The down command is the next lesson to teach in your dog obedience training schedule. It should be taught as soon as you and your dog have mastered the sit command. The down command is a fundamental ingredient of your overall dog obedience training program.
Teaching the down command provides the foundation for many other advanced commands/skills as well as establishing you as the leader in the relationship you share with your dog. The reason for this is that the laying down position is a submissive and somewhat vulnerable position for your dog to be in, especially when you are standing tall over the top of your dog.
The down command is a very handy behavior which you will come to rely on in many situations. Popping your dog down into the lying down position is great for times when you need to go into a shop or for occasions when there are small children around. It can take a bit of practice to reach this level, but it is well worth your effort.
What you are trying to achieve with the down command is to have your dog quickly get down into the laying position, belly touching the ground and his front legs extended out in front.
In a familiar environment to your dog and with no distractions, lets get started!
Add your command just before you start to move the treat towards the ground. This step is all about building an association in your dog's mind between the verbal "down" command and the act of him laying down.
Whichever method you choose to teach your dog the down command be consistent and keep at it. If you plan to obedience train your dog at home this is the comprehensive training package I highly recommend Dogproblems.com Dog Training Course.
When you are happy with your dog getting into the down position you will probably want to add a release command to it. This means that when you issue your down command, your dog goes straight down and is not permitted to get up until you issue another command. You can use "away" or "off you go" for this purpose.
Some other pages you and your dog may be interested in:
Solve your dog's behavior problems such as excessive barking, digging, chewing and pulling on the leash.
Please consult the services of a Professional Dog Trainer, Behaviorist or Veterinarian before implementing any of the advice contained on this site.