Dog Training -Basic

Basic "Down" exercises. Many times this command is taught incorrectly to dogs either by pushing their bodies down to the ground or by pulling them down. What happens is that the dog learns to resist this command or just plain is unclear of what exactly is being asked of it.
We feel that these methods are just plain to physically aggressive and rely unnecessarily on the brute force of the dog trainer pitted against that of the dog. The method that we teach and prefer is the following.

  • The dog trainer at the side of the dog with a snack between the thumb and forefinger of the right hand.
  • The leash, held in the left hand, should be short but not pulling in any direction.
  • Hold the right hand in front of the dog's head and move it up and down. The dog will follow your hand but since its collar is short can't move its body.
  • The dog trainer should then bring their right hand (with the snack) down and away from the dog's body.
  • The dog should follow the snack down to the ground and just as its body is about to touch the ground the dog trainer should verbalize this action by saying "Doooown" and the dog will catch on to what is being asked of it.
  • The dog should be allowed to hold this position for a few seconds without being disturbed.

Learning and mastering the "Down" command is the basis for all of the following exercises.

Practicing "Down" with four posts. Put four posts, barrels or traffic cones in a square with approximately fifteen meters between each one.
The first team begins at the first post and walk to the second at which time the dog trainer would give the command "Down", after counting silently to five the dog trainer and dog would move on to the next post at which they would again give the command "Down." Continue on like this until the team has completed the round of the square. The second team can begin their pass once the previous team reaches the third post.

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