I have to write another post about the Dog Training app By Matthew Melville available on iTunes.
This app is missing one crucial element. Reality!
While I am finally seeing a slight improvement in Eddy, my rescue dog that I am in the process of trying to train, this app is unrealistic. They teach the down or lay down command very straight forward. The instructor tells you that teaching your dog to lay is a two-step process. You first have to get your dog in a sit position.
Thankfully, Eddy mastered the sit command a month ago so there was no headache with that step. The next step the instructor teaches you is to put a treat in your hand and place your hand with the treat in it at your dog’s mouth then slowly drop your hand to the ground. The dog is supposed to follow. As soon as the dog’s chest is on the ground you are supposed to say down and give him/her the treat.
In what reality does this instructor think a young puppy or dog with years of bad behavior is going to just lay down silently for the treat? No, this is not how it works. Yes the instructor has a great dog in the video, but our dogs are not the same. If you are like me then you have downloaded this app or ordered training books because your dog is not well-behaved like the dog used in these instructional videos.
When I put the treat in front of Eddy’s nose he stands back up. If I can keep him sitting long enough to start to lower my hand to the floor his head goes down and his butt goes up. It’s like a puppy and treat teeter-totter.
I’ve spent a couple of days with Eddy trying to master this command. I have learned to deviate. The closest Eddy gets to following this commend is laying with his paws out to the side. He will only do this if I put light pressure on his butt as I lower the hand with the treat in front of his face. He eventually will stop attempting to stand and will just drop his body into an awkward side lay.
I started with my entire right hand over his butt and have graduated to just a finger or two applying very little pressure at his back to remind him to keep his butt down.
None-the-less I would have to say this app needs some serious improvements. The lesson alone just won’t work for a wild young dog with no experience in training. Maybe that’s just my experience, but take it for what it is.