|Down is not to be used when he is jumping up on you - that is off (which we
will get to later). Down will mean to lay down. And, don't say "go lay down," as
that is another command still.
Get your dog to sit. If he is sitting next to you, reach over and push your arm from behind his front legs. As you say down, slowly and gently force his legs forward, and his body will go down to the ground. It should not take much effort on your part since it is a natural reflex for him to move his own legs once they are being bothered. As soon as he is in lying on the ground, say good boy!. He will probably pop right back up. That's fine because he did lay down. If you prefer, you can have him sit in front of you. Grab both of his front legs, down by the bottom, and gently pull them out toward you as you say down. Say good boy! as soon as he gets all the way down. Each time you give the down command, try to have your own body less stooped or bent over. If you continually are bent over when you give a command, he may not respond later when you give the command from a standing position.
After your dog does know what down means and he usually does it on command, you may have to get his attention sometimes if he is distracted. With him on your left (looking at that cute little poodle walking by a few yards away and not wanting to change position now while she's watching), bend down and give the leash a quick snap down and to the right. This should get him in the down position quickly.
When this session is over, you can give him a healthy treat. Down is used for your dog to lay down right where he is when you say it - immediately - as part of the obedience training session. Go lay down is used outside of the obedience training, comfortably and relaxed around the house or yard. Go lay down means go pick a good spot yourself for yourself, take a little time if you need to, and eventually lay down.
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