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Thread: Training him to lay down + cats issue

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Aug 2017
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    Training him to lay down + cats issue

    Hello Rott friends,

    My "Luke" male Rott dog has been trained to sit properly. Obeys the command at every order. However, I have never trained him to "lay down". He is now a little over 2 years old; I've searched online for different techniques to train him to go down, but maybe my Rottweiler friends have a specific technique for this breed of dog?

    Second advice : Luke, like all dogs has a fetish obsession over cats. However, when the cat is immobile, he can walk by look and continue his merry way. However, once the cat starts running, the challenge is ACCEPTED and he will run after and come back with blood in his mouth.

    Close by my house, I used to walk Luke without the leash. He would follow orders and stay by my side, not cross the street until I say so ect... However, once a cat appears from nowhere and starts running, he will go berserk after it. Last year was the first time he came back from running after the cat with blood in his mouth. Cat was still alive, just hurt This made me FORBID him to walk without a leash. After a period of time, I felt that he would stop paying as much attention to cats while on the leash. This made me free him again and walk him close by the house without a leash. So for a little less than a year, everything was handy dandy, he would even look at them, glance at me where I'd shout the word NO everytime I spot a cat and he would stay on the same sidewalk ignoring them.

    Two days ago at night, we walked by a cat which started running, he instantly dashed after it making me run after them until I found the poor light brown cat being swayed from left to right in his mouth. As soon as he saw me, he dropped it and crossed the sidewalk, knowing that he messed up.
    The poor cat was majorly injured, brought to the vet but thankfully is still alive.

    There are stray cats left and right everywhere around my neighborhood. This cannot keep happening, and having him on a leash makes me tired and sweaty and I have to keep walking at his extremely fast pace; however when he is not on the leash, he just comes and goes doing his sniffing and needs a little everywhere, MUCH easier for me to take him out.

    My question to y'all, is there any hope that he will stop chasing cats? Are any of your Rottweilers trained NOT to chase cats?
    If so PLEASE PLEASE give me a tip or how to make him stop chasing them.

    Thank you very much dear friends
    - Hazo

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  3. #2
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    You know he goes after cats, and will kill them...so stop allowing him to go off leash!!!! This is prey drive, and very hard to stop... once he is in drive. He needs WAY more training. If he is pulling you on walks, it means he is not trained. If he does not know the "down" command...he is not trained.

    He needs to be able to listen to you...and that means that you have to put the work into training him. Now that it's become a habit of looking for cats, it will be even harder to change things. Are you located in the US? You need to get a trainer to help you. Get enrolled into a obedience class, or get a trainer to help you teach your dog. What kind of collar is the dog wearing when you try to walk him?

  4. #3
    Senior Member
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    Down is usually easy enough to train.
    The easiest way is to keep a high value treat in your pocket and spend some time together, do something that will tire him. When he goes to lie down say the word "Down" and we use the hand signal of a flat outward stretched hand with the palm facing the ground together and feed the treat.
    Essentially wait until he gives you the behaviour naturally, name it, associate it with a sound and a gesture with it then reward it. The faster he gives you the behaviour the faster you give him the treat. Dont make him wait for his reward. If he gets it wrong, no treat - dont reward behaviour you dont want, just ignore the mistake and play the game again. Repetition is important but they are not machines so keep sessions short, fun and always end on a high so the last thing he remembers about the game is something good.
    Repeat this over a few evenings, dont force it. Use the time you spend waiting to give names and hand signals to any behaviours he presents that you like and can use. Make it fun, dont get frustrated if you dont get what you want immediately as you can train other things at the same time.

    For the pulling on leash:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8cPkTh7Y3k&t=6s
    This is a good guide on how to manage a dog that pulls.
    Break the walk up into its constituent parts, perform each one in such a way he understand when and how they fit together and gradually add distractions.

    If he has a strong prey drive, you will need to keep him on leash in public areas where other animals are likely to be, as well as cats small dogs etc will excite him.
    One may run into the road and they might both be injured.

    In nature loser runs, our cats could easily control an excited dog at close quarters simply with attitude.
    A dog running at them full pelt means they often have no time but to do anything other than flee the situation, which is all the more exciting for a driven dog.

    You can reduce and manage it, you will probably need a trainer to see measurable results.
    Lure coursing simulates a fleeing prey animal and you can use this to train the dog that the best reward will come from following your commands. I have been at clubs where they trained the dog to drop and stop mid sprint chasing a lure.
    Imagine the control where a fully engaged dog focused on its quarry is still able to quit the hunt and stop on a dime to wait for the next command, that is something that comes with solid training and a real bond of trust and respect.
    When you have that level of control you could have more confidence you could stop a bad outcome outside, however dogs sports are controlled evironements and in the real world even the best trained dog can make a mistake so my feeling is train him to walk on leash properly and give him off-leash time somewhere safe like a fenced in park or join a dog club and find activities you can both enjoy that tire him mentally and physically whilst training him to understand the best rewards come when following your instructions.

    Good luck i wish you both well, please let us know how the training progresses, the more you put in, the more you get back out.

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  6. #4
    Senior Member Andrea52's Avatar
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    What I learned for down is once you have him/her in sit (using a treat at their nose) then lower that treat to the ground while saying "down" and that nose will follow the treat and it makes the dog lay down. Once he/she is all the way down give the treat.

    I ran across all the downloads of training guides from when Bella was a pup in training just yesterday. I need to find them again so I can share the info, or at least brush up before trying to advice someone here.

    So glad my dog doesn't try to kill my cats. She lived with them all her life though. She will raise a stink if a stray tries to hang around but I always tell her to leave it.

    Good luck.

  7. #5
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    Well good old fashioned training is very key like everyone has said. All of my dogs had great prey drive. I would focus on absolute obedience and eventually I got a cat and never had a problem. They may have chased a cat or two in thirteen years but never would treat it as prey. They would go up to it and smell and move on.... but this was all observed by myself with commands. My current dog might chase but more than likely, as I live in a city, cats come into yard all the time she may investigate and she may not. No problems in four years. Oh I currently have a cat that was severely abused. It acts more normal around the dog than us. They play and sleep together. Dog is trained to track wounded animals that have not been recovered do strong drive is needed.
    Good luck.

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