There is a major difference between down stay command and the long down, when you begin to teach your dog to lie down. The down/stay can only be taught after the dog has learned to down on command.
How To Teach Your Dog To Lie Down Is Easier Than You Think
Teaching your dog to lie down on a voice command can take up to three weeks of working three sessions per day, every day. The dog must be wearing collar and leash when doing this exercise. The long down can be taught in a couple of sessions. It has a totally different focus. It cannot be called a long down unless it is at least 30 minutes in duration. The dog has on a collar that it can’t back out of and a 6′ leash is then attached to that collar. The leash is then run, from left to right over the seat of a solid chair that does not have wheels. The owner then sits on the chair and the leash. The leash is adjusted so that when the dog decides to lie down there will be gentle upward pressure on the collar. At no time does the owner touch, look at, or talk to the dog. The dog must be wearing a collar and leash when doing this exercise.
The owner must have something else to do during the long down period. Read a book. Play a computer game. Write out all your complaints about having to do this stupid exercise. Talk to a friend. Eat a meal. Pay some bills. Do some homework. It really doesn’t matter as long as you are doing something. The only time you would acknowledge the dog is to push it away if it tries to climb into your lap or tries to eat the leg off the chair you are sitting in or some other behavior that is equally unacceptable. When this happens, you must take whatever physical means necessary to cause the dog to stop the behavior at once and not resume it at a later date.
Teach Your Dog To Lie Down And You’ll Build Your Leadership In Your Dog’s Eyes
This is an exercise in leadership and dominance. You are supposed to be the dominant one and the leader. As such, you are the one who decides where the two of you will be and for how long and it is not a voting matter. This is an exercise in patience.
Something every dog must learn if it is to survive to live a comfortable life. There are no maximum time lengths for this exercise. However, the minimum time is 30 minutes. The exercise should be practiced twice per day, every day. The dog must be wearing a collar and leash when doing this exercise.
After the first couple of days, this is a very calming and soothing exercise for both parties. During the first couple of days a really determined dog will go through the most amazing series of behaviors. Not only that, they will repeat the series in the same sequence over and over. When none of the behaviors win them the leadership post, they will literally throw themselves down, give a very loud humph, and refuse to look at you.
After this period has passed it is all smooth sailing and happy tail wags. Again, the long down has nothing in common with a down/stay other than the physical position of the dog.
You CANNOT leave a dog that is doing a long down because you are a major part of the picture. You do leave a dog that is doing a down/stay. You CANNOT tell the dog or show the dog how to do the long down.
You must give the dog the chance to figure out what the most comfortable position is going to be. The dog must be wearing collar and leash when doing this exercise.
Written for DogProblems.com by Chris Amick — THE DOGGUY — about how to teach your dog to lie down in 2012.