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Use hand signals to increase your dog's visual focus:

• DOWN: Point straight down from your dog's nose to the floor between her paws.

• SIT: Sweep upward with a pointed finger from your dog's nose to your eyes.

• STAY: Flash a flat palm in front of your dog's nose and remove it quickly.

• OKAY: Sweep out from your dog's nose with a pointed finger as you step forward.

DOWN

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4 If she still resists, position her gently. Pause and praise. Good dog! Practice three to ten downs per lesson, mixed in with other directions like HEEL and STAY.

5 Once your dog goes down willingly, pivot directly in front of her and follow the same pattern, progressively moving away from her one foot at a time.

Once your dog is cooperating, use the word DOWN whenever it applies: when you're waiting at the veterinarian's, during quiet times at home with friends and family, and to remind her to calm down when she acts impulsively. If your dog ignores you, position her calmly. Like SIT and COME, DOWN is not a word to be repeated.

The human equivalent to COME is the word huddle. It should be taught as an upbeat bonding exercise that reinforces your togetherness, not your separation.

There are three phases to the COME exercise: name association, reconnection, and come from a distance. Practice each phase individually before linking them together.

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