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Juno (12 wks) has been doing amazingly with her obedience commands. Sit is perfect, heel is great, recall is getting better every day.

 

Our issue is down. She'll go down every time - but roll over submissively, belly up. Argh! We're using clicker training. I've tried clicking the instant she hits the ground, before she shows her belly. That doesn't help. I've tried not clicking at all when she shows her belly, but that doesn't help either. I've been asking for a sit every time she shows her belly, and she'll quickly hop up into a beautiful sit, and then we try the down again - but after a split-second lovely down, she's showing her belly again.

 

I've asked for downs with Juno heeling at my side, with her in front of me, from across the yard, etc. hoping that different positions will yield different results. It doesn't seem to matter how she is positioned in relation to me.

 

Has anyone encountered this kind of submissive down before? Any suggestions for fixing it?

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Don't worry so much, she's only 12 weeks old. she's a puppy and they do that.

 

 

you'll get the down soon.

 

Your delivery of the food reward might be too slow, I know click means behaviour is complete however delivery of the reinforcer is also very very important. Make sure you are ready witha yummy food reward right when her chest hits the ground

 

c

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^^What she said. Ignore the behavior you don't want and it will fade. If you're stressing over it, you're likely emanating that stress, which she's picking up on, which could then make her want to do the submissive roll thing.

 

They are so smart and so quick to learn that sometimes we forget that they're just babies.

 

J.

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Tripp does that, too. I blame my husband because the first thing he teaches every dog is how awesome it is to get belly rubs. :rolleyes:

 

With Tripp, if I've already started to praise/pet him then I stop, say no and wait for him to get back up and then start again. If I hadn't started to praise him yet (we're getting to the point where I can anticipate he's going to flip) I just plain say no and start him over. Usually it takes just a couple reminders and he remembers what he's supposed to be doing.

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Have you tried sitting in front of her and asking for a down? Then continue to treat her (jackpot) if she maintains the down. When she has that, try it on your knees, then in a crouched position, then stand up. Perhaps when she's in the down position and then you bend over her to treat her, she feels pressure from that so she rolls over? Just a thought.

 

I think she's doing amazingly well for such a baby. But then again she is a Border Collie. Enjoy her. :)

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I agree to ignore the rolling over. Just reward her for the down and as she gains confidence and maturity the submissive "tummy up" will most likely subside.

 

Don't ya' just love puppy training? There's nothing quite like those "aha!" moments when puppy gets it. :D

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Hello all,

 

I would not train a lie down on this dog yet at all. She's quite young. Submissive dogs need to have good manners, such as keeping their feet off you, not pulling on the end of a leash, but obedience training can take the stuffing out them when what you need is more stuffing!

 

If it is your intent to train her as a stockdog, you may not even need a solid down when you get to that point. When I have a submissive dog, I encourage confidence in everything I do with them, and I don't perpetuate anything that causes submissive behavior. I'll leave it for a time when the dog is more mature, or maybe let it shape itself once on stock.

 

Once in training, you may find that all it takes to get a lie down on stock is walking towards the dog. When that is the case, you can walk towards her, and say "lie down" when she's already in the process. In that way, she remains keen to the job, and learns at the same time. No submission, no worries on your part conveyed to the dog.

 

Dogs don't learn from pressure. Dogs learn from release of pressure. So, if you apply pressure while asking your dog to lie down, and begin to back away, or release pressure in some way, the moment at which she begins to comply, she will learn quickly. Timing is everything.

 

Let her grow up a bit, mature, and re-visit the lie down if you must.

 

Cheers all

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Kipp didn't have a down until I had had him for 9 months (and he was already 1.5 y/o when I got him). It was like he wasn't quite sure about it. So I didn't stress it, but did reward him when he relaxed more or would lie down on his own. One day it just clicked.

 

And Kenzi did the submissive belly roll when I tried to teach her "down" after I got her at 9 m/o. She would just kind of melt to the ground. So ignored that, backed off with down, and just rewarded calm relaxed behavior when I saw it. As her confidence increased, the melting belly rolls faded away. Now she just does them when she's relaxed and goofy and has a great normal "down" the rest of the time.

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Hi all, thanks for the input! I know my original post sounds a little overzealous - we're not actually doing any real obedience training at this point. The sit, heel & recall were all just taught during play & walks, with the clicker, and it was obvious right away that Juno loves figuring out what's needed for a click. She had her sits down-pat two days after I brought her home, after about five minutes of playing around with the clicker. Most of her day is spent going for car rides, playing with our children, romping with the other dogs, running on the beach and following me around the farm. We just throw in some clicks & treats here and there for fun!

 

I haven't been stressed at all about the submissive down - I have just never experienced this with my dogs before and had no idea how to approach it! Every time I tried to shape the down, we were having fun & being lighthearted. No pressure, no stress :)

 

As it turns out, I ditched the down altogether and the very next day, she started offering beautiful downs on her own without prompting! She got the "jackpot" for it, and now she makes a game of so-called "doggy pushups" - sit, down, sit, down, sit, down.

 

Thanks again for the input!

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