Down is a simple behavior, the ABC's of Creating a Language. It can be a great calming and focusing behavior. Remember it's not as much as the down behavior itself rather than the process of learning and replicating the behavior for dogs.
** Remember to use GPA when teaching any new behavior.
** Remember to switch to treat hand/signal hand once guiding is perfected.
Criteria: belly on ground
• Start with a guide
Start with dog in a sit.
Take a treat slowly nose level to dog, pinch treat so dog can't get it out of your hands and bring it slowly close to their chest all the way to the ground.
Option 1: Once dog's head is at ground close to its chest pull slowly forward so he/she crawls forward into the down position.
Option 2: Once dog's head is at ground close to its chest push slowly back so dog scoots back into a down
• Pair with verbal and visual cue
• Ask with both cues together
• Start testing pup on only verbal and only visual
• Switch to luring with one hand and treating with the other
**If dog pops up, remove treat and get back into a sit
**For dogs that are not comfortable laying, you can guide them using your leg propped against the wall for the bridge or capture them laying down naturally.