How To Teach Down From A Heel
The Heel to Down exercise is the preparation exercise to several Intermediate Level Skills. While still a slight variation of the Stand to Down, this exercise is perform while moving together in the heel position.
Heel To A Down
From a walking position command the dog "Down". Praise. If he fails to respond, correct by placing your left hand on top of choke chain and gently pushing down and toward the back as you repeat the "Down" command. Praise and pet when he responds.
The goal in this exercise is to be able to, while walking or running with your dog in the heel position, give the down command and your dog, the instant they hear the command to freeze in the down position, placing their elbows down first, then their rear.
This exercise begins with you heeling with your dog. Slow down and prepare to use the leash in a downward, backward direction. Hold the leash short in the right hand and prepare to slide your left hand down the leash to your dog's collar, resting the heel of your hand on your dog's shoulder. When you see your dog attentively heeling with you, stop with your left leg forward and your right leg back, as if to freeze your motion. As you stop in this stance, command your dog to "Down", and slide your left hand down the leash to your dog's shoulder and stop their forward motion. If after a moment your dog hasn't down, tug in an down, backward direction and say "No, Down". You may need to guide your dog into a straight down position with your left hand. Be prepared to help you dog sit straight and fast for you.
The moment your dog downs, say "Stay" and give your stay signal with your right hand and bring your right foot up to your left and stand up next to your dog in the heel position.
If at anytime your dog gets up or moves, you should very quickly, slide your left hand down the leash as you tug
downwards, with your left hand and say "No, Down, Stay".