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Dog Training: Down, Up, Stay, Sit
( Originally Published 1943 )
To teach the dog to lie down, have the dog stand on your left side; he should stand slightly behind you as it is well that the dog, wherever practicable, be in a position so that he can see you at all times. A dog thinks in terms of safety first and this he can not do if he can not see what is taking place. To sneak up on a dog from the rear or by surprise is not to be done for any purpose.
Hold the dog by the collar with the right hand; with the left, push down, not quickly but steadily and Firmly, on the dog's back at the rump. Command "down" several times in a low but strong voice. He may obey slowly; then, instead of holding him by the collar, use the right hand to pull his front feet out from under him slowly, as you press downward on his back. Another recommended method is to walk a few steps forward with dog on lead; stop, press out with left hand on the near side of dog's shoulder. Keep the lead taut in the right hand; command "down." Usually this light pressure causes the dog to down.
We come now to a precise piece of dog psychology. The clog once down, can be trained to stay there for a long period of time, without further command and until commanded to get up, or he can understand that only after a few minutes he can rise and go where he pleases.
If he is to stay down for a short time or until he wishes to get up and go, the only command is "down." If he is to remain there indefinitely. perhaps for hours, and until you return or give him the command "up," put him down with the command "down," and then very sternly command `stay." This is a difficult piece of training. The natural inclination of the dog is to follow his master. I have had success with the following method. Tie the dog, preferably to a small stake or to some spot in the house. Leave a familiar article with him, for instance, your old coat; by instinct he thinks he must remain and guard it.
Then walk away a few steps, commanding "stay." Come back at once-pet him. Walk away again, and again, each time just a step farther, always commanding "stay."
After five or six days of this, walk around the corner, just out of his sight; then return quickly, pet him, praise him with such words as "that's the boy." Lengthen the period of your absence gradually. After a time, when you return, release him and permit him to heel with you. Later, repeat the entire method but have the dog free.
To train a dog to stay until called, even for hours, is not an easy accomplishment but is a result worthwhile.
The command "up" is learned quickly by the dog; it is to be spoken in a quick, rising tone of voice, accompanied with an upward motion of the arm, and as it is given, the master should walk away so that the dog will do the usual thing, that is, follow the master.
The command "up" always should be given even tho not necessary; the dog naturally gets up and follows his master; yet it is well to command "up" in order to accustom the dog fully to obedience and so that he associates the sounds with the act.
If he has had the command "stay," do not permit him to get up until he has been commanded "up."
To teach a dog to sit on his haunches, press down on his hindquarters firmly with the left hand; with the right hand, hold his front paws firmly on the floor at a position just a few inches back of his position when he is standing. Command "sit" or "hupp" several times as you are doing this. Do not permit him to lie down; keep him on his haunches by pushing your thumb lightly against his underparts. Do not keep him sitting long at first; just for an instant is long enough then.
A favorable time for teaching "sit" is on the street after you have been heeling him or leading him on a leash. He is naturally inclined to rest on his haunches when you stop.