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After some struggling and a "battle of wills" the pup will lay down, at which point he is praised, and the exercise is finished. Seeing the down taught like this bothered me at first, as I had always been accustomed to teaching down with a food treat and gentle encouragement. But it makes sense, that with dogs bred to be capable of serious work at less than a year of age, you have to establish the ground rules, so to speak, at an early age. This pup didn't want to go down, and he whined for about 5 minutes. But when he got tired of whining, he layed down and then he was praised and allowed up.

In addition to obedience and agility, we do a lot of stability work and correcting dogs with aggressive tendencies, especially towards other dogs. Every class, there is at least some work with the dogs close together, teaching the dogs and the handlers how to function under the stress of being in a crowd of dogs and people. Complete control is taught at all times, and we haven't even begun bitework with this particular group yet, because the control is still not right on.

One of the things that particularly pleases me about the training handlers receive at Dogmen is that aggressive dogs are welcome, and rather than dismissing them from the class or at the very least, relegating them to their own corner of the room/field. I think it's important that there are places where people with less than perfect dogs/handling may go to learn proper handling skills and feel that they belong.