The down activity is one of the commands people think they need to teach their dog but other than for obedience trials no one is really sure how to use it in everyday life. Luckily, I have four different areas where you can incorporate the down activity into your everyday life with your dog.
For the sake of this post, I’m going to refer to the lying down command and activity as “down” but if you prefer “drop” just swap this out.
1. Training activity
Teaching your dog new skills and activities will help to keep their brains active and engaged as well as helping to drain excess mental energy. This can have the added benefit of reducing unwanted boredom related behaviours. The down is a fun way to add an obedience activity into your training routine.
2. Use instead of sit
The sit is a default activity the most dogs learn early on in life and they use this in a variety of different scenarios throughout the day. The down can be used to replace the sit in almost all of the same activities. When your dog is waiting for their dinner, have them wait in the down position instead. During the fetch game, have your dog go into the down position before throwing the ball. Or have your dog go into the down position while waiting at the kerb before crossing the road.
3. Calming activity
For most dogs, lying down is a calming activity, that promotes relaxation and sleep. We can use the down activity to help our dogs get into this calm and relaxed mode, especially when we increase the time they remain in this position. This is a good activity is you are wanting your dog to remain in position for longer periods of time while waiting for something. Just make sure you are not too strict on your dog and you let them lean slightly to one side.
4. Trick training
Being in the down position is a precursor to some fun tricks you can teach your dog like how to roll over, play dead, commando crawling and doggy push ups. These different tricks put a fun spin on the down activity and are a great way to show off to your family and friends. This is sure to impress people with just how smart your dog is, not to mention your dog training skills!