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Training Exercise: Remove Luring for "Down"


Slowly remove luring for the command "down" (laying down on the ground)

What you will need:

- treats 

Why do it:

Luring is the easiest way to communicate to a dog. By removing luring, we are challenging your dog mentally. They need to problem solve, think more, work harder... maybe even guess a little!... to earn a treat.

Luring requires us to have a treat in our hands. Our goal with all commands is to get to a point where we randomize treats and only use them when we need them, i.e. when we need to motivate our dog to listen to us instead of do what they want to do. Removing luring is the first step to get the treats out of our hands.

By removing luring, you introduce another form of communication: pointing. Pointing is a method of communication that most dogs can understand and we, as humans, use quite often so it is a benefit if your dog can respond to pointing.

How to Play

Step 1: Take a treat from your dog's nose all the way to the floor to teach them down.

*If you are teaching "down" for the first time, spend one day luring them all the way to the ground and the next day move onto step 2.

Step 2: Introduce pointing. Put the treat in one hand and point with the other hand. Point all the way to the ground.

Step 3: Point to the ground, but this time, keep your finger a couple of inches off of the ground.

Step 4: Keep raising your finger off of the ground, pointing even farther away from the ground.

As you keep making "down" more challenging, your dog may get stuck. If you try a new level of difficulty and they fail (they don't do it), reset and try again at the same level. If they fail for a second time, then make it easier (go back a level of difficulty, go closer to the ground). See the video below:

Exercise Notes:

- When you first start pointing, they are going to be used to the treat being in your hand. That's ok if they are sniffing around. However, when your dog does not go all the way to sniff you hand, you will notice them responding to the pointing and that is a great sign. Brooke responds to pointing in step 4.

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