Down - Stay
Teaching your dog to down-stay is teaching him to remain on the ground, head erect, eyes looking forward, until released from the command.
The down-stay technique is a simple technique to teach if your dog has already learned the sit-stay command.
Remember when teaching this technique that down-stay are not correction commands. If you order your dog "down" when he jumps up on a stranger, do not expect him to respond properly to this command.
How to Begin...
Review the sit-stay technique and practice the simultaneous verbal and hand commands. Do not use your dog's name when offering the verbal command, because it is not an action command.
Place your dog in the down position.
Give your dog the "down" command in a firm voice. Because it is not an action command, do not use his name before or afterward. Upon giving the command, flatten your left hand with fingers close together as for a salute and place it in front of his eyes. Your hand should be four inches in front of the eyes. The hand signal is given simultaneously with the voice command, "stay." It is a deliberate but quick gesture that temporarily blocks the dog's vision. Assuming the dog has been taught the sit-stay, that's all there is to be done.
Remember that the commands down and stay are not corrections. If the dog jumps up on a stranger, the couch, the bed, the dinner table, or into the cat's litter box, do not yell "down" and expect him to respond properly. He will only become confused. A firm "no" is the only way to make a correction.
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