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Dog Training: Teaching The Down Command


Bandit Learning The "Dog Down" Command

Kettlebottom crew member, Wallace Mattingly and his dog, Bandit are back for more foolproof dog training tips for Rhode Island dog owners.

With the warm days mixed in between the snow storms, it's a great time to practice some of these moves indoors and outdoors. Now is the time, whether your dog is young or old, to teach a few new tricks! 

Teaching your dog “down” is very similar to teaching “sit”. We will still use the marker training and high-valued treats. Keep the sessions short and sweet. This will allow your dog to want to work for you, and will keep you from playing cat and mouse games with your dog. So grab your dog and a comfy seat, take what you learned from Part 1 of this series, and watch Wallace work with Bandit in the video before you put your lovable pooch to the test.



Training Steps featured in the above video:

  1. First, have your dog sit.
  2. While your dog is sitting bring your “treat” hand to its nose with your hand closed, so that the dog cannot accidently take it from you and reward themselves.
  3. Lure your dog with your treat hand straight down from the nose to the ground in between your dogs front legs.
  4. Because your dog is in a sit and you are luring their head straight down, your dog will naturally fall into a down position.
  5. As soon as your dogs elbows hit the ground, mark with “YES!” and reward with the treat.
  6. Repeat, until your dog begins to anticipate what you are asking of them.
  7. After about 30 repetitions, add the command “down” and begin telling your dog to “down”
  8. Let your dog think about what you are commanding. Eventually, they will go into the correct position, and you can mark and reward.


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