Distraction in Down

Start off by holding your dog’s leash in your left hand, along with two pieces of food. Break off a piece of food to use as your lure. Lure your dog to the mat and reinforce when your dog places squarely in a stand. Now you are going to lure your dog into a down by keeping your legs relatively straight. Bend at the waist to lower your torso, arm and hand. The moment your dog’s belly touches the ground you are going to reinforce with two or three pieces of food. Now drop a piece of food about 1 – 2 feet behind you, to your right hand side. Your dog should have a clear line of sight to the food, but it should also be relatively easy to step in front and intercept any attempt your dog makes to go for the food. Just as in the previous set, you are going to reinforce twice for every food drop. Once if your dog remains in a down after you have dropped the food, and a second time after you bend over to pick up the food. Do two drops to your right hand side. Now we are going to create the same pattern to our left. Switch the leash to your right hand and drop with the left. Reinforce if your dog holds position as the food falls, and if they hold position when you turn to pick it up. Do two drops to your left. Give one or two more rewards, and then issue a release cue – “all done.” Give your dog a single reward for popping out of position followed by a 60 second break.

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