Teaching your dog the Down command.

Posted on Posted in Basic Obedience, Training

If you want a well-mannered dog, teaching him to lie down on command, or cue, is a must. This useful skill can help your dog control his impulses and help you control your dog. There are all kinds of things a dog can’t do if he’s lying down—including jumping up, running off, begging at the table, chasing the cat, knocking over the kids, counter surfing and dashing out the door. A dog in a Down is a good dog!

  1. Get down on one knee in front of your dog. Show her a treat.
  2. Hide the treat in your fist and put index finger on the floor in front of your dog.
  3. Do not allow her to have the treat until she is down. When she is down, open your hand and allow her to eat the treat.
  4. When she is consistently going down, use an empty hand, but don’t let her know there is no treat.
  5. When she is down show her that your hand is empty, praise her and give her a treat from your pocket or pouch. This helps teach her patience and willingness to work without food being present.
  6. Next, repeat step five this time change your body posture and position.
  7. Finally, introduce the command “DOWN” by saying it each time you give the hand signal.
  8. Continue to practice DOWN in a variety of locations and situations.
  9. When your dog is performing a reliable DOWN command, start rewarding him less often i.e. every other time, then the third time jackpot him with two or three treats.

NOTE: for jackpots, think of the gambling slot machine. People will gamble and not win many times in a row, in order to hopefully get a jackpot the next time. This keeps them in the game! That’s what we want with our pooches, keep them wanting to play the game and work the command!