Re: Teach down from a stand position
You have some good tips on the training of it - I just want to add one more thought on the process.
If you look at how a dog lays down from a sit, and how they lay down from a stand, it can be quite different (and I purposefully train it so that it's different). For my dogs, laying down from a sit means that they walk their front legs out to lay down and often curl onto one hip. This is the down I use when I want them to lay down and stay.
The down from a stand, for my dogs, is that they fold backwards and go down into a "spinx" position, square on their bellies. This is the down I use for drops on recall, down in motion, utility down (for the third level of AKC competition obedience). Because they have to fold backwards, it's an excellent way to use for the moving drops because they HAVE to stop their forward motion in order to fold backwards. On the first down, because the front legs continue forward to put them into a down, you often get a dog that goes forward a few steps (or more) before downing.
Now, because these are two different behaviors (to the dog they're two different behaviors even though they both result in the dog laying on the ground), I teach them separately and with DIFFERENT COMMANDS. The down from the sit is simply "down", the down from a stand is "platz". I highly recommend that you use a different command for the down from a stand. If you don't, at least you should consider that the dog truly doesn't understand down from a stand until it's explained to him. Sitting often becomes part of the cue for a down for many dogs, and when the sit is taken out of the equation the entire exercise needs to be trained just like the dog had never learned a down at all.
Because I like the fast, backwards-folding down (it's a great emergency down) I tend to teach that first. I actually teach stand and down long before I teach sit to my dogs.
Melanie and the gang in Alaska
Positive 1ST! More reward, less correction makes a GREAT trainer.
Chows: Khana CD RE SD & Dora NA NAJ GSD: Tazer SDIT
Total of 2UDs 3CDXs 12CDs 2REs 8AgilityTitles 1BH Chow!
20 Yrs Training/Teaching Experience