Hi guys! Need a little help. What is the best way to teach a "go lie down" or a "go to your _____" command?
Common sense tells me that it probably involves giving the command while the dog is on leash and then leading him to the spot and giving him a treat and praise when you arrive at the spot. Common sense has failed me before though.
Seems that maybe I've seen a video where the person tossed the treat to the spot where they wanted the dog to go also. ??
Also, when you get the pup to the correct spot do you have to give the stay command each time or how can you indicate that "go lie down" means go there and stay until I tell you to get up?
I would stand there and let the dog go to the _________ (spot, mat, rug). Once the dog touches the rug/mat I would either use the marker word yes or click the clicker and put the treat on the center of the mat/rug. I would do this repetition for a few times. Each time the dog does it. Give a ending like okay. Move the dog away from the mat/rug or let him/her leave the mat/rug and repeat. Once the dog goes to the mat/rug if the dog does anything toward lying down click or mark with a yes. After a few times again up the criteria until the dog is in the down on the rug. I would do this repetition for awhile before naming it.
Up the criteria again by marking a longer time in the down position. Do this repetition for some time then adding more time in the down position over a period of days/weeks. Once you have that then you up the criteria by moving away from the mat/rug while the dog is in the down stay now still treating (throwing treat in front of dog) from a distance... Continue repetition
You can also teach it with luring. With a treat in your hand lure the dog to the spot and then lure him/her into a down position (move the treat from infront of thier nose to the down between thier paws) without saying your "down" command. When the dog lies down in the spot, give then the reward. Repeat many times. Then attach attach the command "go lie down", "go to your mat", "go to bed"...whatever you are using. Give them the command and then lure them. Repeat. Eventually he/she will be able to go lie down in the spot without you luring them into the position. Next, extend the amount of time they have to stay lying down in the spot before they get their reward. Build longer times by working in slow increments. 5 seconds, 10 seconds, 20 seconds and so on. I would also use a release command like "okay" to let them know they can get up. That's how they learn it means stay there until I tell you to get up.
It just kind of "happened" with our dog. She likes to lay in the same spot on the couch, and we just started pointing to it and saying "go lay down". I'm not sure if we just got lucky, but the first few times she did it, and now she knows what it means. We can tell her to "go lay down" and point pretty much wherever we want her to lay down, and she will usually go there.