The German shepherd pup formerly known as Dom, now called Top or more formally, Arthur, has been learning to lie down on cue. The hand signal is traditionally raising the right hand. But he is now learning to drop when I say the word, “Down.”
I use these cues at random times because Down really comes in handy. It is excellent as a replacement for other undesirables. For instance, if your dog is about to jump up, or getting too excited, an in-motion Down is a great alternative.
There are all kinds of reasons to teach Down as a cue to be executed on the spot. Plus, if you ever go into advanced obedience, it is one thing your dog will have to know.
I have used it with Til while out hiking, if he is running off to greet people and I don’t want him to, I can shout out, “Down” and he will drop in place. It is good as a preventative measure but also comes in handy at other times, such as when you are taking photos.
I like to mix the Down up with other cues. For instance, today when we were working on recalls I added a couple of downs, just as a change-up. It helps to keep things fresh.
Arthur is doing pretty well with his random downs. And today, he made his first catch.