Pet Basic Skills: Down

By Blog Administrator - 22:42

There are two ways to teach your pet to lie down. Either way, you will need to have your treats ready just like you did when you taught him to sit. One way is to start with your pet sitting. Take a treat in
your hand and hold it in front of his nose.
 
 Slowly bring the treat down to the floor and then either forward or back— whichever way causes your pet to drop his elbows and lie down. When he does, say “good!” and give him the treat.
Once your pet is beginning to anticipate your hand motion and doesn’t need as much help going into the down position, you can add your cue word. Say “down,” then move your hand.
 
At this point you can begin to fade out (gradually stop using) your hand motion. Eventually, your animal companion will lie down when he hears your cue. Only reward him for a down that you asked for to reinforce the idea that he is responding to your cue.
 
The other method is to start with your pet standing. You may hear this referred to as a fold-back down because your pet will fold back into the down position like a folding chair. This is the best choice if you hope to go on to compete in formal obedience competitions with your dog. Also, some tricks may require your pet to lie down without sitting first.
 
Begin by holding a treat in your hand just in front of the pet’s nose. Then move your hand down and back between his front legs. This should cause him to fold his legs and drop down to get the treat. If need be, apply gentle pressure between the shoulder blades to encourage him to lie down.
 
When he lies down, be sure to say “good!” and give him his treat.

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