Benny at pet therapy

Benny at pet therapy

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Benny Learns How To Down

This is a set of videos I took to teach Benny a "down" position in order to pass his Canine Good Citizen (CGC) test. Since he is only two inches from the ground, teaching him a down was unlike any process I have been through in the past to teach a dog to down. I wanted to break it down to the smallest increments I could think of, and I wanted to film it in case others needed some help also. 

He learned pretty quick, but being in that position was not natural for him, and he did not prefer it to other positions. I wanted to generalize it as much as possible and to keep it very positive and fun for him. 

After these videos, which is not shown, I gradually moved him to concrete and gravel and finally out to a street surface. Then I had to randomize the treats. If he caught onto any pattern, he would only do the down when he thought the treat might be there.

In addition, I also had to teach him a sit and a stay and a basic heel position. Plus, I had less than two weeks to do this, which is when the test would be.

Prior to these videos, I had never done a single bit of formal obedience with him. I adopted him in February 2013 from a shelter in Fresno as an unclaimed stray with an unregistered microchip. He is estimated to be from three to five years old. I had taught him "wait" and that was about it. There really is very little need to teach a mini Dachshund a formal down position, unless you are going into Obedience competition or for tricks. The "sit" and the "stay" has come in handy afterwards and we continue to work on that. 

Learning Down Part One