Phase 1: A fast down and moving down

I mention on the criteria page that I like to initially teach a down in the 2o2o position. I find that it eliminates many of the points of contention between dog and handler (such as disagreement about orientation of the body, weight shift, futzy front feet etc.). I typically fade the requirement for a down later in my dog’s competition career - however on occasion, I will wait to release my dog until she offers the down in the 2o2o - so that it reminds her that she can “force” me to let her run the rest of the course by lying down in position :)

Here is a video showing you a step by step approach. I will also point out some of the difficulties you might encounter, some of the common training errors that can come up and the implications that they can have in competition.

The key to a fast down is to give your dog opportunities to offer it for things they really want and to refrain from naming the behavior until you are sure they know how to physically pounce into the down as fast as you would like to see.

Step 1: Reminder About the Basics

This video just reminds you about the basic training principals that are involved with training a fast down.

Step 2: Teaching a Fast Down

This video illustrates a step by step method for teaching a nice snappy down. The games we play are only a small fragment of the number of games you can play. Just like the nose touch or any other behavior - make a fast down part of a game of fetch, tug, walk, car ride, dinner, cuddle on the couch, chance to chase seagulls... you are probably starting to see a pattern here!