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barking issue when telling him to lay down

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by debodeebs, May 17, 2010.


  1. debodeebs

    debodeebs PetForums Junior

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    i have been doing clicker training for a few days now and he sits every time witout fail. but when it comes to layin down he can do it but now its 6 out of 10 he will do it and most times he will bark and start to get mad when i tell him to lay down. is that normal and will he eventually get out of that stage. as soon as he lays down when i tell him everytime like he does when i say sit i am starting the back up trick. cant wait lol
     
  2. JessiesGirl

    JessiesGirl PetForums Senior

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    It's possible that he is barking out of frustration, believing that he mainly gets rewarded for sitting. so his internal monologue is sort of "But I want the treat! Why isn't she thrilled with the sit? Why are we wasting time on this other thing 'cause I know there are treats to be had and let's get to that, NOW!" He may have a bit of a one-track mind right now about how to get the treat.

    To speed up the Down training, carry the clicker and some treats with you even when not training. When ever you see him lay down on his own, also click and treat. It will help him to learn the association between the behavior and the reward more quickly.
     
  3. debodeebs

    debodeebs PetForums Junior

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    ok thanks alot ill try that out
     
  4. Colliepoodle

    Colliepoodle PetForums VIP

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    Agree.

    Another couple of points: if "down" is the second thing you've taught, it could well be that he's got stuck on "sit" as the thing that gets him rewards, as the above poster said. Often, when a dog only knows 2 commands, if the first doesn't get a treat they'll automatically try the other one - they tend not to listen to the words, rather they think "OK first didn't work - try second".

    You often find that when you've taught 3 things, they start to think more.

    Also, is there any chance you've ever clicked and rewarded a "down with a bark"? Or even got your timing wrong and inadvertently clicked a bark? He may not realise that you don't WANT a bark; if you've C/T'ed a bark, or down with a bark even once, he may well be under the impression that's what you want :)
     
  5. debodeebs

    debodeebs PetForums Junior

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    yes ive done that a few times come to think of it. ive clicked when he has layed down but in a strop kind of way with a bark. ill take in mind now that if i see him lay down even without me telling him ill click and treat. and only click and treat when i say lay down and he does it without any hastle. i did spend 2 days just click then treat without telling him to do anything just to get used to the clicker. so now when i click he goes straight to my hand with the treats in it.

    im not sure if you guys have seen this video but i am really trying my best even if it takes months to get my american bulldog like this guys below. he is fantastic. makes me proud to own 1.

    YouTube - Training American Bulldog Popeye

    many thanks again guys
     
  6. JessiesGirl

    JessiesGirl PetForums Senior

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    Excellent points! He may think down means 'bark in any position' or Down and bark!

    And I also agree that you will see offering of behaviors as you go forward. That's good, as he's trying to work out what you want. Whenever I teach a new behavior to my dog, I have to wait through her offering up every other command she has previously learned, too.:D

    But this does tell you that the dog has understood the idea of working for you!:thumbup:

    Also, think about what you are doing with your hands when you give a command. Most dogs respond more readily to hand signals than voice commands, especially in the early going. It's possible that you are giving a similar body and hand movement when you ask for Down as you did for Sit, and that's confusing and frustrating him. At this point, I'd keep on with whatever you were unconsciously doing for Sit and add a new hand signal for Down. We use a flat palm, level with the floor, heading down towards the floor. You can use whatever you want, as long as its consistent. ;)
     
    #6 JessiesGirl, May 17, 2010
    Last edited: May 17, 2010
  7. debodeebs

    debodeebs PetForums Junior

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    hmmm another good advice lol as i do use the same signal i say sit pointing my finger and i do the same when telling him to lay down which is an habbit. ill give you my process in a few days on using my palm to tell him to lay down. but right at this moment im running out of treats lol. i got a big bag of treats from tesco but yet he starts to go of them after about 4. but my ginger biscuits went rapidly so i mite go and pick some apples up and cut them down to small peices as he should enjoy them due to being sweet.

    but again thanks for your advice
     
  8. JessiesGirl

    JessiesGirl PetForums Senior

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    It's very common for new trainers to make the same body signals for different commands, which is why it occurred to me to mention it. You are already thinking about so much, you lose track of what your body may be doing, although the dog is more apt to watch your body! No harm done as long as you sort out using different signals going forward. He'll happily adjust! :D I really think he is just frustrated right now with Down as to him, you could also be asking for Sit because you are moving your hands and body in the same way as you do when asking for Sit.

    The good news is that you saw something had gone awry and asked for help, rather than blaming the dog. That's an excellent sign that you will make a good trainer! :D Training is problem-solving, always, not a contest. You have the right attitude here and that will help you to become a good trainer.

    If you need a signal for getting him to pay attention to you to begin a session, try "Watch".

    To teach it, you take a treat and bring it up to your eye. The dog's eyes will naturally follow and he is rewarded for looking at your face. This is a highly useful command to have in order to get your dog's attention in many situations, but can also help you with the -hey, pay attention to me- that you may be doing now before asking him to do something. ;) Eventually, just moving your hand to your eyes will be the hand signal, without treats.
     
    #8 JessiesGirl, May 17, 2010
    Last edited: May 17, 2010
  9. Colliepoodle

    Colliepoodle PetForums VIP

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    Yep.

    They often offer the last thing they learned. Or the first thing they learned (they're more sure of it and have a longer reinforcement history for that behaviour).

    Or they offer the thing that gets most reaction. One thing I know I'm guilty of is being less impressed by "basic" obedience behaviours than "tricks". Of course I click and treat and praise when teaching sit or down or whatever, but when I taught her "hide eyes" I was so impressed I practically turned cartwheels.... so guess what she tends to offer as a default behaviour when she's not sure what I want? ;)
     
  10. JessiesGirl

    JessiesGirl PetForums Senior

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    Jessie's favorites are Sit, Shake Hands, Dance and Roll Over, as they are huge crowd pleasers! Guests really get a kick out of tricks, so she is very motivated to try them out when I am trying to teach something new.

    You're right--sometimes the biggest response really indelibly solidifies the behavior!:thumbup:

    But I suspect that is a problem for another day in this questioner's situation at present. ;)

    And I also agree with you that dogs will often offer up the first thing they learned or the most recent when trying to figure out a new command/behavior. Think your reasoning is spot on as well!
     
    #10 JessiesGirl, May 17, 2010
    Last edited: May 17, 2010
  11. Colliepoodle

    Colliepoodle PetForums VIP

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    You're right. Went off on a bit of a tangent there :biggrin:

    Very much liking your posts, btw, Jessiesgirl. Also I have a Jessie too. I may stalk you around the forum in a totally non-threatening, girlie way.
     
  12. JessiesGirl

    JessiesGirl PetForums Senior

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    Thanks! Seems we share many thoughts on training!
     
    #12 JessiesGirl, May 17, 2010
    Last edited: May 23, 2010
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