Teaching the ‘down’ command is useful in many situations in our everyday life. It can help us to teach our dogs to settle on their beds at home, lay down at our feet when we are visiting friends and relatives or even the local coffee shop! The ‘down’ command may help to prevent jumping up and it can also easily be extended into ‘flat’ (where the dog lays flat on their side), allowing us or perhaps the vet to examine our dog or administer medication such as ear drops.
So, here is a little tutorial for you that covers the basics of teaching ‘down’. Remember, as with all training, be patient and build up to the final product slowly. Your dog will need time to learn the skill and understand what you are asking of them. Use a tasty treat to guide your dog into the correct position and reward your dog by giving the treat as they do the action. Remember to give the treat only whilst your dog is completing the required action. In this case, wait to give the command and treat until your dog is in the full down position. This will help them to learn the word and what you are asking of them, associating what they are doing with the word you are saying.
Once your dog had mastered this command, you could then move on to asking for a down ‘stay’. If your dog doesn’t already know stay, keep an eye out as I will be releasing a step by step tutorial in coming days!
Let me know if you give it a go, whatever stage in your training you might be at. I would love to see your training videos!
Disclaimer: All training is attempted at the owner’s risk and Adem Fehmi accepts no liability for any injuries to pets or owners sustained during training. If your dog is showing signs of a behavioural issue please seek professional advice.