5 Simple Steps To Teach Your Dog To Lie Down For Beginners

Teach Your Dog To Lay Down
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Want your dog to behave better? Teach them how to lie down. Once your dog knows “lie down,” they won’t jump on you while you’re cooking or bother others. The good news is that teaching a dog to lie down to a hand signal or verbal cue is rather simple. Whether he’s a puppy or an elderly dog, you should teach your dog to lie down command right away. Are you prepared to discover how to get a dog to lie down? Keep reading Canvas Personalized’s guide!

Teach Your Dog To Lie Down: Step-by-Step Guide From a Pro Trainer

Step 1: Use A Treat To Bring Your Dog Down

Hold just one treat before your dog’s nose to get your dog’s attention. Then lower the treat to the floor carefully. Keep the treat close to the dog’s nose to maintain their attention. If your dog’s nose is more than two or three inches from the treat, slow down and give them time to “catch up.”

How To Teach A Puppy To Lie Down
How To Teach Your Dog To Lie Down (Image: Andreas Rodriguez)

Tip on teaching a dog to lie down from pros: You should start by ensuring the dog is standing. When teaching “down,” some people like to begin with the dog in a sitting posture. However, if you do so, many dogs will slide from a sit into a lie down whenever you ask for a sit. As well, it’s much more natural for your dog to go from standing to lying down without sitting first.

Step 2: When They Lie Down, Praise and Treat

When your dog’s stomach touches the ground, say “good dog” and drop the treat so your pet can eat it. It can be very exciting when your dog lays down for the first time. But, at the same time, don’t try to do too much at this point. You should only do this step 3 times.

Training A Dog To Lie Down
Training A dog To Lay Down (Image: dogsbestlife)

This will help keep your dog from becoming dependent on seeing food in your hand. When your dog follows the treat into the “lie down” posture three times in a row, you can move on to the next stage of training a dog to lie down.

Step 3: Try It Out Without The Treats

You should then repeat this motion (hand at dog’s nose, gently moving down to the ground), this time but with an empty hand. Say, “good dog,” grab two treats, and give them to your dog if he or she follows your hand into a down posture. By rewarding your dog with two treats when they lie down after following an empty hand, you can educate them that it is worthwhile to do so regardless of whether or not they initially see food in your palm.

Teach Your Dog To Lie Down Without The Treats
Teach Your Dog To Lie Down Without The Treats (Image: Pure Pet Food)

If your dog struggles to get into the “down” position, you can encourage him to do so by rewarding him for smaller steps, such as when his elbows touch the floor. Gradually, you can start to expect him to lie down more thoroughly. Repeat steps 1 and 2 with a lesser treat if your dog is still not responding to your hand signals. Then the following time, try again with nothing in your hands.

Step 4: Give the Command a Name

You can officially name the behavior as soon as your dog consistently lies down when you raise an empty hand and no longer needs the treats to get the action. Say “lie down,” stop for a second, and then make the appropriate hand gesture. When your dog lies down, reward him with praise and a goodie. Try it again a few times and then relax for a while.

Give The Command A Name
Give the Command a Name (Image: dailypaws)

Step 5: Practice Giving Commands Out Loud

Try saying “lie down” unexpectedly and seeing what happens. Your dog deserves lots of praise and rewards if he or she lays down. Repeat the word and hand signal training sessions if necessary until your dog meets your request (step 4).

How To Teach A Dog To Lay Down
How To Teach Your Dog To Lie Down (Image: thegoldenboys)

Again, during non-training periods, ask to take a “lie down” at random. Getting your dog to associate the command “lie down” with the action of lying down could take many days, possibly even a week or more.

>> Check out these best 15 dog training tips and why teaching your dogs is important!

Tips And Advice For Training A Dog To Lay Down

Want to make it easier for you to teach your dog to lie down? Canvas Personalized Blog has some tips for you below:

  • Your dog will respond better to the command if you use a reward he or she genuinely enjoys. It all comes down to motivation!
  • Hold the treat firmly in your hand until your dog lays down. Some dogs will try to steal the treat from your hand, which is not the behavior you want to encourage.
  • Your dog should be rewarded with a treat when they demonstrate the correct behavior. This will ensure they understand that laying down will result in positive reinforcement.
  • You should never use the leash or your hands to force a dog into lying down. One problem is that it isn’t effective (most dogs will resist). Second, you run the risk of hurting your dog if you try.
  • If your dog doesn’t appear to be getting it, there’s no need to repeat the same instructions. Training for a longer period will only assist if your dog can understand what you want. Try again after a short pause, perhaps 5 or 10 minutes.
Tips And Advice For Training A Dog To Lay Down
Tips And Advice For Training A Dog To Lay Down (Image: allpawsexpress)

>> Another related post that you should know better:

Connecting with your dog while teaching him to lie down is fun. A dog lying down on cue may be useful in many circumstances, as they avoid trouble. The sooner you start, the faster you can teach your dog to lie down. Don’t procrastinate any longer! Follow Canvas Personlized‘s guide to train your dog to lie down right now!

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Training & Behaviors