Here are 3 great reasons to teach your dog the drop exercise. First off, the down exercise is probably the most important thing you can teach your pet. I always tell my clients that when your dog is 20 feet away and you give the command, it should drop to the floor without you having to do anything else. No treat, no nothing. When your dog does this, he is acknowledging that you are the master.
Let me start by saying that the “down” command is probably the most difficult exercise for any dog. Big dog, small dog, old dog or young dog, it is simply the most difficult exercise. When I say difficult now, I do not mean physically difficult, but mentally difficult. This is because the dog will not submit to you and will want to do the “down” exercise. Indeed, a dog in the downward position in the wild would be exposed to attack from other wild animals. Still, it’s one of the most important exercises out there.
The command “down” can save your dog’s life. Imagine you are in the front yard with your dog and he is not on a leash. He sees a squirrel across the street and your dog starts running. But before he reaches the street, give the command “down” and your dog falls to the ground to save his life from the speeding car. Yes, every dog should be able to command “place”.
One simple word can stop your animal before something dangerous or disastrous happens. Many owners fail to see this potential when it comes to teaching their pets behavior, and it is as simple as giving “down” the command.
Much has been written about aggression, and several of these articles talk about the “down” command. You mentioned that if the dog had been taught to command as a puppy, the aggression would probably never have been seen. That makes sense, because the dog has learned to respect its owner right from the start.
When rehabilitating aggressive dogs, the “down” exercise is often one of the main exercises we work on to establish the trainer as an alpha.
Some dogs are more difficult to train than others. However, by starting with simple commands like “sit,” “stand,” and “sit down,” you can train your dog and prevent future misconduct.
There are many benefits to taking the time to teach your dog to sit down. Remember, a well behaved dog is the responsibility of the owner.