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How to Teach The Down Command

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How To Teach The Down Stay

In this exercise you down your dog and leave them, they should remain in the down un till released.

Down-Stay (Leave Your Dog)

Standing beside your dog from the heel position or neutral position, with your dog in the down position, holding the leash in the right hand. Take your left hand, with your palms facing your dog's face, and command your dog to "Stay". Pivot in front of your dog, facing your dog. Stay close.

If your dog tries to get up, swiftly slide your right hand down the leash to your dog's collar in a downward direction towards your dog elbows, as you say "No!" and command the dog "Down". When your dog's elbows touch the ground, say "Good... Down, Stay". Repeat until your dog remains down.

Anytime you use the leash as a marker for corrective behaviors, you should try to only give one tug with the leash. Make it count. If you give your dog to many tugs they will have no idea what caused the mistake. If your dog is having trouble staying in one place, reduce the amount of time your are working the stay command.

Your goal is to have your dog "Stay" for a minute or so.


Return To Your Dog

In this exercise you are to return to the heel position by going around the right side, behind your dog.

Begin by facing your dog.

Place the leash in the right hand, slide your left hand down the leash as you move toward your dog and remember to hold it above your dog's head and in a way so that their is no tension but short to correct and any mistakes.

Command your dog to "Stay" as you begin to move to the right side of your dog.

When your dog is first learning this lesson you should take small steps toward your dog, reassuring your dog with "Good, Stay". I will usually say "Stay", take a small step, pause and say "Good, Stay" and as I am saying stay I will move a small step until I am in the heel position.

Do this until your dog understands that they must remain sitting while you move behind them. As your dog get more confident with the exercise, reduce the number of stay commands as you return to your dog.

Your goal is to be able to walk toward your dog normally and around behind your dog into the heel position while your dog remains in position.


Down the dog (Down-Stay)
Standing beside your dog from the heel position or neutral position, switch the leash to the left hand. Take your left hand, in a palms-down position, and place on the leash as close to the dog as possible and gently push down toward your left heel as you command the dog "Down". If the dog resists, you may use your right hand to gently push his front legs down. Command him to "Stay". Hold leash in your left hand. Praise. Pivot in front of the dog. Stay close. Have him "Stay" for a minute or so. To correct: command "No" as you tug in a downward movement, then command "Stay" and praise.