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!
- Get down on one knee in front of your dog. Show her a treat.
- Hide the treat in your fist and put index finger on the floor in front of your dog.
- 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.
- When she is consistently going down, use an empty hand, but don’t let her know there is no treat.
- 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.
- Next, repeat step five this time change your body posture and position.
- Finally, introduce the command “DOWN” by saying it each time you give the hand signal.
- Continue to practice DOWN in a variety of locations and situations.
- 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!