The Down command is rarely used in everyday life, but in some situations, such as in the train, it is sometimes necessary to put the dog lie down. Also, any new skill helps to improve the contact between the dog and the owner. So, how do you teach your dog to lie down?
If you don’t have an adult dog but a puppy, you shouldn’t start learning until after 3 months. Like the Sit command, Down is practiced in a contrasting way, which means that both coercion and encouragement should be used. The coercion is hand pressure on the withers, and as a reward – verbal praise and a treat. It is possible to train both at home and on the street. The main thing is to choose a calm and quiet place where the dog will not be distracted by strange sounds and other animals. Also the place should be clean, because it will be unpleasant for your dog to lie down on the damp and dirty ground. There are 3 ways to teach your puppy how to lie down.
In the first variant you say “Sit” to the dog, put one hand on the withers, command Down and the other hand, bending over and showing a treat above the ground. The treat should be held so that the dog reaches for it forward and down. Hold on and press down a little, you won’t let your dog get up and he’ll eventually lie down. At this moment you actively praise him, give him a treat and let him go by the “Go outside” command.
The second option is as follows – you put one hand on the withers of the dog, and the other wind the front paws. You give the command Down and press one hand on the withers and the other pushes the front legs forward. The pet lies down, you praise him, give him a delicious piece and say “Go outside”. You can also get your dog to lie down by pressing down on the withers at the same time and pulling the leash down and forward a little bit. Make sure your dog is lying down carefully – the front legs should be pulled forward and the task picked up. Don’t let him fall on his side or back. Usually there will be plenty of training to get your puppy to lie down on command without waiting for extra pressure on the hill.
Now start to increase the interval between command Down and encouragement, gradually bringing it to 5 seconds. If your puppy is 3 months old, you don’t need a longer exposure time. If the dog jumps up before serving the treat, repeat the command again and put him down again. When he starts to lie down on command and patiently waits for 5 seconds, you can make an extra gesture.
The gesture for the Down command is as follows: raise your right hand horizontally, and lower it to your right thigh. While teaching your dog to recognize the gesture, gradually increase the distance to 2-3 meters and the exposure time to 7 seconds, as long as it is not necessary.
When your puppy turns 4 months old and is able to do a great job at a short distance, start to increase the distance and shutter speed. By 8 months, you need to reach the standard – your dog should be lying down at the first serve, at a distance of up to 15 meters, with a shutter speed of up to 15 seconds. When working from a long distance, do not let your pet go by shouting “Go outside” from afar. Go up to him yourself, praise him and then let him go for a break. After your pet has learned to correctly execute the Down command in a quiet environment, start making him lie down in a shop or near a noisy street. It’s important to get your dog used to the command from the start, first at a short distance and with a little restraint. The Down command should be completed by 10 months in difficult conditions.
Additional tips on training
- Don’t forget that the Down command is given before you are forced to lie down, and the treat is only given after the pet has laid down.
- If your dog gets up without your command, be sure to get him back in the right position, repeating “Down!”.
- Avoid excessive rudeness when exposed.
- Don’t try to get your dog to mature too much right away.
- Don’t put your puppy in the first stages of training on dirty or wet ground.
- Let your dog go with the Go outside command, not the Come command.
- The fact is that Come is a nice command (if you’ve taught your dog correctly), so it’s much harder for a pet used to being let go by this command to wait. As a result, he’s getting a lot worse at aging.