OK.... This is something I had some trouble with.
How do I enforce a down, with a ramped up dog on a send away?
She's obviously in overdrive, and not looking at me
Anthony, I can suggest a few things.
First, if you want to enforce a command you need a way to enforce a command. So, use a long line and a smaller space (so she doesn't accidentally run to the end of the line and get enough speed to hurt you and her). Now, start with this:
you already can have her wait before she goes to get it, so throw the stick, give "down" command (be forceful). If she doesn't down - you have line to correct her, if she does down immediately release with your release word to go get the stick.
After she does this reliably you can increase the distance a few steps at a time. throw it let her run like a split second and down her...
You can also go the other way:
put her in a sit, walk maybe 30 steps, show her the stick / toy / ball whatever. tell her "get it" or something (dont use your release word - to me release word means ok you can go get your reward. It's unfair to add more obedience after - my opinion)... as she's running to the stick you step in front of her and give a forceful "down" command. You can put a little pressure by pushing on her between the shoulders if u are fast enough. You then increase the distance, but going backwards (i.e. you put the ball at 30 steps, walk towards her x number of steps and make her down there).
If you want, we can do it together saturday
I can show you on my dog (who understands the exercises already so it'll be smooth) and then we can work on Kira (who doesn't understand the exercises so might need a few attempts).
Final note: I like to do one down every 4-5 send aways, no more but definitely less (sometimes I won't even do a down - I'll just send him and let him have it, and finished). Otherwise you run into anticipation of the down, or drive being lowered, etc...