Training the down command is quite similar to the training exercise for the sit command.
We start with a food lure and as the dogs nose follows the treat, his belly touches the floor, back legs tuck in and front legs extended.
We then progress the obedience training to hand and verbal commands.
An obedient "down" is also the foundation for more advanced tricks like "roll-over" and "play dead" so it's allot of fun too.
Introduce a hand signal into the lesson. The common hand signal for down is holding your hand flat, palm facing down and your forearm lowering toward the floor.
Stand in front of your dog and place a treat in your signal hand.Use the verbal and hand signals to lure the dog into a down position.
Once your dog obediently responds to the hand and vocal commands, treats need not be used as a lure, but as a reward for positive performance. Later practice using only a verbal or only the hand signal.
Praise is never out of style though, and becomes reward enough for most dogs. My Goldie will go into the down quite happily because theres a belly rub just around the corner for proper obedience. :)
Use this exercise often during the day, and challenge the dog training by introducing some distractions. Youll find yourself using the down command regularly and often during the day, and your dog will have developed some proper social manners as well.
Give yourself a treat too for a job well done!!
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A victory against puppy-mills in Missouri after Prop B vote
Jon Stewart's "The Daily Show" spin on Prop B...hillarious (11/11/10) Clip#2