For the Down on Recall:
- If you want him to sit straight - call him saying "front," not "come." If you say "come" he will, but his sit will be off to your right.
- If you want him to actually get up and come when called, do not leave him by saying "stay." Do not close your hand when you leave. Say "wait" and wave your hand in front of his face with the fingers separated.
- If you want him to down - don't say his name with the command. If you do, he will ignore you entirely.
- If you want him to wait for an actual command before he goes around you to heel, do not, under any circumstance, move a single finger - not even a twitch before giving the command. Don't even breathe too deeply.
For the Long, Out-Of-Sight Sits and Downs:
- Get his attention.
- Say "Sit" or "Down" firmly.
- Say "Stay" and wave your hand, fingers clenched tightly together, in front of his face.
- Stand up.
- Fold your arms firmly across your chest.
- Walk away.
- When you come back, be sure your arms are firmly folded across your chest, even if it's three or five minutes later - he remembers how you looked when you left. If anything is different - it's bad.
That's just two of the exercises. And I have to remember all of this, in sequence, in the lightening-fast total of eight minutes we're in the ring at an obedience trial. No wonder he doesn't qualify - I can't remember his rules!