Stubborn Yorkie--need Help With A Simple Trick

Discussion in 'Dog Tricks' started by tx_cowgirl, May 17, 2012.

  1. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    So, I've been training a 5-year old Yorkie for a client for about 5 weeks now. She is sweet, but is not the sharpest tool in the shed, lol, and it's taken her a while to finally hit her "lightbulb moment." Prissy is a therapy dog, and her owner came to me to teach her a few tricks and basic obedience. She's mastered the tricks her owner wanted just fine, she has an excellent stay and recall, she's doing great on leash, everything is going great... But geez this little dog will not lay down for anything. I've never had so much trouble with such a ridiculously simple trick.

    I've tried capturing and luring, neither have worked. I work with her in the middle of the day, which doesn't help, but I've recommended that her owner try this trick towards the end of the day right before they usually go to bed. No luck, though. I've been trying to work on it and the end of our session when she's tired and more likely to lay down, and I always reward her for laying down but she still rarely ever does it.

    When I attempt to lure her, she'll follow it until she has to move her front legs to lay down, and then she's done. We've actually done some work to get to this point; at first she would just barely move her head to get to the treat, so I started rewarding for more movement little by little until now she's a lot closer to laying down but still won't. I only rewarded this position a few times as I didn't want to reward it too much, but we've hit a brick wall and she won't lower herself any more than that.

    Funny how some of the most complicated tricks are no trouble at all and then you find a little dog that makes you have to figure out a new way to teach the easy stuff! LOL! :LOL:
    Tâmara Vaz likes this.

  2. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    Have you tried giving her a target stick to follow? I don't use one often,
    but, i have noticed Sara said at times, when she is struggling to get her dog to understand a trick, she brings out their target stick, and they "get it" then.
    Might be worth a try?
    Tâmara Vaz likes this.
  3. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    btw, i so so understand about a simple trick being difficult to train, i had a heckuva time teaching Buddy the cue "stand".
    for real-----------> "stand" !!

    he could NOT get it!! at all. took a long long time, to get Buddy to "stand" on cue.
    was hilarious.

    Here he can do all these complex, multi-step tricks, but------- "stand" kicked his butt.:ROFLMAO:
    and then, when i finally finally DID get him to understand what "stand" was,
    then, he would only stand on cue, IF i gave cue while *I* was standing.

    (i wanted him to also be able to "stand" on cue, if i am on floor, for grooming). But noooooooooo, if i was on floor, Buddy acted like he just NO idea :confused: what "stand" means, if i am on the floor.


    eventually, eventually, i did eventually help Buddy learn, that when i say "stand" it means same thing, whether or not *i* am on the floor!!:ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
    Tâmara Vaz, Dogster and Zsu-Zsu like this.
  4. jackienmutts Honored Member

    Just a thought, and maybe you've already discussed this with your client and/or observed it with the dog. Does the dog lay down ok on it's own? Is there some orthopedic reason the dog maybe doesn't want to lay down the way you're asking it to? Just wondering. I'm thinking in different terms here - maybe when it lays down *on it's own* maybe it's either just plopping or flopping *somehow* (but doing it comfortably for her) but maybe for whatever reason it hurts or is not comfortable doing it the way you're asking? Just throwing something out there.
    tigerlily46514 likes this.
  5. orpheum Well-Known Member

    What I do with a dog that doesn't easily lay down and their are no indications of physical problems ...
    Sit next to the dog, one leg in front of you slightly bended. Lure the dog underneath that leg/knee. Gradually lower your leg so he has to get his body lower and eventualy lay down.
    Do remember that the rewarding spot needs to be UNDER your knee. If you feed him somewhere else there's no point of him getting and eventualy staying under the leg.
    Then lengthen the time to keep the position.
    If the dog lays down easily and stays for a while, start raising your leg again.

    I hope I'm being a bit clear :-)
  6. Tâmara Vaz Experienced Member

    I looked around for the fonts, but couldn't find it.:cry:

    1.I read long time ago that down command can have problems when a dog isn't submisse(don't think that's the case) (probably non-positive people's article)

    2. I already watched a trainer using a bench. He would lure "the dog" to pass thru down it then before "the dog" reached "the other side" he praises the dog in a down position.Add a cue, take out the bench.
    Not that easy to find a mini-bench, but you can use the idea with another object!!

    Good training!!
    tigerlily46514 and orpheum like this.
  7. Tâmara Vaz Experienced Member

    Ops!I saw Orpheum's post just now... Idea is similar...
    orpheum likes this.
  8. Evie Experienced Member

    Is it possible that the dog is scared of laying down? Or like Evie, just out right doesn't like to lay down because fun things don't happen when you're flat on the ground? Being a small dog, could the dog see it as a vulnerable position maybe?
    tigerlily46514 likes this.
  9. 648117 Honored Member

    Holly is a small dog (5.2kg) and she doesn't like lying on grass, especially wet grass, she will go into a bow instead.
    So could it be that the dog doesn't like the surface you train on?

    Also, I have noticed that when Holly does anything like sit or down, she will stand further away from me then larger dogs in her training class do to their owners. I think it is because she is so short if she is too close she can't see my face properly or something.... so maybe if you are trying to get the dog to do it too close to you it might not like that? or if you are leaning over it too much? (I have to lean over or crouch to reach Holly while people with big dogs can just reach down, but Holly is a very confident dog and doesn't mind most of the time).
    Dogster and tigerlily46514 like this.
  10. sara Moderator

    I taught Mouse to down by holding my hand flat in a down sign, then luring her underneath my hand. This is similar to the leg/bench thing, but as I ale to teach the herbal cue, I was abm not able to use a hand signal and the trick at the same time... this is the last thing I was ever able to teach Mouse by luring, btw LOL. As to the target stick, it could work, or you could at least get a bow from her then use that to teach her to lay down.

    56 seconds in you can see some target stick work with Mouse, she's learning to bow (not that you can really tell LOL)
    Dogster likes this.
  11. Pawtential Unleashed Experienced Member

    I was trying to find you a couple of good videos but two things you might try are:

    ~ Teaching a foldback down from a stand - not the traditional sit -- extend front legs -- down

    ~ If you are getting anywhere small with the down now - try shifting the treat to the side of the front legs a little to encourage a curve in the body to get a rolled hip down?

    I would really need to see a video of where you are now to be of any more help....
    Dogster likes this.

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