We have started to work off the floor.  Lets add the Down Command from a standing position.

If you have been drilling the down command, your pup now has an understanding of two things.  First, when you say down it should know that you mean to lay down and to keep those elbows on the floor.  Second, a downward pressure on the collar should signal the pup to drop to the down position.

Now, we are going to stand up while the pup is down.  While kneeling on the floor, with the pup in the heal position ( on your left side facing the same way you are facing) put the pup into the down position with pressure on its collar and a treat placed between its toes.  With a nice low voice say STAY and start to get up next to the pup.  If it starts to get up when you do, just slip your left hand into the collar and push down and back to put the pup back into its down position.  NO TREAT.  Do not repeat the command, just put the pup back into position.  Follow the 3 times and your out rule.  What’s this?  If the pup gets up 3 times then it is time to force the issue.  Put your left foot on the CLIP of the collar and keep the dog down as you stand up( careful not to step on its toes).  Hold it there until it gets the idea that down means to stay down until I say you can get up.  Sorry folks, this is a really awkward position but the pup needs to understand that down is down.

Now you are standing and the pup is struggling against the pressure you are exerting with your foot.  Maintain this pressure until the pup stops its struggle.  If the pup rolls over on its side, this is fine.  Just make sure that it doesn’t get up.  The war will end, I promise. When it does, relax your pressure, don’t remove your foot just yet.

Swing out in front of your pup so that you are facing the pup.  Pup still has not gotten up.  Your foot if necessary is still on the Clip of the leash.  Hold this position for 30 seconds or so.  Swing back to heal position.  Get a “watch me” and a big happy “OK” release the pup,  take 2 steps backward and give the pup a big reward.

Try to work up to 2 minutes out in front of the pup.  Take it in small increments.  30 sec first then 45 seconds etc.  By the end of a week you should be able to down the pup, step out in front and stay there for 2 minutes.

Next time: The Watch me command and a bit on the happy release!