If you have a barn on your property and no barn dog, you are missing out! Having a barn dog is a great way to keep out those nasty barn predators, both two and four-legged ones. However, just because you get a dog specifically to protect your barn, you still need to teach him the basic commands and make sure he will be safe around your livestock and that he won’t bother them.
The long down command is not really much more than an extension of the standard down command--the big difference is that your barn pooch must learn how to remain in the down position for longer periods of time until you release him. Most dogs learn the down command as part of their basic training. Barn dogs also need to master the same commands, even though their day-to-day activities may be different than those of a house dog.
Learning how to obey the long down command is very important for your pup. With him in the long down position, you have the advantage of knowing where he is and that he is safe when you are doing things like mucking out the barn or cleaning the tack. The command should be simple such as 'down' or 'lie down'. You will also need a release command such as 'all done' or 'let's go'. All of these will work, the big thing is to always use a frim “I am in command” voice and use the same command each time.
Failure to use the same command each time will only make your pooch confused. Not using a firm voice may have your pup wondering just exactly who is in charge. This is not a situation anyone wants to deal with. If you do, you may soon find your dog ignoring your commands as he won’t see you as the alpha pack leader, a role you must occupy to control your pup. It could save him from serious injury or worse.
Getting started is relatively easy, it’s staying dedicated to the training and being willing to invest a significant amount of your time into the training that tends to be the hard part. When it comes to training supplies, there really isn’t that much needed to train your dog the long down command. You will however need:
The biggest thing to remember is that training your pup to remain in the down position for long periods of time goes against his nature and may take longer than you would expect. Be patient, work with your pup on a daily basis and he will soon master this very important skill.