The continuation of good groundwork in obedience training for your dog is important in order for your dog to learn any new tricks. Being consistent with these ground rules and taking the time to ensure you’re practicing with your pup are even more important.
Your dog drops to rest on either her chest and belly or askew on her hip. This critical command could help avert dangerous situations such as potentially unsafe road crossings.
- With your dog sitting facing you, hold a treat to her nose and lower it slowly to the floor.
- If all goes well, your dog will follow the treat with her nose and lie down, at that time you can release the treat and praise her. Remember to only release the treat while your dog is in the correct position. If your dog slouches instead of lying down, slide the treat slowly toward her on the floor between her front paws or away from her.
- If your dog is not responding to the treat, put slight pressure on her shoulder blade, pushing down and to the side. Praise your dog when she drops to the floor. It is always preferable to flatter the dog to position herself without physical manipulation.
- Once your dog is consistently lying down, gradually delay the release of the treat. With your dog lying down, say “wait” and then “good” and release the treat. Varying the time before giving a treat will keep your dog focused. Your dog should not move from the down position until you have given her the release word, “OK!”
*Herding breeds or massive dogs often drop easier into a down position than long-legged, deep-chested, and hyper dogs. Keep working with them. They're smart and eager to learn!
Troubleshoot it! FAQ’s
- Is your dog resistant to this behavior?
- Your dog lying down before you is interpreted as subservience to you. Time to evaluate your status as pack leader.
- Does your dog not stay down?
- If your dog stands up, don’t reward her, and put her back down. Standing on her leash will cause her to self-correct if she tries to stand up.
- Does your dog down in one room and not another?
- Pay attention to the ground surface. Short-coated dogs will often resist downing on hard floor. Try the carpet or a towel.
Good to know! When your dog jumps on you or the sofa, use the command “off” instead of “down.” Remember to be consistent with your commands so that you’re not being confusing.