In an exercise to train and teach a dog the down command, the dog will need to learn to lie down for a long time until it’s owner comes back. The correct position for this training if for the dog to have it’s front legs forward, it’s stomach on the ground, and it’s hind legs under it’s body. This position is actually a very normal position for dogs, because it shows the dog is being submissive: in a pack it’s easy to observe how the dominant male “tells” his rivals to “get on the floor”. This is the position that weaker dogs do to show their leader they have accepted them as their superior, who must then stop fighting with them. Since this is a submission exercise, you want to make sure to not make the dog feel afraid. Start this training toward the sixth or seventh month, and use the previous months to teach the dog the other basic obedience orders. Start out the same way you teach a dog “sit”. Push down on the dogs back with one hand toward the ground, you can even help the dog out by pulling on his front legs forward and down a little. If the dog stays on the ground – treat him and praise him. Repeat this training two times a day for 10 minutes each time. Once the dog has learned to obey “down”, step away from the dog and say “stay!” then call out at the dog by saying, “come!” so that he can come to you and get his treat.
A very effective system for getting your dog used to staying put is by putting the collar under his body: at the first attempt to get up the dog will understand he needs to stay still. You can continue using this method until the dog learns the meaning of “down” and “stay” then continue practicing without the collar.