As soon as your puppy has mastered the sit and stay, you are ready to start on the down. If you haven't quite got the hang of it yet, please re-read those two pages and get the puppy steady on those first.
With the puppy in the "sit" position, next to you and on your left side, show him the treat....about his eye level, use the command "Down" and then letting his nose follow the treat, lower your hand towards the floor and the puppy's toes. He should follow the treat to the floor..... at least, that's the idea! Common handler mistakes are: lowering the treat too fast and lowering, but holding the treat too far in front of the pup, causing him to get up and go towards it.
Sometimes you have to put your free hand on his rump ( if you have a "popper-upper") or give a gentle pressure downward at the shoulder to get them started. If he's still not getting the idea, you can use your free hand to "walk" his front feet out until he gets the idea. As SOON as he is down, give him the treat and praise, praise, Praise! Remember to get in the habit of only saying the command "Down" once..... don't be a broken record.
After your pup is consistently going to the down position, you can practice the Down/Stay..... all you have to do is use the same formula as you used for the Sit/Stay.
* Hint - it's best to do this either inside when it's hot or cold outside, so that both of you will be in a comfortable place. Nobody likes to sit or lie on cold, wet ground or out in the broiling sun. Prime yourself for success by using that big, ole human brain's common sense!
Next.... teaching the "COME"
Authored and contributed by Sandra Fikes-Kalahari Ridgebacks.