How to Teach Your Dog “Down”

After teaching your dog to sit the next thing to teach him is “Down”. You will not want to start with down until sit is mastered. Down is also a fairly simple command to teach. Your dog will learn the command after a few short training sessions. You may also wish to use “Lie” or “Lay” instead of down if you plan to use “Down” to signal your dog to stop jumping on you. Many people use “Off” to keep there dog from jumping and “Down” as the command to lie down.

To get started you will want plenty of very small treats. Small smelly treats work the best. If your dog is likely to walk away from you it may also be helpful to put him on a leash.

Start off by standing or sitting in front of your dog. Have your dog sit. Once your dog is in a sitting position take the treat and have him smell it. Now move it down to the ground and in a line away from the dog. Draw an ‘L’ pattern until your dog is all the way down. As soon as he is down and his forearms are all the way to the ground say “yes” or “good” and give him the treat. Using “yes” or “good” or another short word will mark the exact moment that your dog did what you wanted him to do. It lets him know what behavior he is being rewarded for. Do this few times until you know he is going to do it then we are ready to add in the “Down” command.

Again, stand in front of your dog. Move the treat from his nose to the ground and pull it away from him. As you start to do this, give the command “Down”. At the exact second your dog is in position say the word “yes” or “good”. Give a lot of praise and bits of treats for each step accomplished.

Once your dog is lying down good for you try giving the “Down” command without the treat in your hand. You can reward your dog with a treat from the opposite hand. Then, start saying “Down” without moving your hand down. When he is down, say “good” or “yes” and then reward the down with a treat. I personally found this step difficult and I am still working on it with my dog. As your dog learns down very well you can slowly phase out giving a treat for every time your dog is down.

Keep your training sessions short, no more than 10-15 minutes. Try training during commercial breaks or in short periods throughout the day. 

There are several websites where you can get a lot of helpful and essential tips not only on how you properly train your pets but also how you can properly take good care of your dog in general. You can [google_bot_show][/google_bot_show]click to read here.

Once your dog learns the Down command you can continue to reinforce it by using it everyday as you would with sit. Try telling Fido to down before you let him outside or to sit and then down before you set his food bowl down in the morning. When in public or in the company of others tell your dog “Down” for a child to pet him.

Once Down is mastered you should move on to teaching “Stay”, “Come”, “Leave It”, or another command of your choice. Good Luck!

Post Author: Cora

Cora