The way you describe the way you do it....you are rewarding ultimately for the dog *finishing* .....stay: come, down, come, finish.....THEN you reward...you are rewarding the finish.
I would send the dog out for an away. This is easily started by placing a small piece of food a few feet from the dog....saying the word *away* or whichever you prefer...run with the dog...when the dog gets to the food, mark it and try it again...eventually the dog learns to go away for the reward, and thus you can introduce the *down* whilst the dog is awaying from you.......Or do it as you are doing it, but, when you ask the dog to down, and the dog downs...THEN reward...example: Doing it your way: Stay....come...*down*! ( if the dog downs.....YES! whichever your marker word is, and reward.
Mix it up so the dog does not anticipate...hence Tim hesitating....remember to do recalls...sometimes with a down...and sometimes with *no* down, always rewarding for a recall, when there is no down.
Awaying for the reward always makes it fun for the dog...doing it the way you have done it can also be made fun, as long as the dog is rewarded for that 1 command..not a chain of commands, the dog does not know he was told 1,2,3,4 commands and is rewarded for all 4...he thinks he was rewarded for number 4 command.....the age and training of the dog also plays a part of course.
Last edited by Zarr; 08-03-2011 at 09:42 AM.