didn’t want to go under my leg. She seemed unsure of it. So I tried to be creative. It’s a simple training task, I know that, but I want to be more creative with my training. So I thought hmm.. what can I do?

I ended up lifting my let up really high and putting my foot against the wall. And just encouraging her to walk under my leg. She was okay with this for a yummy treat, and I would click and treat each time she walked under. Slowly I lowered my leg until she was comfortable lying down.

Now she goes under my leg just fine and is still trusting. I’m very happy! Eventually we’ll get her to do it without the leg as the extra help.

And with summer here you can see my bare leg… I’ll need some winter clothes soon, and I might just check out an online clothing store.

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