21 Aug Practice makes Trained Dogs
- Repeat your command several times.
- Gradually make it more challenging by adding, one at a time, the three D’s: duration, distance, and distraction. First, duration: each time your pooch lies down on command, on the next try add one second to the delay between when he hits the floor and when you deliver the reward. Then, distance: stand one step further away from your puppy each time you give the command. Finally, add in distractions, such as facing a different direction or bouncing a ball.
- Go slowly when adding challenges, and if your puppy ever goofs, go back a step until he’s getting it right again.
DogTime tip: It’s easiest to teach puppies ‘down’ from a sitting position, but as soon as your pup’s got the idea, practice the command from standing. If you ever have to give an emergency ‘Down!’ command, you’ll want your puppy to obey from any position.
Your puppy/dog just won’t lie down:
There are a few possible explanations. Some dogs, especially bony or hairless ones, find the cold, hard floor unappealing, in which case laying a bath mat or towel underneath them can help. It’s also possible they just don’t get what you’re asking. Try putting your pup on a steady chair or table, so you can bring lower the lure below his nose to make the message clearer.
Your puppy/dog won’t lie down completely:
Try bringing the treat down between your dog’s paws, and then bring it ever so slightly toward his nose. This often makes dogs sink down a little lower.
Your puppy/dog stands up and walks forward:
You may be accidentally pulling the treat forward. Make sure you’re lowering the treat from a position right in front of your puppy’s nose straight down to the ground.