DOWN (continued)

3 When your dog begins to catch on and act independently, extend your distance from him. Someday, this exercise could halt a treacherous situation or save your dog's life-for instance, if you were ever separated by a road and his safety were threatened by an oncoming vehicle.

Note: This is a very stressful exercise. Practice only two emergency DOWNs a day.

It's all a mind game at this stage. You must be positive, structured, and mentally tough. You're the leader—now's the time to show it. Your dog's anticipating your behavior as you try to anticipate his. Stand tall, command confidently, and don't be afraid to be goofy and have a little fun.



The Invisible Leash

Eventually you will come to a place with your dog where you'll notice that his cooperation is a given, no commands required. This is a wonderful sign of a dog who has internalized your direction to the point that he hears it automatically and in your absence. You need to be very consistent to get to this level. If your dog is at all uncertain about what he should do, he is not ready for this step.

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