Raising Litter Mates



"Down" is another basic command that your dog should learn. It is a command that can be used to teach your dog to "play dead" and to "roll over" once established. Our labrador litter mates can do all three commands, yours can too!

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Thursday, September 9, 2010
How to Train your Dog "down"

Our labrador litter mates were taught "down" as their second command. Down means to lay on the chosen surface, belly on the ground. When your dog learns "down" you will then be able to teach him/her a few advanced tricks like "play dead" and "roll over". Follow the next few steps to teach your puppy a successful "down".

I strongly recommend training your litter mates separately until they are able to understand what is expected of them.

How to Teach your Dog "Down"

Training tools you will need:

  • Treats
  • Patience
  • Collar
  • Leash (optional)

Step One

Instruct your dog into a "sit" position. Praise.

Step Two

Once in the "sit" position, hold a treat to his nose slowly lowering it to the floor while saying "Down".

Step Three

As soon as your puppy/dog is laying flat on the surface, say "good down" and release the treat. Ensure that your puppy remains "down" when you give him/her the reward.

Step Four

Repeat the command, starting from the "sit" position.

If your dog is having a hard time laying on the surface and staying there, you can attach the leash and gently guide your dog to lay down by pulling him/her to the floor. Stepping on the leash while releasing a treat enforces him/her to stay down. Don't ever force your dog/puppy to the ground by pressing on his/her back. Be gentle and consistent and your dog/puppy will surprise you.

I didn't train my puppies with a leash attached, but I do remember teaching an adult dog a few years ago that required a leash at first. He learned quite quickly, and soon enough the leash wasn't needed anymore!

The best part about using this method is that it will not only teach your dog/puppy "down", but it also reinforces the "sit" command, so they are learning to combine commands at the same time. It's perfect!

No matter how brilliant your puppy may be, in order for the behaviour to become ingrained you will have to repeat these and all other puppy training steps at least two hundred (200) times. Consistency coupled with repetition and patience will have your puppies performing basic commands and other tricks automatically. Also remember that once the behaviour is learned, practicing daily (even for a few minutes) is required. Think of it as a refresher course for your puppy.


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