Four Point Down
is a four point down? Why is it important and what does it actually
do for the dog and the handler? Is it hard to achieve?
dog going into a down/down stay what is the big deal. You tell
the dog down and he lays down. Isn't that simple? No it is not
that simple and when done incorrectly it makes not only problems
for the dog but for the handler.
A four point down means exactly that. Four points must be touching
the ground-2 elbows and the hocks of the animal. The dog when
doing a four point down is straight as an arrow. He leans to neither
the right or left. Because of the nature of the four point down
he is alert, sharp and ready for what is coming next. Since he
is neither leaning to the right or left and lying on his side
he is not lethargic and lazy. To maintain the balance of the four
point down he can be nothing but alert. When a dog does not do
a four point down his tendency to roll over is greatly increased
and his attentiveness is greatly decreased.
it basically does for the dog is increase his stress level so
his workability is greatly sharpened and enhanced. What is does
for the handler is increase the scope of the animal through his
attentiveness so his learning for other exercises become more
precise and he learns more fluidly.
is this wonder tool accomplished, easy as falling off a log. When
teaching your dog a down do it close to a wall. Have the dog's
shoulder, when sitting, touching the wall. When giving the down
command have the dog down whereby his entire body is rubbing against
the wall. On the other side have you leg against the dog so he
cannot tilt the other way. Leave him in the position for a few
seconds and break off the command (release the dog). STOP (standard
operating procedure) go ballistic and lavish him with praise.
Do this at varying intervals throughout the day. Always the same
wall, always the same procedure. As he gets used to this wall
increase the time he is down 30 seconds (depending on the dog)
at a time until he reaches a 1/2 hour. Remember you are always
with him with your leg next to him.
the dog has gotten it down in the same wall area, go to different
walls and complete the same procedures. Different walls are to
be introduced one new wall at a time until the 30 minutes is reached
per wall, then go to a different wall. When you feel he as gotten
the idea and he is rock-hard on his down, a perfect four pointer,
try him without the wall and without the leg supporting him. If
he wavers and starts to tilt gently, ever so gently, help him
to straighten out.
your dog has a four point down and his mind is as alert as a tack.
See it wasn't that hard!
by Neal Seaman