Your dog lies down on ground; off to the side. This is a useful command. When you teach “stay” to your dog, you will find that a “sit/stay” is not as comfortable for them as the “down/stay”. The physical position of “down” is a sign of subservience in dog language. This is one way of managing a “dominant” dog. Assuming your dog was taught “down/stay”, you could ask them to hold that command.

* Dominant Downs as they are referred to are NOT effective. They are an archaic and out-dated form of dog training. We do not use, teach or encourage you to use them.


You will need to start by asking your dog to sit. Use your hand signal and a food lure. When Buddy sits, praise him but do not relinquish the treat to him yet. We want to reward him for lying down in this exercise not only for sitting. You should start again @ squatting position. Now turn your hand so that your palm is facing down with the food lure between your thumb and for finger.

Move your hand (without giving your dog the treat) closely from his nose, to his chest, to his front leg and back towards his tail. It’s best if you do this motion towards yourself rather than away. Once your hand is @ your dog’s tail and on the floor leave it their until he lies down. As soon as he lies down, relinquish the treat and pour on the praise. Any slight movement to lie down should be praised… Let him know he is doing the right thing. In essence what you are doing is making a twisted “L”. The reason you need to keep the treat close to your dog is so that he doesn’t get up and walk forward. Similarly, you need to bring the food lure towards his tail so that he falls off onto one hip.

* Remember: Control your dog’s head and you will control his body. You are not pushing your dog into a lying down position … we want them to have fun @ training not think it’s torture.


Repeat this exercise until your dog is on the verge of anticipating the movement. Once he is @ this point, add the verbal command: “Buddy, down”. You are still doing “down” only, not “down/stay”.

Questions to ask yourself:
  • Is he walking forward? Check your hand position.
  • Is he just ignoring you? Get a better treat!
  • Is he lying like the Sphinx? Move your hand towards his tail and keep it on the floor.
  • Is he getting up repeatedly? Check your hand position. * Fearful or dominant dogs have a hard time with this. Please ask your instructor for assistance. Do NOT force your dog into the down.

Down means lie down. Please don’t confuse your dog by saying “down” when you mean “off”. “Off” means get off of the furniture or stop jumping on people.