This exercise can be a real lifesaver once your dog learns that when you say “Down,” you want him to drop as though he’s been shot. In the beginning, it can be a little confusing; so be patient and positive throughout your training process. Don’t start practising this exercise until your dog has mastered the Down command.
1: Stand next to your unsuspecting dog.
2: Suddenly command “Down” in a very life-threatening tone (the type of tone you’d use if a loved one were about to walk off a cliff). Point toward the ground.
3: Kneel down quickly as you bring your dog into position.
4: Act like you’re being bombed too!
Soon your dog will catch on and act independently. Once she does, begin extending your distance from her. Eventually, this exercise could save your dog’s life if you were ever separated by a road and her life was threatened by an oncoming vehicle. It’s true! The Emergency Down really does save lives. Once I was leaving my training classes with my husky, Kyia when a tennis ball slipped loose and started rolling toward the road. Kyia, sweet thing, wanted to help and ran innocently to collect it. In a panic, I shouted “Down” and she dropped like she’d been shot. What a good girl!
Tip: This exercise is very stressful! Limit your practice to one out-of-the-blue Emergency Down sequence a day.
All You Need To Know About Basic Dog Training:
- It’s all a mind game at this stage. You must be positive, structured, and mentally tough. You’re the leader; now it’s time to show it.
- Your dog’s anticipating your behavior as you try to anticipate hers.
- Getting your dog off-leash requires a good plan. Use longer and longer leashes until your dog responds to you from afar.
- Stand tall, command confidently, and don’t be afraid to have a little fun!