Schutzhund: Theory and Training Methods (Howell reference books) by Barwig Susan

Schutzhund: Theory and Training Methods (Howell reference books) by Barwig Susan

Author:Barwig, Susan [Barwig, Susan]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Howell Book House
Published: 1991-03-01T00:00:00+00:00

GOAL 3: The dog will down on command.

Along with the recall, the down is one of the most important commands in obedience. Through the course of training, the down takes on a very powerful character. It is the command we use as the last resort to control the animal. If it wants to fight another dog, we down it. If it refuses to let one of our guests into the house, we down it. If the dog habitually rebites after the out, we teach it to release the sleeve and then automatically lie down at the agitator’s feet.

Although it is to become a very compelling command, we must introduce the down inducively, rather than with force.

Important Concepts for Meeting the Goal

1. Downing for food

2. Downing for the ball

3. Pairing compulsion with the ball

1. Downing for food

In the beginning, we always down the dog from a sit, never from a standing position. Once the dog is sitting, the handler does not feed it but instead encloses a few tidbits in his hand so that the animal cannot take the food but only smell it, and then places his hand on the end of the dog’s nose to call its attention to it. A hungry dog will “glue” itself to the hand, snuffling and licking at the food. The handler then lowers his hand very slowly to a spot on the ground about six inches in front of the dog’s forefeet. The animal will follow with its head and, in the effort to get the food, crouch so that its elbows touch the ground. If it stands instead, the handler merely lifts his hand up high so that the dog sits again, and then he tries again to get the animal to lie down by lowering his hand to the ground. When, eventually, the dog downs, the handler feeds it several pieces of food in a row and then releases it with the “OK!” command.


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