hand raised above dog's head.
At the command DOWN, the dog
should drop to the ground close to the
guide's left side, and remain there until given the order to move.
This lesson will evoke more varied reactions than any of the other
exercises and, according to temperament, .some dogs will respond more
quickly to it than others. Care must be taken lest timid or nervous
dogs be frightened by too much force. When the lesson is practised on
the leash, be sure that the leash is not dropped.
Holding the leash in the left hand, and with the right hand free, walk
along with the dog. Stop, issue the command DOWN, and at the same time
raise the right hand over the dog's head. Pull him to the ground with
the left hand as close as possible to the collar, and hold him so he
cannot move. When bringing him down to the ground the left hand should
pull on the leash, right up at the collar, from the side nearest to the
guide, thus insuring
a firmer grip. Keep the right hand raised over the dog's head and avoid
touching him with either hand.
Right hand over the dog's head;
left hand near the collar; left arm quite stiff.
Command: "DOWN!" Guide
bends down and brings dog down close to left side.
Guide straightens up, having right
hand ready for the sign and command
if the dog moves.
keeping the dog on the ground it will be found of assistance to step
on the leash with the left foot, close to the collar. Hold it there.
Every move the dog makes should be interrupted by the command DOWN and
by the upraised hand. The dog should maintain this position until
another command is issued.
Throughout this procedure the guide must not change the position of his
feet; he should in fact remain just where he stops, close beside the
dog, without turning sidewise and without stepping in front of the dog.
Then, from the stooping position, the guide should straighten up and,
with the leash held in his left hand, be ready to start out again on
Bringing the dog to the DOWN
position should be a quick performance. If
it is executed too slowly, the peppy dog especially, left alone as his
guide walks away, will be very likely to rise and follow. If, on the
other hand, he is brought down in quick, business-like manner, he is
more apt to remain in that position for a long time. At any rate,
constant repetition is required to perfect a dog in this lesson.
Commands should not be shouted, neither should they be given in too low
a voice. It will not be necessary for the guide to stoop over and pull
the dog to the ground once he has really mastered the
exercise. He will then react to the command and the lifted
The DOWN is the only exercise
unaccompanied by hand petting. This
is because petting will tempt the dog
to get up on his feet instead of remaining on the ground. A little
praise is advisable but remember to keep your hands off the dog when he
takes the lying down position. Practise this lesson daily, for about
two weeks, with the same care and persistence recommended for preceding
lessons, because HEEL, SIT and DOWN arc the foundation for the
future training in obedience. Any faulty performances in lessons to
follow will trace directly to careless or superficial handling of the
foregoing obedience exercises. If you would have a well trained dog,
build upon a firm foundation, wherefore continual practise of this and
of the foregoing lessons is necessary even though such practise may
seem to grow tiresome.
Touching the dog, not giving the sign, moving the feet, thus
changing the guide's position.
Left hand at the wrong side. Right hand invisible to the dog.
Guide changed the position of his feet.
practise of all of these lessons, for about four weeks will bring
truly amazing results. Do not, however, extend the
exercise time beyond this period because over-work will have a
deleterious influence upon the pupil's spirit. The work can be made
more interesting perhaps by frequent change of territory, by practicing
in the presence of other dogs. But do not neglect to use the commands
whenever and wherever possible.
Above all, endeavor to prevent the dog from becoming too mechanical in
action by occasionally changing the general routine. That is, refrain
from following the SIT
exercise invariably with the DOWN
do not forget that both SIT
and DOWN should be practised
with the dog
on one's left, never in front, this being of particular importance in
case the dog under training is to
enter bench show competition.