DOWN-STAY - Direct Health Life

Notice that the Down-Stay sequence is identical to Sit-Stay except that it’s
faster—some exercises are skipped. Because your dog has already been through
one entire Stay regime (sit), the similar task of Down-Stay will progress more
quickly. Your dog is learning how to learn. The process will also be sped up by
your sharper training skills.
Down-Stay I
1. Warm up your Down by rewarding five downs (no Stay yet) for response
to a verbal cue or small hand signal.
2. Ask for a Down, praise when he does, and then do the treat-dangle
exercise as you did for Sit-Stay, this time dangling the treat a little
3. If your dog sits, stands up, or crawls forward, abruptly cancel the treat,
as you did for Sit, and try again.
4. Repeat—he needs to learn that moving scares the treat away.
5. If he holds his Down-Stay, count to two seconds, and then praise and
feed for position (he must consume his reward in lying down).
Push on five for five.
Down-Stay II
1. Ask your dog to lie down, then put the treat on the floor about a foot
in front of him, being ready to cover or snatch it up if he even flinches
toward it (some people prefer stepping on it). Make sure he doesn’t
break and get the treat.
2. If he breaks (even shuffles forward), say “Too bad” and cancel (snatch
or cover) the reward.
3. If he stays down for two seconds, pick up the treat and give it to him,
feeding for position.
Push on five for five.

The Clock
1. Cue your dog to lie down
(verbal or hand signal—trainer’s choice) and praise when
he does.
2. Walk a quarter circle around him—about three steps—to one side,
keeping your eyes on him, immediately returning to your starting position in front.
3. If he breaks or rotates with you, say “Too bad” and start again. Head
movement is fine.
4. If your dog holds his Stay, reward him in position, then immediately do
another one.
5. If you need to, split to single-step increments, as you did in Sit-Stay.
Push on five for five.
Down-Stay IV (Walk-Around Stay II; see diagram on page 65)
1. Cue your dog to lie down and praise when he does.
2. Do a full walk-around Stay, keeping your eyes on him to ensure perfect
timing of “too bad” if he breaks.
3. Praise and reward when you finish the circle, remembering to feed for
Push on five for five.
Down-Stay V
1. Cue your dog to lie down and praise when he does.
2. Do a one-quarter circle in the other direction from Down-Stay IV,
keeping your eyes on your dog.
3. As usual, say “Too bad” if he breaks and reward if he stays, feeding for
Push on five for five.

Down-Stay III and IV: Once he’s five for five for a quarter circle, go all the way around.
What are the next two logical exercises, VI and VII?
Down-Stay VI
Down-Stay VII
VI—Full walk-around in the opposite direction of Down-Stay V.
VII—Double walk-around: walk once around in each direction for a total
of two circles for one reward.
If you got the answer correct, you are starting to think like a trainer!
Down-Stay VIII—Distance
1. Practice Bungee Stays at increasing distances, backing away so you can
keep your eyes on your dog for timing purposes, and returning immediately (no duration) to reward him once you reach the target distance.
2. Add a walk-around at the end.
3. Use the following increments, always pushing on five for five, feeding
for position, and keeping your eyes on the dog to say “Too bad” the
instant he breaks.
How many thirties done? Three for fi ve Stick—another round of two minutes
Working duration in Stays is, by definition, time-consuming. If you persevere, however, you will have built a glorious foundation with many practical
applications. This would be a good time to reward yourself.
1. Practice one-minute long-distance Stays with these distractions:
● Bounce a tennis ball.
● Roll the tennis ball.
● Squeak a new squeaky toy
that your dog has never
seen (reward him with it at
the end).
● Sit in a chair.
● Sit in a chair and eat a
● Lie on the floor.
● Do jumping jacks.
2. Practice two-minute longdistance Stays with similar
When you can no longer stump your dog in the house, it’s time
to move on to Part III. You can also continue to add duration (in
increments of thirty seconds) in the house.
● Throw in random short-duration
Stays once you get to thirty
● Keep your eyes on the dog for
well-timed “Too bad” reward
● Feed for position—the dog
collects his reward at the end
in a down.
● Stay faithful to the Push-DropStick rules—you can’t fail if
you do.
11_616161-ch05.indd 69 3/11/10 10:46 PM
70 Impulse-Control Behaviors
Help! I Keep Having to Drop! Is He Dumb?
It is not the slightest bit unusual to have many Drops and Sticks. It has no
bearing on your dog’s intelligence or personality. For example, consider the
following fictitious dog’s perfectly normal sequence of Down-Stay sets:
Sixty seconds—zero for five—Drop
Thirty seconds—two for five—Drop
Fifteen seconds—one for five—Drop
Five seconds—four for five—Stick
Five seconds—five for five—Push
Ten seconds—five for five—Push
Fifteen seconds—five for five—Push
Quit for the day—phew!
(Start at ten seconds tomorrow)
When you were in school, you may have been terrific at English, so-so
at biology, and terrible at geography. Your dog is no different—she will
have different aptitudes for different behaviors. The advantage in dog training is that the pace of learning can be tailored to the individual. This means,
if you work Push-Drop-Stick correctly, your dog will end up mastering every
subject. So don’t worry about how long it takes—the pros never do—just
work the system.


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