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There are many occasions when the down command will help your dog enjoy the activities around him without getting into trouble.

While the down position is probably the most comfortable one for your dog, it is an unnatural position for him to assume on command and may take the longest to learn.

Staying down means that your dog is on the ground, head erect, eyes looking forward. The front legs are extended and the hind legs relaxed with the rear weight resting on both haunches.

How to Begin...
Because of the difficulty involved in teaching this command, it is important to find a quiet, private area with no distractions. Place your dog in the sit-stay position your left side.

Using the standard down method, hold the leash in your right hand, kneel down on your left knee and give the "down" command in a firm voice. At the same time, slightly lift your dog's two front paws with your left hand and pull them forward to ease him to the ground. Repeat this procedure until your dog offers no resistance. Always praise your dog after each repetition.

Once your dog understands the verbal command, "down," introduce the hand signal. With the dog at your side in the sit-stay position, kneel down on your left knee with the leash extended to the right of the dog about twelve inches, with no slack. Bring your left hand up above the dog's eye level and slightly to the right of his head. Keep it flattened, fingers closed, palm down. Give the dog the verbal command "down" as you begin to lower your left hand to the ground. As your hand goes down, it will press on he leash and push the dog down.

Now, combine the command and hand signal as you kneel in front of the dog. Praise him each time he reaches the ground, and use the corrective jerk if he tries to get up. repeat this process, each time moving further away, until the procedure is repeated from the full extent of the six-foot leash.


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