Quick & Dirty Dog Training Tips: DOWN!


When training your dog, “down” is a very useful command that can come in handy. One point that is important for you to understand is what you are training with the down command. Firstly, down, in this context, means you are training your pet to lie down.

You must not confuse your pet by telling them down when they jump up, or down when you want them off of the couch, as this will make training not only more difficult and frustrating to you, but also for your dog. In order to train your dog to get down in that sense you need to train them with the “off” command.

Training your dog the “down” command is very similar with sit, but may be a bit more difficult to teach to your dog since the natural movements used to train a dog to sit are a bit easier to coax your pet to do than the movements for down. The next few steps will show you how to get started training your dog down.

  1. The first step may not be so much a step, but when training your dog, especially in the beginning, it is important to be sure that you are in a quiet spot that is free of distraction. This will help eliminate some of the issues you may have with getting your dog to concentrate on training.
  2. As you continue to train your dog down, you will be able to teach your dog down from the standing position, however, if your pet already know how to sit, it will help you and your canine pal. So if your dog already know to sit, get them to sit.
  3. Now, as your dog sits, hold a treat right in front of their nose and say, “down”. If your dog immediately goes down, praise them, and give them the treat. If they don’t go down, cover the treat with you hand and wait. As soon as they go down, praise them and give them the treat.
  4. You should continue to repeat this until your dog has this mastered. It is important to never move ahead until your pet is comfortable with going down. As soon as your dog is comfortable with down, you can start teaching them to stay down longer, to stay down with distance between you and your pet, and how to follow commands with distractions. Always start with duration, as this will get your pet more comfortable with the down position.

Owning a dog is a delight and privilege. Training your pet is not only helpful, but will also strengthen the bond between you and your dog. Teaching your dog these new commands is never easy, and some dogs will be more difficult to train than others as they have different personalities just like you and me.

Although you may get frustrated, never take it out on your dog, as it can harm the relationship, and may make your dog more difficult to train. If your dog messes up on a step just go back and work on the previous step and get their confidence back up until they are ready to move forward.

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