Functional Obedience - Down

Previously, we discussed the Sit in some detail. Along with the Sit another fundamental exercise is the Down.

This week we will look at why the Down is so important to teach our dogs. We will also look at some possible reasons as to why your dog refuses or resists the Down exercise.

Here are a couple of common methods for teaching the down:

  • From the Sit apply downward pressure on the withers and lift the front paws towards the front of the dog. Done gently this will place the dog in a down position.

  • Again, from the Sit, place a food lure close to the nose and move it slowly vertically down and slightly towards the front of the dog so that the dog follows it. The dog will down to maintain focus on the lure

Right, so there are a couple of options for getting our pups to down….now what?

The Down is most commonly used for times when we expect the dog to hold a position for longer periods of time. Minutes rather than seconds. Or even in times where we are expecting to stay for much longer, say at a beach, café or park.

Just like Sit we teach the dog to remain in one place for a longer period of time when we couple the Down with the Stay.

Also similar to the Sit there are intrinsic – happening inside – goings on that affect the dogs psyche when in the Down position.

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