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Teaching the down should ideally be done from the stand because you want a dog to fold back into the down rather than move forward into it.

From a stand, on leash, take a treat and say "Down". Move the treat down between the dog's legs, under the chest and down to the floor. The dog should try to follow the treat and lay down. If he does not, help him by pushing him into place. When his elbows and bottom are down and he is in the sphinx position, break him off and PRAISE PRAISE PRAISE.
 
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