Proper Down?

Ravenbird

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I always thought that Asha's down was fantastic because she is so enthusiastic, slapping herself as hard and fast as she could when I gave the command. She is gold doing Sit, Down, Stand at a distance while on a table. On the ground however she advances with every command. Her sit to down advances her about 2 feet. It will only matter if I pursue AKC obedience as this isn't a thing in Novice, but it will definitely come into play later. This is the most frustrating thing of being isolated and training without a trainer. Doing something so simple and thinking it's great for years, then finding out it's all wrong. :( 😭 She's been rewarded for a snappy down for over 4 years now, I feel like an a$$ to start telling her she's doing it all wrong. This week has been super depressing for me, wanting to just quit trying to train when doing so many things so wrong and not even knowing it.

Reckless does a natural folding down, nobody taught it, it's just how she downs. This is from a stand, but she does the same thing from a sit.


Asha goes forward when she downs. Not just a little bit, but her whole body length!




videos are short - 3 seconds for R and about 25 seconds on Asha.

@Rits ? are you going to do open after your CD? Did your obedience lessons tell you to teach a folding down from the start?

@obbanner - haven't seen you around for quite some time. Is this ground-covering/approaching a Doberman thing? I did try to block her from coming forward and she just folded her feet up like a cat, instead of pushing her body back. LOL.

Trying to get her to fold back using a barrier, she just folds her front feet backwards. You can see the frustration of her not understanding in this 4 second video. It was about our 3rd try with the barrier. The first couple of times she just went sideways and put her front legs out to the side.

 
are you going to do open after your CD? Did your obedience lessons tell you to teach a folding down from the start?
I've never taken or have any obedience classes around here 😭 so no. Only learned this through competition obedience FB groups. I think you are on the right track. I'd try moving to a raised platform if you can to help make it clear to stay within the boundaries.

Ripley had the hardest time doing a tucked sit when she was younger. A mixture of using a platform and luring her over stairs from the top step helped her. I wonder if you can do the same with a down (she'd fall off the step if she downed forward).

Not sure if we are moving to Open. Again no competition obedience classes so I feel really demoralized and lost without direction. I know we would be incredibly far with classes. I just want to have fun with my dog and being lost and fumbling through trying to figure it out on my own isn't much fun to me.
 
I'd try moving to a raised platform if you can to help make it clear to stay within the boundaries
Even on a 2' tall box she hangs her front legs over the edge. I had to do those commands on a box when I was working on the RH SAR stuff. She looked so good and snappy at everything, I didn't care about her legs hanging over... I'm sure I could teach it proper, but the emotional distress is eating away at me. Just one session trying to get Asha to change what had been right for 4 years, (not just right, but she knew I loved her split second downs!) the look on her face was pathetic, trying so hard to figure out what she was doing wrong...
 
I understand. It's rough trying to fix it.

Maybe try only a front foot target that her front feet have to stay on to try and help her understand like a pivot bowl? I think you have to pretend she doesn't know how to down and figure out a way to help her figure out what you do want. That might mean rewarding partially correct/any effort and upping the parameters over time so that you don't lose speed entirely and then once she gets it, can reward snappy correct downs.
 
Only learned this through competition obedience FB groups
I didn't worry about the AKC stuff the first couple of years because I was working on IGP and RH/SAR. Asha's split second down looked so sharp compared to many of the dogs that would slooooowwly go down, it just never even occurred to me to see "how it was suppose to be done". Only when recently doing the sit, down & stand on the ground from a distance did I realize that doing them in a row she advanced about 8 feet. :rofl: Then I started looking hard at the down and she's advancing 2+ feet, then the sit from a down her front feet stay and her butt comes jumping forward, then a stand front half moves forward if I'm in front of her, but from a heel she only moves slightly forward. Anywho, it's all wrong going past the CD. I had begun thinking of CDX.
 
Maybe try only a front foot target that her front feet have to stay on to try and help her understand like a pivot bowl?
She likes the pivot bowl, so maybe I'll see how she takes that. Front feet on it, then sit with feet on it, then try to down with feet still on it?
 
She likes the pivot bowl, so maybe I'll see how she takes that. Front feet on it, then sit with feet on it, then try to down with feet still on it?
Yes! That's what I did when teaching Ripley to do position changes from heel position.
 
Maybe Open A would be a little bit more considerate, being how it's a green handler teaching a green dog? LOL.

In the rule book:
Depending on the extent, minor or substantial deductions, up to a non-qualifying (NQ) score, will be made for a dog that walks forward.
 
@obbanner - haven't seen you around for quite some time. Is this ground-covering/approaching a Doberman thing? I did try to block her from coming forward and she just folded her feet up like a cat, instead of pushing her body back. LOL.

I'm overcoming a similar problem with the Moving Stand and Signals. Video below is a combination of Moving Stand and Signals, as I don't stop as in the Moving Stand and I go a further distance to do Signals. I'm at the point with AJ I can do several items at the same time.

I found when a dog creeps (as with many problems), it's because he doesn't understand the exercise. As an aside, I found Rally to be a great help teaching downs and stands. I have creep problems in both down and stand, and solve them the same way. Distance is your enemy. I don't add distance until they can do it correctly when I'm next to them or in front of them. Then I back away facing them and correct as soon as they start to move. I'm now at the point with AJ I don't turn to watch him, but I use a camera or an observer to tell me if he moves. When I don't have either available, I try to stop him at something on the ground where I can tell if he moved, such as a crack in the pavement or a leaf on the ground. If he moves, then it's back to Step 1. The video is from our training session this afternoon. If you look hard, you can see the stripe on the football field where he stopped. Good luck and please ask questions if I wasn't clear enough.



I haven't been on much lately. In October, I saw a job fair at my local supermarket and thought I'd apply for a job. I worked in a supermarket in the 60s when I was a teen, so I knew the life. I'm retired and I'm dipping into my retirement savings more than I want, so a part time job was appealling. I thought I'd work 15 to 20 hours a week. I specifioed when applying I needed weekends off because I judge dog sports. My local supermarket wouldn't hire me because the union seniority there wouldn't have slots for a weekday only worker. A larger supermarket 17 miles from my home took me on. However, I was working over 40 hours / week including every weekend I wasn't judging dogs, and my schedule varied all over the place. I'd work 10 to 6 one day, then 6 to 2 the next. It wreaked havoc on my sleep and I had little time to get on the computer.

I took New Years Day off because I was supposed to judge, but another judge was available, so I went to my herding club's annual meeting. I was making small talk with the farm owner. He knew I was very sick and I said I'm recovered now and even took a job. I said I was getting $16/hour and he immediately came back with "I'll give you $20."

I used to take care of the farm when they were on vacation and am familiar with it. What's new is he started a creamery a couple years ago and he wants to expand it 25% this year. So I'll be learning to make cheese as well as milking the sheep and doing miscellaneous livestock chores. The biggest side benefit is I can take my dogs there. Sabrina can do herding again and AJ will be getting more Obedience and Rally practice. (The other side benefit is I will no longer work an hour for the union every pay period.) I'll go to work as my main job on March 1 or when the lambs start coming.

At the moment, I'm working both jobs because the supermarket is cutting me back after the holidays and SuperBowl, and lambing hasn't started. I work one day a week at the farm and the last time we were working on the milking system plumbing. He loses about two quarts of milk every milking to the machine waste, and we cut it down by about 40%. Two quarts makes $10 in cheese, so over a season, that's $2,400 of waste. He and I work good together, so I'm looking forward to a fun summer. After milking season is done in October, I'm welcome back at the supermarket. When I asked if I could come back, my boss said, "You're good and you're competent. That's a hard combination to get."

Look how fat these sheep are!

rs_Sheep 2024 Feb.jpg
 
Thanks so much for your input. I honestly don't know if I'll keep on after my CD, but the new stuff for Open keeps the ol' brain churning and my dog loves a challenge, so I'm "pretending" that we'll move forward. The online study I'm doing now shows how training advanced exercises helps the perfect the class you're actually trialing in. So thank you so much. Don't work too hard, and enjoy the work you do! Kinda the same advice to dog handlers, right?
 
Thanks so much for your input. I honestly don't know if I'll keep on after my CD, but the new stuff for Open keeps the ol' brain churning and my dog loves a challenge, so I'm "pretending" that we'll move forward. The online study I'm doing now shows how training advanced exercises helps the perfect the class you're actually trialing in. So thank you so much. Don't work too hard, and enjoy the work you do! Kinda the same advice to dog handlers, right?

All old trainers have their first dog. We were intimidated and unsure. I'm now at the point I know what has to be done and how long it will take when I get a puppy. I call it the march through the titles. But I learn new things with every dog. I hope I have another puppy in me because I learned so much with AJ even though he's my seventh Doberman (plus our Sheltie).

You can do it. Whenever I get discouraged, I think of Winston Churchill. "never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never-in nothing, great or small, large or petty — never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense."
 
the new stuff for Open keeps the ol' brain churning and my dog loves a challenge

What I love the most is working on challenges. Even thinking out of the box. I hope you get that enjoyment also.

One thing I'm doing in Utility Directed Jumping is giving AJ voice commands for which jump to take. I posted about it previously. He has a very high accuracy rate. I trained other dogs and despite pointing at the jump, looking at the jump, moving in the direction of the jump and anything else imaginable, they take the wrong jump. I thought about the exercise from the dogs perspective and realized how many exercises there are where I wave my arms when giving a command. I thought how Sabrina does the proper command when she's behind sheep and can't see me. Therefore I tried using herding commands in DJ and so far it's a success. AWAY is Anticlockwise and COMEBY is Clockwise.

It hasn't been without its pains. Other handlers said I must point (I don't) and that I'm confusing the dog by saying anything but JUMP.

 
that I'm confusing the dog by saying anything but JUMP.

I don't see how this is any confusing. We use right and left in agility all the time to tell the dog to turn right or left after the jump. Usually this is with another jump to the right and left of the jump they took. There typically isn't enough time to say Jump, Left, jump! So we say "go left" at point of take off for the first jump, they know to take the obstacle in front of them AND to drop that left shoulder in when they land to then take the jump to the left. All with one command.
 
I've have not read through the rules for Utility, just been watching videos. In command discrimination in Utility is it signal-only, no voice? But directed jumping can be voice only without a physical signal? If it's OK by the rules, why would anyone be bothered by you doing voice commands.

And that's another thing I've added to our plate is the signals. In IGP any body language is considered a 2nd command and docks your points, from a little to a lot, so I learned to give commands in total stillness with clean enunciation of the command. Now I've started all this movement and Asha is like "what the heck is wrong with her?" LOL, like I'm introducing a distraction, not a new way of speaking.

What I love the most is working on challenges. Even thinking out of the box. I hope you get that enjoyment also.
Yes, that's exactly why I'm training. Sometimes I think, why don't I just quit all this nonsense and just go hiking or something. But both me and my dog love the work.
 
I don't see how this is any confusing. We use right and left in agility all the time to tell the dog to turn right or left after the jump. Usually this is with another jump to the right and left of the jump they took. There typically isn't enough time to say Jump, Left, jump! So we say "go left" at point of take off for the first jump, they know to take the obstacle in front of them AND to drop that left shoulder in when they land to then take the jump to the left. All with one command.
Just as the rest of life, some people get stuck in a rut and can't see over the edges.
 
I don;t see her moving from her sit? Her butt stays in place? I like the "slap" down :). And if you are doing Open, where they mix up the signal exercises, I don't see an issue with her down from a sit? It's the down from a stand that I remember wanting the fold back down. I could be missing the content of this conversation...:wacky:. Also, when you feel like quitting, remember your dobe does not know it's competition you are training for; they just know you are working their minds and enjoying your attention! Wonderful bonding time, and challenging for both of you:thumbsup2:
 
I don;t see her moving from her sit? Her butt stays in place? I like the "slap" down :). And if you are doing Open, where they mix up the signal exercises, I don't see an issue with her down from a sit? It's the down from a stand that I remember wanting the fold back down. I could be missing the content of this conversation.
I will get a video of it at distance. The closer I am to her the less she comes forward. The down from a stand or sit is that slap-down (I love it too!!! ) so she move forward about 2 feet. If she goes from down to a sit, her front feet are still and her butt & back feet fly forward, so she doesn't lose any ground. Then if the next command is stand, she will again move her front half to get there, so now she's at least a body length from where she started. LOL. I was pretty disturbed by this revelation when I realized what was happening, but we'll work it out or just take the points. I still have 2 legs of the CD to go. Thanks for your kind words. My biggest concern was how to tell a dog that they are right, but not DOing it right? Especially after a couple of years telling her it's awesome that way.
 
Then if the next command is stand, she will again move her front half to get there, so now she's at least a body length from where she started. LOL
So sounds like she not only needs to learn a fold back down but also a kick back stand! @Two Dobes technically the front feet should remain in place at all times. This is the most clear if you have them do position changes at heel position. The front feet/shoulders are in heel position, not the rear.

My biggest concern was how to tell a dog that they are right, but not DOing it right? Especially after a couple of years telling her it's awesome that way.
Instead of telling her she is wrong, what if you just use a new word and train it as a new command? I think that will help with the mindset.
 

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