How To Teach The Down On A Recall
In this exercise your dog is running towards you on a recall and before your dog gets to you we down them. This exercise is one of the most important exercises in dog obedience. The Down on a recall exercise is the foundation for the all important Down out of Play. This is an Intermediate Level Obedience exercise so proper preparation is in order before you attempt it.
Come/Down (Motivation Method)
Stand facing your dog and use your target to motion toward you into the come position. Move backward a few steps. As your dog comes to you, say "Good," then motion your dog into the down position. When your dog downs, say "Good," wait a moment and present the reward.
The goal of this exercise is to get your dog to move freely, quickly, and easily from a come position into the down position. When your dog is moving into the down position, we want their elbows to touch the ground first, so carefully adjust your presentation to achieve this goal. The faster the better, so play with the speed of your presentation. Encourage your dog to go faster by giving an extra reward when they show a fast effort. Try to get your dog to snap into the positions.
Remember, reward only the second behavior, but acknowledge the first behavior as well.
Repeat until your dog is coming to you quickly and downing easily.
Once your dog is coming to you and downing easily with your target motion, add the come command. As your dog comes to you, say the word "Come." When your dog comes, say "Good," wait a moment, then motion your dog into the down position. As your dog downs, say the word "Down." When your dog downs, say "Good," wait a moment and give the treat. Pet your dog on the head if he is very enthusiastic.
The goal is to get your dog moving quickly to you and to down straight facing you, a few inches away from you.
Down On A Recall
From the sit/stay, or down/stay position leave your dog. Stand in front facing the dog. Do a Recall-run backward, hold the leash in left hand, when he is 18-24 inches from you, stop, raise your right hand to motion down, command "Down". To correct, snap leash with the left hand, command "Down" as you place your right hand on choke chain (buckle) and gently push down and toward the dog. Command "Stay" and quickly walk out to the end of the leash.
Down on a Recall (Obedience Method)
The goal of this exercise is that you are able to down your dog at anytime during the recall exercise.
We begin this exercise from the Sit/Stay or Down/Stay position. Your are standing in front of your dog, at the end of the leash, with the leash in the left hand.
When your dog is attentive, say "Your Dog's name, Come", then begin running backwards. As you are running backwards shorten the leash until you are about 18 inches from your dog, holding the leash in the left hand, raise your right hand to give the down signal and command your dog to "Down". At the same time, stop running with your left leg in the forward position and a moment after you give your command, swing your right hand down the leash towards your dog's collar, just above your dog's right shoulder and stop their movement and force them back and down so their elbows rest on the ground.
As soon as your dog downs say "Good" and step back to the end of the leash and say "Stay" and give the stay signal. When you are at the end of the leash say "Good, Stay".
If at anytime your dog attemps to get up say "No, Down" and step towards your dog and bring your right hand to the collar position resting on your dog's right shoulder.