The Difference Between Plouts and Platz

How do These Relate to Your Dog?

Although this sounds very similar to your dog; Plouts are a hybrid between a plum and an apricot (quite yummy I might add) and Platz is the German command for “Down” in dog training.

I often use German commands because I like something a little different, it keeps my dogs paying attention to me (usually no one else in a class is using German), and it became habit when I worked with police and protection dogs.

Last week I was at a new client’s home helping her with some basic and not so basic dog training for her 8 month old puppy.

When I asked her to put her puppy into a “Down” she reminded me that the “Down” command and behavior is not as easy to train for some dogs and their people.  And her dog had not mastered the skill, well at least not on command!

Why is The Down Command Difficult?….

Sometimes This is a Difficult Position to Teach

Down, is a submissive position and in order to assume it the dog must feel comfortable with the person and in the situation.

Don’t believe me?  Ask your dog to lay down while a bunch of other dogs run at him at the dog park!  It requires some vulnerability.  It is hard to defend yourself while you are laying down!

And, some dogs don’t like to show any signs of vulnerability or show submission.

It can also be because people (like my new client) yell; “GET DOWN, GET DOWN, STAY DOWN” at their dogs when they jump.  This can be extremely confusing.  If you are already using “Down” in this manner use another command=Platz or Drop as long as you and your family are consistent it doesn’t matter what you use!


I Don’t recommend LAY Down because “lay” sounds like “stay” and you may eventually have cross over problems!

Start at Home with Little to NO  Distractions

  • And, understand that this behavior needs to be reinforced and worked on in many different areas with many different levels of distractions.
  • My Ultimate Goal Would Be Dog Park or Wal-Mart Parking Lot!

What You Need

  • Your Dog
  • His Favorite Treat
  • His Favorite Toy
  • Your Clicker

All Dogs Lay Down on Their Own, Start Rewarding This Behavior!

Getting Started

I don’t even use a leash at first.  I don’t want to have to force my dog into a “Down” I want to encourage him and convince him that he likes and that he wants to assume the position.

Get your treats (I recommend treats for the learning stage unless your dog is only motivated by toys) and get your puppy to sit by either commanding him or raising the treat above his nose until his bottom hits the ground.

Next, slowly move that same treat (that is mostly hidden in your hand) close to your dog’s chest and toward the floor going in between in front legs and back towards his body.

This action, in toward his body, usually gets his body to crumple into the down position.

Pulling the treat in between his legs and out toward the room or his paws, he may stand back up.

If his butt pops up you can place him in front of a piece of furniture when you get him to sit.

As soon as those elbows hit the ground, click and reward!

Continue to play this game until your dog is getting the idea.

Tips To Make This Easier…

Reward your dog for choosing to lay down on his own!

Whenever you catch him laying down, click and reward, praise and pet!

Soon your dog will have the idea that you want him to lay down and he will be listening to your commands!

The final step is to increase the amount of time you have him lay down and increase the amount of distractions!

>NOTE: Chet has a series of exercises for helping your dog obey commands even in HEAVILY distracting situations (like squirels running in front of your dog ;-)  He teaches these techniques in his 'Dream Dog' program that is all about teaching your dog to be more calm, less distracted and more confident in chaotic, distracting situations.  That course is available here:

Emotional Conditioning For Dogs

Not all dogs take to learning down as easily but if you reward the behavior and use lots of fun, games, treats and interaction I know that you too will soon have a dog that is familiar with the “Platz” position!

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  1. charles says:

    How does this program do for older dogs and will it give me insight to training my dogs to stop barking at my husband when he comes in the door and he yells at them because they are barking at him and I tell him that he is barking back so it has become a ritual. He says they only do it to protect me. Also how about a dog that has totally learned that she gets her way because I jump up and deliver because my husband can’t deal with her barking. Again apparently my fault. Is there anything in your CD’s that he will understand to stop him from making me jump to my dogs wished so he will understand if I ignor it they learn they can’t manipulate me. There are 3 dogs.
    I need oeace with my husband. I have peace with the dogs.
    I do agility with one and rally o with the ohters and they love it and are mellow and happy until he walks in the door.

    A new idea for a new CD lesson. Training your spouse or family why they make the dogs miserable and unobediant.


    Minette Reply:

    The program is definitely worth it and comes with a guarantee. Until then read this article for help !


  2. T.L. Sutton says:


    My dog and I have some issues, definitely…He is a terrier-spaniel mix, rescue dog, who has been with me for more than two years and yet has the same anxiety issues he started with.

    He has no trouble with the ‘down’ command, probably because I always have him lie down and wait when I feed him.

    I do want to make an editorial note, however, and that is the use of the word “lay” rather than “lie.” “Lay” is not appropriate as it is being used here. “Lie” should be used in its stead.

    Sorry. The information you provide is invaluable – but the editor/English teacher in me just had to say something…


    Minette Reply:

    I agree however many, many people say LAY down…just go to an obedience class and listen. For me, I just say DOWN or Platz 🙂


  3. Bobbie says:

    Could someone tell me how to stop my 8month old shitzu malese x to stop eating sticks bones and rocks and bring them in and her poo.I fear for her health


  4. Vicky Hurley says:

    I purchased your program a while back. I am doing my best. I have a 18 month old 6 lb pom that barks at people, dogs, bikes, cars, signs anything that moves. When this happens he is uncontrollable. He flips around on his leash like a crazy dog. I have tried the treats, bark collars that make the noise, the one that vibrates. No bark command. He may do well for one or two times, and then we are back to the beginning. I even took him to a trainer which did nothing. When I take him for his walk he acts as if he has just drank 10 cups of coffee. Eyes wide open then he is looking for something to go crazy barking and pulling to get to. I talked to my vet about a pill that will calm him down. Especially when we are traveling or on vacation. He barked for 5 hours straight the last time we took him with us on vacation. Every car that passed us or he saw or heard he barked. It is so embarrassing when we are walking or I have him in my basket on my bike and we pass some one. He acts like he is going to eat the up. If I pick him up and hand him to the person he is find and licking on them. If my husband is riding his bike in front of us he cries which sounds like some strange bird the entire time. If i go in front this stops but he still goes crazy if we meet another biker. Other than that he obeys commands great. He waits until I go into doors ways first, he watches me when we walk for direction. I also have his brother who is totally the opposit. His brother does get upset when Levi will not stop barking and will jump him, then I have two flipping poms. any suggestion or someone near Hickory, NC I can take him to.


    Minette Reply:

    I know he is not a herding dog but check this article out, a lot of it applies.

    and he will need to be desensitized slowly one thing at a time so read this article on desensitization.

    I am about 3.5 hours away from you and I think Chet is considering doing phone consultations if you are interested I will find out more information.


  5. Virginia says:

    Ok I know that this is not right but it worked,,,,we live on 30 acres so there is lots for a dog to do, but when I call I need her to come. Being a rat/Boston terrier mix, well terrier is the optimal word, they have thier own mind I guess, it was not easy to get her to come home. I was frustrated and trying not to get upset, or scold her,,,so I took her bed and bowl outside, closed and locked the door, waited about 30 minutes….she was all over the front porch looking for me, yipping, like she was calling to me,,,well I just stayed put and waited. When I went out I did not look at her or talk to her…just kept doing what I wanted to, she was trying to play etc, I just ignored her. After a while I sat on the ground and called her, we cuddled a bit and I just talked to her about comming when I call….I gave her a treat and called her inside….since then she comes running when I call or whistle for her…..I didnt hurt her at all, and she was always safe when she was outside. I am no longer frustrated and she gets a treat everytime she hits the kitchen rug….:)


  6. Lourdes L. Horony says:

    Igor is a spicy, one year old Welsh Terrier, who is smart as a whip! He will only lay down in a snap for me when I am close by, and he even does it outside on command during walkies if there is no distraction. I do not even have to be stern with him. I would like to teach him to lay down from like 40 feet away. The only place I ever run him off leash is on the beach during off season, when there are very few people to distract him. He should do it at the beach too. Is that a tall all order? You bet! At the one year mark, he is developing quite the little personality, and true to breed, independence. We took him. He used to be pretty good about coming when called, but now, he runs football fields away before he comes back. Do you have ideas? Thank you in advance!


    Minette Reply:

    You have to start in small increments step back 2 feet then 4 then 6 then get a long line and go 10 and slowly work your way till he is listening from farther and farther away!


  7. Melissa says:

    Routine routine and routine. Always reward your dog with praise not treats because you might not always have them on you. I suggest short sessions and ALWAYS end the session on a light note so your pup doesn’t dread his next lesson


    Minette Reply:

    The majority of dogs don’t work for praise. Most dogs work for an actual reward. I don’t go to work for praise either. You just have to know how to use treats to your advantage so you don’t always need them on you. Search my articles for the definition of bribery


  8. Melissa Lienard says:

    I trained Chows Chows and Akita’s always with praise and a treat when got home. What are you going to do if you don’t have a treat when you are out? When you give a command and don’t have a treat you will confuse the animal.


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