Home & Lifestyle


Brandon McMillan

Lesson time 15:28 min

Teach your dog down, the ultimate form of control.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Double Leash Lock-Off · Grab & Slide For Stubborn Dogs


[00:00:00.00] [MUSIC PLAYING] [00:00:13.25] - For my lifestyle, if I had to pick one of the seven common commands to teach my dog and one only, I would definitely teach my dog the down command. The reason why is because essentially down is a three part command. It's a down. It's stay. And it's also the ultimate form of control. [00:00:33.74] You have to remember, a dog is a lot like a car. If that dog is standing on all fours in the stay position, it's just like your foot on the brake. The car is still on, and any second now your foot could be on the gas pedal. But when a dog is in a down position, it's almost like the car is in park and the keys are out of the ignition. It's a much better form of control. [00:00:53.24] There's a million reasons you'd use a down command. It's great if you would like to take your dog to a sidewalk café. If you got friends coming over and you just want your dog in a down position because he's out of control. [00:01:03.50] A down is great for out of control dogs in general. For example, I have a flat coated retriever, Cota. He's a very high energy dog. He loves to party when people come over. In fact, I lose control of him very quickly. It's like he's untrained. And people look at me like, you're a dog trainer? [00:01:21.05] Whenever I see this I don't say stay. I don't say sit. I say down. Because it is the best form of control. He knows when he's in that down position, once again, the keys are taken out of the ignition. That means, control yourself. Calm down. Do not move. [00:01:36.08] I always recommend starting this command on some sort of pedestal, a picnic table. There's all kinds of things you can use. You can use the top of a stairway landing. You can even use a curb. It always makes a huge difference if you had that little bit of elevation, because where you hold the treat is vital to how this command is done. [00:01:55.67] Although a lot of dogs can learn the down command from standing, it's much easier to teach him when they already are in the sit position. This is why I always say, teach a sit before anything. Good transitional command. So now your dog is in a sit position. It's much easier to get them in that down position. [00:02:26.90] OK. For this variation of the down command I'm going to use the double leash lock off that we learned earlier in the class. And all I'm going to do is take my second leash, which is also known as the anchor leash, and I'm going to anchor it here to the picnic table. [00:02:39.72] And the length of this anchor leash is very important. So I'm going to run it under here. And where I want to end up is exactly so the dog's head is floating over the edge of the picnic table here. [00:02:58.07] And I like to use a picnic table as an elevation. It's a makeshift pedestal. Any sort of pedestal works. You can use a couch. You can use a chair. I even like using curbs. [00:03:08.03] Now, it's very important you notice what's going on here. The backlash is known as the an...

About the Instructor

The Emmy-winning host of "Lucky Dog", Brandon McMillan is an expert trainer dedicated to building relationships between humans and animals. In his MasterClass, Brandon shares his simple, effective training system to help you develop trust and control with your dog. From using commands like sit, stay, and down to fixing barking and digging, you’ll learn how to improve your dog’s behavior—and create a lifelong bond.

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Brandon McMillan

Expert animal trainer Brandon McMillan teaches you his simple, effective training system to build trust and control with your dog.

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