How To Teach A Dog To Lay Down? Teaching your dog to lie down is a useful command that can keep your dog safe in certain situations. It’s a relatively easy command to teach, and it can come in handy when crossing streets, at the vet, or the dog groomers.
A dog must master ‘sit’ before considering how to teach a dog to lay down. You can easily instruct your dog to lie down once you have something your dog likes, such as a toy or a treat. Be sure only to offer treats sparingly and that they are age-appropriate for your dog.
Begin training your dog to lie down when he is in the sitting position. Consider the following steps in teaching your dog to lay down.
How To Teach A Dog To Lay Down: Step-By-Step
Step 1 Make sure Your Dog Is seated
When your dog is sitting, bring a treat near his nose. If he gets overly excited, step back. When he returns to a steady seating position, squat down closer to his level.
Step 2 Say The Word ‘Down’
It would help if you said the word ‘ down’ every time, as eventually, your dog must learn to lie down without treats.
Step 3 Bring Your Dog Into A Lying Position
While you’re still kneeing, move the treat to the floor, bringing it in front of his legs. This entices him to follow the treat with his nose along the floor.
If your dog gets too excited and pops up when drawing him down, quickly take the treat away. Immediately, ask him to sit down again and begin this step all over again.
Step 4 Place Your Hand On His Shoulder
This should stop him from getting back up to get at the treat. As you slowly move the treat along the floor, he should naturally glide down to the floor too. This luring motion with your hand should make an “L” Shape.
Step 5 What To Do If He Is Reluctant
Sit down in front of him, putting your legs out on the floor, raise them like a tent. Slowly inch the treat down to the floor and under your legs while he is sniffing it. Move the treat from out under your legs so that he has to lower himself to get it.
Do not allow him to have the treat until he lays down. You want to avoid confusion about what you’re asking of him.
Step 6 What To Do If He Is Extremely Reluctant
If your dog isn’t responding well to the luring method, you can reward him whenever he lies down on his own. This technique involves waiting in a room with your dog and waiting for him to lie down.
The second your dog’s body hits the ground, say ‘down,’ then use your clicker and put a treat a few feet in front of him. He must stand to get the treat, so wait for him to lie down once again.
Repeat this technique until your dog connects ‘down’ with what you expect him to do.
Step 7 Offer Lots Of Praise
Let your dog know that you’re satisfied with his behaviour; you can say something like ‘good dog’ and let him eat his treat when he lies down – not before.
Step 8 Teach The Release Command
You can say ‘Up’ or ‘Ok,’ then clap your hands to get him to stand up.
Reinforcing The Lie Down Command
Make sure you practice the steps outlined above at least twice a day. Keep training sessions short; ten minutes at a time will suffice. When your dog understands this command quickly, gradually start removing the treats. The process of eliminating treats could take time, so you must be patient and consistent.
Begin with an empty hand but continue offering treats. Practice saying ‘down’ to lure him down to the floor. Use the same L motion, but this time, without a teat in your hand.
Keep treats close by and give your dog one when he lies down and stays down. Be sure to praise him. If he doesn’t lie down without spotting a treat, offer him treats a few times in a row quickly.
Then without any treats, lure him down to the floor, and when he expects a treat, open your hand to show that it’s empty and highly praise him. You can give him a few surprise treats afterward.
This method will take a bit of practice, but your dog should get used to laying down without treats.
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