Dog Training Made Easy- Down
Carolyn: In this film in the series I’m going to show you how to teach your dog to lie down when you ask him to. This is a great exercise to teach after you’ve taught the sit because he’s already halfway there. It’s invaluable when you take your dog on vets visits or take him to the groomers and even more importantly it’s the first step in having a dog that you can take anywhere with you.
But to help me show you how to teach your dog to do a down I’ve got Mouse here. Mouse. Hello, Mouse. So as always when you’re training make sure you’ve got a supply of really yummy treats, training in an enclosed area if you can then you can have the dog off lead.
So as always with step one you lure the dog into the position that you want. So starting from a sit and then bring your hands straight down and the dog’s nose will follow and he should lie down. Let him have the treat the minute that he does.
Now don’t get tempted to push your dog. If you use your hands to push your dog will start to resist you or if you’ve got a really happy dog like this he’ll get all wiggly, giggly about it and lose his concentration. So just use the treat, lure him down. Fantastic.
Don’t take your hand forward. If you take your hand forward when you’re doing it the dog will just stand up and walk off, except Mouse won’t because he’s brilliant.
Practice this a lot everywhere until the moment that you take your treat and bring it to the ground your dog will lie down. Oh, you are so clever.
So after you practiced that a lot you can move on to step two, but just to get the dog to use his brain and work out what it was that got him the sausage the last time. So take your treat, just hold it in your hands and show the dog you’ve got it and wait. And wait for long enough that he sort of thinks, “Now what was it that she wanted? Oh, it was that lying down thing.”
Hey, hey, good boy. And practice this until you can just take the treat and he’ll lie down straightaway. Be really quick to give him the treat the minute that he lies down. You’re rewarding him for lying down not getting back up again. So I’ve got the treat. What do we do? Oh, yes.
So when you’re completely convinced that when you take the treat that the dog will lie down it’s time to put the cue word in to link it to the behavior.
Now as always you say the word just as the dog’s doing the action so that he associates that behavior in his mind with the word. So take the treat, hold it, and as the dog starts to lie down. Down, good boy, say the word and then reward him. And practice and practice and practice this everywhere until your dog knows that the word down means lie down. Oh, good boy, Mouse.
So once your dog is able to lie down when you say the word down in the house it’s time to get out on step four and do it everywhere. As always start somewhere where there’s few distractions and then you can build it up to when there’s people and dogs around. Make sure when you’re out and about that you have your dog on a lead. Use your six foot training lead, you can clip it onto your belt and have your hands-free to be able to reward your dog. So get out there and practice your downs everywhere. So Mouse, we’re going to do some downs. Come on then. Let’s go.
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This article was first published at passpawt.com/blog/tag/dogtraining
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